carbovation gmbh has more than 20 years of experience in the processing of carbon and glass fibers and stands for high quality and technically sophisticated products in the field of fiber composites, inclusive the certificate EN9100:2018 for the production of light weight composites for aerospace industry. With their diverse processing techniques, as well as comprehensive material and product knowledge and application know-how, the company offers tailor-made solutions for customer-specific requirements, for example in the automotive industry, aerospace, medical technology and numerous industrial applications. The portfolio of carbovation gmbh also includes the production of high-quality sports equipment. Under the brand Lightweight, carbovation gmbh manufactures and sells one of the world’s lightest wheels for racing bikes. From the headquarters in Friedrichshafen, Germany, at the lake Constance directly next to Swiss and Austria, carbovation is a reliable partner for customers worldwide. carbovation gmbh combines the pursuit of technical excellence with the goal of being able to offer tailor-made solutions for every challenge in constant dialog with customers. The company sees themselves as an experienced partner with high standards of quality, individuality and flexibility. The team is united by the vision of natural innovation, which is reflected in every single one of their products. Since October 2019 carbovation gmbh got part of the Murtfeldt Group, with headquarters in Dortmund. The group consists of companies with specific expertise in a wide range of manufacturing processes involving non-metallic high-performance materials. Easy Engineering: What are the main areas of activity of the company? CARBOVATION: The company is basically active in two main business fields. The first one is the area of the brand lightweight. Extremely light and stiff fully integrated carbon wheels are developed and produced handmade in Germany. The style and design are unique and the products are used worldwide. Also, this year, the professional teams of the Tour de France, the most important professional road bike racing race in the world, have decided to buy and use our wheels. A very unusual way in cycling business to decide against sponsorship items, but of course we are extremely happy and valued. And the highlight of Olympia: Richard Carapaz won the gold medal this year on our wheels. The second area is the area of customer-specific lightweight design solutions. Through our certification EN9100: 2018 for the production of light weight composites for aerospace industry, around one third of our sales is in the sector of aviation and aerospace. In the field medical technology and numerous industrial applications, we develop customer-specific fiber-reinforced plastic hybrid solutions with currently series sizes from prototypes to around 1500 components per year. The classic customer has a weight and/or stiffness problem with his components. If you only replace metallic sub-elements with fiber-reinforced plastics, a weight reduction of approx. 10-20% can easily be achieved. In cooperation with the customer, we work towards a fiber composite-compatible design for the complete design part. In this way, weight reductions of up to 70% can be achieved with comparable mechanical properties. E.E: What’s the news for 2021 about new products? CARBOVATION: In the area of carbon wheels, we will present the next development stage in lightweight design. Since being part of the Murtfeldt Group for about nearly two years, the competences of the whole group for technical and high-performance thermoplastic components, additive manufactured components and lightweight fiber reinforced plastic components merge more and more together with each other. By that the customer can be offered the best of all three worlds out of one hand. In this year we will transfer the know-how in this field of customer-specific lightweight solutions in our own combined solutions. Be curious! So, it is worth following our LinkedIn company profile. E.E: What are the ranges of products? CARBOVATION: In order to implement customer-specific projects, we are broadly positioned in terms of production technology. The main manufacturing processes include filament winding technology and prepreg autoclave technology. With the filament winding technology, components up to a length of 8.3m and a diameter of 1.4m can be produced simultaneously on up to 4 spindles in our facility. The prepreg autoclave technology used in carbovation enables component sizes of up to a length of 12m and a diameter of 1.7m at curing temperatures of up to 200 °C. Furthermore, a wide variety of liquid impregnation processes (resin injection, resin infusion processes and combination processes) can be offered so that the most economical process can be selected for the customer-specific component with its requirements in terms of size, complexity, quality and quantity. E.E: At what stage is the market where you are currently active? CARBOVATION: We are in a rapidly growing market with both, sporting goods and customer-specific solutions. The subject of lightweight design and energy saving is an important topic for the future worldwide. We are pleased to be able to make an important contribution with our products. In cooperation with our customer, we analyze the savings potential in terms of weight and thus surly energy, but also the increasing in performance be using our fiber reinforced composite components. We make lightweight constructions “clear and touchable” especially for companies that are used to design and produce metal components and need “the next level” in performance for their components and plants. E.E: What can you tell us about market trends? CARBOVATION: The aviation sector is currently undergoing major restructuring. The subject of lightweight construction and increased efficiency will play a much more important role here in the future. The number of smaller planes with alternative drives such as hydrogen will lead us into a completely new era. In the entire area of mobility and also in productions with moving parts, the subject of lightweight construction and the associated increase in performance will be the key factor. The number of product variants on the market will increase. We are preparing for this by developing innovative machine technology, which enables a high degree of variant production with a short developing time. The number of production options will also increase (e.g. additive manufacturing). This will enable products that were not even thought of 10 years ago. We take a close look at this area, both fiber-reinforced and unreinforced, and position ourselves competently for the future. E.E: What are the most innovative products marketed? CARBOVATION: In the field of sporting goods, it is surely our fully carbon wheel with a rim that is produced in a special filament winding process. In the field of industrial products, it is our integrated multi-stage filament winded components (e.g. a robot arm). This means the components are extremely stiff and light, but also highly precisely. Furthermore, e.g. drive shafts and media lines can be integrated into the component and you achieve a smooth design. E.E: What estimations do you have for 2021? CARBOVATION: Like almost everyone, the pandemic hit us hard last year and orders were stops suddenly. We were pretty agile in our behavior and looked ahead again well-organized at an early stage. We had a lot of open talks with our customers to work together on this topic. That was the right decision. We came out of the crisis stronger than before with new innovative ideas. Currently there are major problems worldwide when purchasing materials concerning price and delivery time. We try to intercept this as best we can through internal optimizations. Nevertheless, it is a lot of fun to drive forward the field of lightweight construction and it allows us to look into a confidence future.