Profactor -inspection systems for recycled carbon fibres

Profactor is an Austrian non-university research centre and is the leader of the MC4 project. They develop production technologies such as robotics, machine vision, augmented reality and processes for functional surfaces. In the project. Profactor is developing inline inspection systems for carbon fibre composite materials, pre-forms and parts in the MC4 project.

The goal is to analyze the aspect of the carbon fabrics made from chemically recycled carbon fibre composites via the solvolysis process developed by Gaiker. A demonstrator has been developed and was even displayed during the JEC trade fair in March. It allows to identify defects on the surface of the fabric before the layup step.

Sensor development

What has been achieved until today is the improvement of the sensor software and the implementation of an extrinsic calibration. However, some additional improvements still need to be done like compiling the libraries for the sensor OS and the concept for storing and loading data synchronously across all Phytec modules (cameras).

Machine learning

The benefits of this approach are that it is way faster and robust to variations compared to manual inspection or classic statistical method. That is of course if the machine is trained with large and diverse dataset. As of today, three defects have been tested: gaps, missing stitch and fuzzball on mostly virgin fabrics. The goal now is to train the machine with more samples and more types of defects to make it more precise and robust. Moreover, the system needs to transfer this knowledge to the visual appearance of recycled material.

Since the beginning of the project Profactor has made huge improvements and developments but there is still some work to do to have a more efficient defect detection system.

You can follow these links if you want to know more about the work Profactor is doing:

Follow this link if you want to read more article about the MC4 project: News and events – MC4 Project (

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