Digitalization in rubber processing - the example of extrusion

This project focuses on the development of an automated production chain that will generate a digital image of the catalyst extrusion process. Using online measurement methods, the IAPG sub-project aims to detect batch-related fluctuations in the material and quantify accuracies in order to be able to control the process in real time.


In the context of Industry 4.0, the plastics and rubber industry is undergoing a transformation in which the application and use of automation technologies and the digitalisation of process flows are unavoidable from an economic and technical point of view. However, the implementation of the necessary technologies in rubber processing practice encounters considerable difficulties due to the complexity of the material, the large number of elaborate process steps, the lack of suitable interfaces, characteristic data and evaluation criteria for control as well as the prediction of the efficiency of processing procedures. The aim of the DIGIT RUBBER project is to develop a computer-aided linking of the production chain "mixing-rolling-extruding", which makes it possible to automatically detect batch-related fluctuations in the material by means of material databases and a digital image of the process (digital twin), with special consideration of extrusion, as well as through the use of online measurement methods, and to regulate the processing process accordingly on the basis of artificial intelligence (AI).

The IAPG is involved in the project with the sub-project "Photogrammetric 3D measurement technology for inline measurement, quality assurance and deformation analysis of rubber extrudates" and is responsible for the development of special optical 3D measurement methods for process-integrated inline measurement technology. In particular, the highly accurate 3D detection of black, poorly structured surfaces, which are also exposed to high thermal and mechanical loads, is being considered here and represents a special challenge. The aim is to design an automated 3D measurement strategy for detecting deformations in the extrusion process. Among other things, the fusion with other sensor data and the modelling of possible atmospheric influences play an important role.

The project is carried out in cooperation with the following partners under the leadership of Deutsches Institut für Kautschuktechnologie e.V:

  • Hanover University of Applied Sciences and Arts
  • Institut für Nanophotonik Göttingen e.V.
  • Leibniz University Hannover
  • Leibniz Information Centre for Science and Technology

Further information can be obtained from the project website.

Funding code: 13XP5126C

Books and Papers

Konrad, K. (2021): Erste Projekterfolge bei „Digit Rubber“. Zentrum für digitale Innovationen Niedersachsen (ZDIN) , Weblink


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