Solico Engineering and the NXTGEN Hightech Project – Enabling Cost-Effective, Zero-Defect Composite Manufacturing in the future

Solico is proud to announce that it is now working on 1 work package for the NXTGEN Hightech project. This work will study and optimise composite material drapability and design inputs for the zero-defect manufacturing process of a future digital e-mobility factory that Solico will also define for the project.

The multi-year NXTGEN Hightech program will see investment of around € 1 billion (including 450 million euros from the Netherlands National Growth Fund) between now and 2030. Comprising more than 300 partner organisations, the project team aims to accelerate the development of innovative new equipment and technologies and maintain the Netherlands’ position as an international leader in the field of ultra-accurate high-tech equipment.

 Responding to the future needs of the transport and e-mobility sector – reduced platform weight as well as improvements in sustainability, cost and flexibility of manufacturing – NXTGEN Hightech will focus primarily on rapid thermoplastic composite processes that can be applied in digital micro-factories powered by increased automation technology.

During the project, Solico engineers will evaluate market leading ply drapability analysis software before selecting an optimum solution that will be used to define a material database including factors that impact fabric drapability. Solico will also define component design guidelines and compare simulated and real-life lay-up studies to analyse the effects on fibre alignment versus design and the resulting potential material savings. These studies will all feed into an overall project deliverable – a fully defined, zero-defect, automated manufacturing process that will employ tools such as laser projection lay-up guidance and real-time QA/QC logging to enable the step change in production cost and speed required for future mobility solutions. 

“The NXTGEN Hightech project will see Solico play a key role in developing the groundbreaking production methods that will drive the digital factories of the future. Combining our engineering and materials testing expertise with the latest technology in composite lay-up analysis software will give the team a unique insight into the key drivers for the rapid, cost-effective and zero-defect processes required for future e-mobility solutions,” said Coen Meerbach, Business Unit Manager at Solico.