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Fabian Ballier

Dipl.-Ing. Fabian Ballier

Research Associate
department: Machines, Equipment and Process Automatiion
office hours: to be agreed
room: 128, Geb. 50.36
phone: +49 721 608-41674
fax: +49 721 608-45005
Fabian BallierXiz9∂kit edu

Campus Süd

Dipl.-Ing. Fabian Ballier

Area of Research:

  • Automated lightweight production
  • Configuration and design of handling units


General Tasks:

  • Automated Production Systems until 2017



  • SMiLE – System integrative multi-material lightweight design for electromobility
  • HyPro – Economical production of hybrid components
  • AsenBa – Virtual design of gripping systems for sensitive components
  • Robotop – Modular, open and Internet-based platform for robot applications in industry and service


Test benches:

  • Handling test setup AsenBa


Dissertation: Systematic gripper arrangement for handling systems in lightweight production processes

Curriculum Vitae:

since 03/2014 Research Associate at the Institute of Production Science (wbk) at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)
10/2007 - 02/2014 Study of Mechanical Engineering at KIT
28/06/1986 Born in Heilbronn





[ 1 ] Ballier, F.; Schwennen, J.; Berkmann, J. & Fleischer, J. (2015), "The Hybrid RTM Process Chain: Automated Insertion of Load Introducing Elements during Subpreform Assembling". Progress in Production Engineering , eds. Jens P. Wulfsberg, B. R. A. T. M., pp. 312-319.
Fiber reinforced plastics are increasingly employed in the automobile industry. The process chain of resin transfer molding offers one approach for realizing structural components made of fiber reinforced plastic in high quantities. In order to increase economic efficiency, automated solutions for the subpreform assembly are required. There is also the need for mechanically highly stressable and at the same time economical joining techniques for joining fiber reinforced plastics with metal. The following article shall provide an approach to meet both of these requirements.

[ 2 ] Fleischer, J.; Ballier, F. & Dietrich, M. (2016), "Joining Parameters and Handling System for Automated Subpreform Assembly ". Robotics and Automated Production Lines , eds. Thorsten Schüppstuhl, J. F. ., pp. 66-73.
The production and processing of fiber-reinforced plastics (FRP) is constantly increasing in industry. A commonly used method is resin transfer molding (RTM). FRP components are produced for large series by now. Therefore, the aspect of processing efficiency is becoming more and more important. The semi-finished product can be better exploited, for example, if large preforms were composed of single subpreforms. These subpreforms are easier to drape and can be produced within an automated line. Consequently, the necessary assembly of the subpreforms needs to be automated as well. This way, the process can be made time and resource efficient. The article that follows now will focus more closely on a concept that deals with the handling and subsequent assembling of subpreforms. Furthermore, the variables that can be adjusted for the assembly process are examined and their influence on the resulting connection quality is shown.

[ 3 ] Fleischer, J.; Dackweiler, M. & Ballier, F. (2016), "Fiber-Injection-Moulding – Herausforderungen und Chancen", VDI-Z, pp. 64-66.
Hohe Energiekosten und ein zunehmendes Umweltbewusstsein sowie die immer strengere Gesetzgebung forcieren den Einsatz leichter Werkstoffe zur Energie- und Ressourceneinsparung. Vor diesem Hintergrund gewinnen faserverstärkte Kunststoffe durch das besonders gute Verhältnis von Dichte zu mechanischen Eigenschaften an großer Bedeutung. Ausgangsbasis zur Herstellung dieser verstärkten Werkstoffe sind Faserpreforms*, die in einem nachfolgenden Prozessschritt mit einem Harz-Härter-Gemisch getränkt werden und zum Endbauteil aushärten. Ein vielversprechendes neues Verfahren zum verschnittfreien Endkontur-Preforming ist das Fiber-Injection-Moulding (FIM).

[ 4 ] Förster, F.; Ballier, F.; Coutandin, S.; Defranceski, A. & Fleischer, J. (2017), "Manufacturing of Textile Preforms with an Intelligent Draping and Gripping System", Procedia CIRP, pp. 39-44.
In this paper, a novel pixel-based draping and gripping unit will be presented. To monitor and control the draping during the forming of a stack of semi-finished textiles, the pixels are equipped with integrated sensors. With these sensors, it is possible to adjust the tangential sliding and the normal holding force at each pixel. The sensor principle is based on the electrical conductivity of carbon fibers. Electrodes inside the gripping system allow a conclusion to the gripping force between the gripper and the carbon textile. Therefore, the gripping force can be adjusted to the special boundary conditions during the draping process.

[ 5 ] Ballier, F.; Dmytruk, T. & Fleischer, J. (2018), "A Gripper System Design method for the Handling of Textile Parts". Tagungsband des 3. Kongresses Montage Handhabung Industrieroboter, eds. Schüppstuhl, T.; Tracht, K. & Franke, J., pp. 73-82.
This paper presents the first results in the development of a method for designing gripper systems for handling non-rigid flat parts such as textiles. The work focuses on the use of multiple small individual grippers instead of large-scale grippers to reduce the weight on the end-effector. As a result, not every area of the non-rigid part has a direct contact to a gripper and, therefore, the material between the gripper elements deforms. The goal is to find a gripper system design which takes into account these deformations. Therefore, a first approach to the arrangement of the individual grippers on the non-rigid part will be presented. Furthermore, a reconfigurable gripper system is introduced which makes it possible to set up a wide range of gripper configurations.

[ 6 ] Kupzik, D.; Ballier, F.; Roller, T.; Coutandin, S. & Fleischer, J. (2018), "Development and evaluation of separation concepts for the controllable release of tacky prepreg from handling devices". Procedia CIRP, eds. Lihui Wang, pp. 574-579.
The handling and layup of unidirectionally reinforced thermoset prepreg patches is currently a largely manual process. To reduce labor costs and increase part quality, automated handling of the material is desired. However, laying down the prepreg is challenging due to the tack of some materials. This paper investigates various modifications to an existing vacuum gripping system to enable a reliable separation process between the prepreg and the gripping system. The investigation focuses on the improvement of the integrated pneumatic blow-off mechanism, the development of a mechanical separation system and the application of different suction pads.

[ 7 ] Kupzik, D.; Ballier, F.; Lang, J.; Coutandin, S. & Fleischer, J. (2018), "Development and evaluation of concepts for the removal of backing foils from prepreg for the automated production of UD reinforced SMC parts". Proceedings of the 18th European Conference on Composite Materials (ECCM18), eds. European Society for Composite Materials (ESCM), pp. 1-8.
Backing foil or paper needs to be removed from the raw material prior to the processing of Sheet-Moulding-Compound (SMC) or unidirectionally reinforced prepreg (UD-Tapes). In present automated production processes, this step is conducted after unrolling the raw material and prior to the cutting. In a process chain, which is conducted in the authors project, the backing foil needs to remain at the material after the cutting step. For these process chains, a method needs to be found to remove the backing foil from the material. In the state of the art, methods are shown to remove backing paper from prepreg. In this paper new methods are developed and tested for the removal of backing foil together with existing concepts. The main difficulty is the transition from backing paper to backing foil which has a higher tack to the material, is thinner and mechanically less strong. Concepts which are investigated use compressed air, mechanical forces or the stiffness of the foil. The application of compressed air is tested between foil and prepreg. Mechanical forces can either be introduced using grippers, brushes, friction to rubber or adhesive tape. The stiffness of the foil is used when removing it through bending the prepreg.

[ 8 ] Fleischer, J.; Coutandin, S. C. & Ballier, F. (2018), "Automatisch zum richtigen Greifer", Handling, pp. 6-7. [29.10.18].
Das Forschungsprojekt AsenBa hat Ansätze entwickelt, um den Aufwand für die Planung von Handhabungssystemen zu minimieren. Die individuelle Auslegung von Handhabungssystemen wird durch eine Auslegungslogik realisiert, die auf Simulationsergebnisse zurückgreift.