Daniel Kupzik, M.Sc.

  • 76131 Karlsruhe
    Kaiserstraße 12

Daniel Kupzik, M.Sc.

Area of Research:

  • Lightweight Manufacturing
  • Robotic applications and handling technology
  • Handling of Sheet Moulding Compound and prepreg with thermoset matrix
  • Preforming of fiber reinforced semi-finished materials with thermoplastic matrix
  • Fast heating of the material in the additive manufacturing of plastic parts


General Tasks:

  • Assistance in the lecture „Automated Manufacturing Systems“



  • SmartBodySynergy on flexible joining in the body in white
  • Research Training Group IRTG 2078 on co-processing of long- and continuous fiber reinforced materials
  • ROBOTOP: Web based configuration of robotic applications


Test benches:


Curriculum Vitae:

since 01/2017 

Research Associate within the division Lightweight Manufacturing at the Institute of Production Science (wbk) at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)


Studies of mechanical engineering at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)


[ 1 ] Schwennen, J.; Kupzik, D. & Fleischer, J. (2017), "Development of a calculation model for load introduction elements integrated during frp sandwich structure manufacturing". SAMPE Seattle 2017 : conference: May 22-25, 2017, exhibition: May 23-24, 2017, Washington State Convention Center, Seattle, Washington, eds. Blohkowiak, K., pp. 969-983.
Due to their high lightweight potential, FRP sandwich structures with foam cores are becoming increasingly important in the automotive industry. In order to accommodate local forces, load introduction elements are required. This work is part of a project in which the geometry is optimized for maximum load capacity, while taking into consideration the cost and the process restrictions. This paper deals with the creation of a suitable FEM model for investigating the effects of geometrical changes of the load introduction element on the load capacity. For this purpose, parameters of the foam and the insert material are determined experimentally. Subsequently, simulation examples are constructed using different solution methods, then compared and evaluated for applicability for an automatic optimization process. The result of the work shows that particularly three-dimensional models, which are explicitly solved, can deliver good results. The simulation results correspond very well to the experimentally determined tensile test curves.

[ 2 ] Kupzik, D. (2017), "Vorrichtungsfreies Fügen in smarten Rohbauzellen", handling 6/2017, pp. 36-37.
Zur Senkung der Anlaufkosten von Fahrzeugderivaten mit niedriger Stückzahl wird im Karosserierohbau in Werkstattfertigung das vorrichtungsfreie Fügen in den geometriebildenden Zellen eingeführt.

[ 3 ] Schwennen, J.; Kalbhenn, L.; Klipfel, J.; Pfeifle, J.; Kupzik, D. & Fleischer, J. (2017), "Evolutionary Optimization of the Failure Behavior of Load Introduction Elements Integrated During FRP Sandwich Structure Manufacturing". Procedia CIRP, eds. Roberto Teti, D. M. D., pp. 410-415. 10.1016/j.procir.2017.12.234
Due to their high lightweight potential, fiber-reinforced-plastics (FRP) sandwich structures with foam cores are becoming increasingly important in the automotive industry. To accommodate local forces, load introduction elements called inserts are required. A new type of insert is integrated into the sandwich panel during manufacturing. To accelerate the design and development process of these inserts, an optimization framework is developed based on the Abaqus CAE package and the Python programming language. An automated parametric nonlinear finite-element method (FEM) model is used to evaluate the performance of insert geometries. This model is integrated into an optimization routine based on a genetic algorithm. The population-based approach is very scalable through parallelization and shows accurate results within reasonable processing times.

[ 4 ] Kupzik, D.; Haas, S.; Stemler, D.; Pfeifle, J. & Fleischer, J. (2018), "Development of a manufacturing cell for fixtureless joining in car body assembly". Tagungsband des 3. Kongresses Montage Handhabung Industrieroboter, eds. Schüppstuhl, J., pp. 22-30. 10.1007/978-3-662-56714-2
The integration of electric drivetrain components into the chassis of automobiles dramatically increases the variety of car body designs and calls for changes to the production processes. One approach is to replace the typical assembly line manufacturing process with a workshop production system, as has already happened in machining, where transfer lines have been replaced by flexible manufacturing systems. One requirement for this shift is the development of a flexible joining cell which can perform different stages of joining operations on different variations of a vehicle. One step in the development of such a cell is the replacement of mechanical positioning elements, used to define the parts’ relative positions before joining. In this work, the positioning of the components is done using a camera-based measuring system and a control loop to reorient the robots holding the parts. This paper describes how the system is developed and implemented in a demonstration cell.

[ 5 ] 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. 10.1016/j.procir.2018.03.162
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.

[ 6 ] 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.
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.

[ 7 ] Kupzik, D.; Coutandin, S. & Fleischer, J. (2018), "Entwicklung des vorrichtungsfreien Fügens zur Flexibilisierung des Karosserierohbaus". Neue Robotertechnologien in Produktion, Montage und Service, eds. Prof. Dr.-Ing. Jörg Franke, pp. 120-133.
Die Integration von elektrischen Antriebskomponenten in das Fahrwerk von Automobilen erhöht die Vielfalt der Karosserievarianten dramatisch und erfordert Änderungen in den Produktionsprozessen. Ein Ansatz besteht darin, den typischen Fertigungsprozess der Montagelinie durch ein Werkstattproduktionssystem zu ersetzen, wie es bereits in der Zerspanung der Fall war, bei der Transferlinien durch flexible Fertigungssysteme ersetzt wurden. Eine Voraussetzung für diese Verwandlung ist die Entwicklung einer flexiblen Fügezelle, die verschiedene Phasen des Fügevorgangs bei verschiedenen Fahrzeugvarianten durchführen kann. Ein Schritt bei der Entwicklung einer solchen Zelle ist der Ersatz von mechanischen Positionierungselementen, mit denen die relative Position der Teile vor dem Fügen definiert wird. Dabei erfolgt die Positionierung der Komponenten mit einem kamerabasierten Messsystem und einem Regelkreis zur Neuausrichtung der die Teile haltenden Roboter. In dieser Präsentation wurde beschrieben, wie das System in einer Demonstrationszelle entwickelt und implementiert wurde und es werden erste Messergebnisse präsentiert.

[ 8 ] Kupzik, D.; Coutandin, S. & Fleischer, J. (2018), "Flexibles vorrichtungsfreies Fügen", wt Werkstatttechnik online, vol. 160, no. 10, pp. 703-707. doi.org/10.37544/1436-4980-2018-10-67
Die steigende Variantenvielfalt im Automobilbau durch neue Modelle und elektrische Derivate motiviert ein Umdenken im Karosserierohbau. In SmartBodySynergy wird ein flexibler Karosserierohbau in Werkstattfertigung entwickelt. Für dessen Umsetzung sind flexible Fügezellen notwendig. In diesem Artikel wird der Einsatz einer vorrichtungsfreien, kamerageregelten Bauteilpositionierung für den Einsatz in varianten- und vorgangsflexiblen Fügezellen untersucht und eine Demonstratorzelle vorgestellt.

[ 9 ] Kupzik, D.; Coutandin, S. & Fleischer, J. (2018), "Vorrichtungsfreies Fügen", wt Werkstatttechnik online, pp. 703-707.
Die steigende Variantenvielfalt im Automobilbau durch neue Modelle und elektrische Derivate motiviert ein Umdenken im Karosserierohbau. In SmartBodySynergy wird ein flexibler Karosserierohbau in Werkstattfertigung entwickelt. Für dessen Umsetzung sind flexible Fügezellen notwendig. In diesem Artikel wird der Einsatz einer vorrichtungsfreien, kamerageregelten Bauteilpositionierung für den Einsatz in varianten- und vorgangsflexiblen Fügezellen untersucht und eine Demonstratorzelle vorgestellt.

[ 10 ] Kupzik, D.; Coutandin, S. & Fleischer, J. (2019), "Werkzeugloses Umformen lastangepasster UD-Verstärkungen", lightweight design, pp. 38-43.
Thermoplastische UD-Tapes können zur lastangepassten Verstärkung von Kunststoffteilen verwendet werden. Um diese variantenflexibel vorzuformen wird am wbk Institut für Produktionstechnik ein neuartiger, auf lokaler Biegung basierender Prozess entwickelt. Die Geometriebildung erfolgt hierbei durch Software wodurch Werkzeugkosten eingespart werden.

[ 11 ] Kupzik, D.; Ballier, F. & Fleischer, J. (2019), "Automated Integrated Handling and Preforming" in Continuous - Discontinuous Fiber - Reinforced Polymers, eds. Böhlke, T.; Henning, F.; Hrymak, A.; Kärger, L.; Weidenmann, K. & Wood, J., Carl Hanser Verlag, München, pp. 25-45. ISBN/ISSN: 978-1-56990-692-7
The preforming of the raw material before moulding causes a large potion of the production cost of FRP components. The main reason for this are the numerous small steps which have to be conducted. Most of them are hard to automate and non-value adding, e.g. the removal of a backing foil from precut raw material. In this chapter, researach on the automation of these steps and their integration into value adding steps is presented.

[ 12 ] Kupzik, D.; Biergans, L.; Coutandin, S. & Fleischer, J. (2019), "Kinematic Description and Shape Optimization of UD-Tape Reinforcements Manufactured with a Novel Preforming Process". 2nd CIRP Conference on Composite Material Parts Manufacturing, eds. Kerrigan, K.; Mativenga, P. & El-Dessouky, H., pp. 78-83. DOI:10.1016/j.procir.2019.09.016
The preforming of UD-Tape reinforcement structures for thermoplastic components can be done in additional process steps or during the handling processes. For an efficient process chain, it is desired to avoid non value adding steps like handling. Therefore they should be combined with value adding steps. A novel process for the preforming of UD-Tape strips has been developed at wbk Institute for Production Science to achieve this. In this process, the strips will be locally heated and bent by an industrial robot as they are pushed out of a material supply unit. With the process, it is possible to efficiently preform complex reinforcement tapes without the need for component specific tools. However, the limitation to local bending deformation sets process limitations different from the present, shear based processes. In this paper, an approach to the kinematic description and shape optimization of reinforcement patches is presented. First, a syntax for the description of tape strips containing several bends is presented. Afterwards, the kinematics of the process of bending tape strips around a bendable hinge are described. A method for pre-processing the geometry data of the desired structure with the aim of limiting the solution space is presented. Based on the kinematic description and the preprocessing of the geometric data, a genetic optimization environment for the bending parameters of a tape strip is implemented. The performance of the optimization shows its potential although the specific optimization parameters still have to be improved. Results and limitations of the optimization approach are presented.

[ 13 ] Kupzik, D.; Spiller, Q.; Coutandin, S. & Fleischer, J. (2020), "Additive Manufacturing of Metal Components using the ARBURG freeformer System". 25.-26.6.2020.
Metal powder injection molding is a manufacturing technology that is characterized by the near-net-shape production of geometrically complex components with outstanding mechanical properties. In this process, green bodies are molded with an injection molding machine, which are then debound and sintered. Due to the necessary tool form, an economic production is only reasonable from correspondingly high quantities. Additive manufacturing processes offer the possibility of economic production from piece number one. ARBURG plastic freeforming represents an additive manufacturing process which uses commercially available plastic granulate for the production of components. This molding process offers the potential to use feedstocks from the metal powder injection molding sector to manufacture green parts. This makes it possible to economically produce metal components with comparable properties to metal powder injection molding from a quantity of 1 piece. In this presentation, the process and the interrelationship between the process parameters and the mechanical properties of the component are presented. The temperature of the nozzle, temperature of the build volume and printing speed are optimized regarding mechanical properites. The second presented goal of optimization is to increase the service life of the nozzle. An increase by 255% could be achieved by tempering and plasma nitriding the nozzle.

[ 14 ] Kupzik, D.; Ding, J.; Coutandin, S. & Fleischer, J. (2020), "Digital Process Management for the Integrated Bending of Thermoplastic CFRP Tapes". Procedia CIRP, Elsevier, pp. 514-419. 10.1016/j.procir.2020.04.061
A bending based approach for the preforming of carbon fiber reinforced thermoplastic (CFRTP) tapes has been implemented at wbk Institute of Production Science. In early experimentation, it became evident that the process requires regular adaption of process parameters in order to meet the desired quality level. To limit the manual effort, the parameter variation and process characterization should be automated. In this paper, an approach for the automatic parameter identification and tuning through systematic variation combined with optical process measurement is presented. The functionality of the measurement system as well as the parameter identification and error compensation are described.

[ 15 ] Wang, T.; Li, N.; Link, G.; Jelonnek, J.; Dittus, J.; Kupzik, D. & Fleischer, J. (2020), "Load-dependent path planning method for 3D printing of continuous fiber reinforced plastics", Composites Part A: Applied Science and Manufacturing, vol. 140, 10.1016/j.compositesa.2020.106181
3D printing, to print continuous fiber reinforced plastics (CFRPs) has advantages of manufacturing complex shape and short production cycle. Due to anisotropic mechanical properties of continuous fibers, the paving direction of the fibers determines the mechanical strengths of the printed CFRPs. In this paper, a novel load- dependent path planning (LPP) method has been proposed to generate printing path for CFRPs, which exactly follows the load transmission path of the parts and could provide higher mechanical properties. A topology optimization method is applied to simplify the original disordered load distribution. In the developed Stress Vector Tracing (SVT) algorithm, the printing paths are generated along the load transmission path with the variable spacing of adjacent paths. The LPP method has been compared with the state-of-the-art printing path planning method for continuous fibers and shown better load-bearing and printability.

[ 16 ] Kupzik, D.; Bachtin, A.; Coutandin, S. & Fleischer, J. (2021), "Experimental Parameter Identification for the Bending Based Preforming of Thermoplastic UD -tape". Technologies for economic and functional lightweight design, eds. Dröder, K. & Vietor, T., Springer, Berlin, pp. 313-325. 10.1007/978-3-662-62924-6
The combination of different types of plastics can be advantageous to obtain a good component performance at a reasonable price. For this, a compromise between mechanical properties and cheap manufacturing has to be found. In the research project GRK2078, the manufacturing of hybrid components consisting of long fiber reinforced thermoplastics (LFT) and unidirectional endless fiber reinforced material (UD-tapes) is researched. The LFT is the main constituent of the components. Local UD-tape reinforcements are added in areas with high load for a large effect or low geometric complexity to minimize preforming effort. To keep the cost low, a novel preforming process for the UD-tapes is in development at wbk Institute of Production Science. The aim is to enable the shape flexible, tool less forming of UD-tapes. To obtain this, the process is based on sequential bending of the UD-tape on several positions along its longitudinal axis during handling operations. To conduct the process, a supply unit and an industrial robot with a gripper with integrated heating devices are used. In this paper, the experimental examination of the process and the identification of suitable parameters on the shape of the preform are presented. The main influencing factors are the type of UD-tape, the heating of the tape and the movement of the robot. The processes are conducted with PA and PP carbon fiber tapes. The process quality with contact and radiation heating are compared and the respective heating duration is identified. For the robot movement, a kinematic description of the process is derived and compared to a circular bending movement. With the identified parameters, the process can be conducted reliably. The resulting accuracy limit and the process time with these parameters are described in this paper.

[ 17 ] Matkovic, N.; Götz, M.; Kupzik, D.; Nieschlag, J.; Coutandin, S. & Fleischer, J. (2021), "Additives Roboter-Extrusions-System", VDI-Z, vol. 163, pp. 55-57. 10.37544/0042-1766-2021-01-02-55
Herkömmliche additive Fertigungsverfahren für Kunststoffbauteile erlauben eine große Designfreiheit, besitzen jedoch Defizite hinsichtlich Fertigungszeit, Bauvolumen und Oberflächenbeschaffenheit. Zur Beseitigung dieser Defizite eignen sich insbesondere flexible Industrieroboter mit druckenden Endeffektoren. Aus diesem Grund wurde am wbk Institut für Produktionstechnik eine vollst?ndige CAE-Prozesskette zur robotergef?hrten Extrusion entwickelt und an einer Anlage erprobt.

[ 18 ] Schäffer, E.; Gönnheimer, P.; Kupzik, D.; Brossog, M.; Coutandin, S.; Franke, J. & Fleischer, J. (2021), "Web-based platform for planning and configuration of robot-based automation solutions: A retrospective view on the research project ROBOTOP". Annals of Scientific Society for Assembly, Handling and Industrial Robotics 2021, Springer International Publishing, 10.1007/978-3-030-74032-0
Automation solutions in production represent a sensible and long-term cost-effective alternative to manual work, especially for physically strenuous or dan-gerous activities. However, especially for small companies, automation solutions are associated with a considerable initial complexity and a high effort in planning and implementation. The ROBOTOP project, a consortium of industrial compa-nies and research institutes has therefore developed a flexible web platform for the simplified, modular planning and configuration of robot-based automation so-lutions for frequent tasks. In this paper, an overview of the project?s scientific findings and the resulting platform is given. Therefore, challenges due to the scope of knowledge-based engineering configurators like the acquisition of nec-essary data, its description, and the graphical representation are outlined. Insights are given into the platform?s functions and its technical separation into different Microservices such as Best Practice selection, configuration, simulation, AML-data-exchange and spec-sheet generator with the focus on the configuration. Fi-nally, the user experience and potentials are highlighted.