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25th October 2018, Munich

Continuous process monitoring for automated 3D fibre layup

As a result of constantly enhancing and extending the Fibre Patch Placement (FPP) technology, Cevotec has announced the latest developments particularly for the requirements of the aerospace industry. Now the specialists focus on continuous process monitoring and FE simulation for automated 3D fibre layup with FPP.

Equipped with numerous sensors monitoring all relevant process parameters, FPP production systems of Cevotec’s Samba series allow for a continuous quality control and monitoring during the production process. “Particularly in the aerospace industry, an industry that does not forgive mistakes in manufacturing, the composite parts produced in today’s semi-automated production are subject to individual unit tests to ensure specification compliance and therefore a maximum degree of flight safety,” said Felix Michl, CTO at Cevotec.

Fibre Patch Placement production system Samba Multi. © Cevotec

Working with FPP, sensors of the production system monitor key parameters of the production process: from cutting the patches from a tape spool to pressure-controlled fibre deposition. In particular, a special vision system checks each individual patch for quality and dimensional accuracy before further processing in order to guarantee that 100% of the input material is according to specifications. This reduces the required effort for the final inspection enormously and lowers the non-pass rate of produced parts, the company reports.

Production data are analysed and compared with a database of previously processed patches. Deviations can be promptly detected, and the system takes appropriate corrective measures fully automated. “Incorporating machine learning concepts, the algorithms become more intelligent with each patch processed in the database,” continued Michl.

On the basis of this data, process tolerance specifications can be minimised, which in turn guarantees a consistently high placement quality. The time and cost required for single unit tests are significantly reduced, according to the manufacturer.

Artist Studio Plugin for HyperMesh. © Cevotec

Additional potential to accelerate production and development processes is offered by Cevotec’s latest software extension: A plug-in for the modelling software called HyperMesh, an FEA preprocessor. “Based on the data defined in Patch Artist regarding geometry, position and alignment of the patches, the Artist Studio plug-in automatically generates a detailed image of the patch laminate in HyperMesh,” explained Cevotec’s EVP Dr Neven Majic. The contour of each individual patch is used to model fibre orientations and overlap areas. Ply-based shell models, as well as solid and cohesive zone models, can be used for analysis, which can be performed on both sublayer and patch level.

At Advanced Engineering Show in Birmingham next week, Cevotec presents the sensor-enhanced systems and the Artist Studio plug-in. In addition, the Samba Multi production system for automated multi-material layout of aerospace-specific sandwich components, and the Tape Artist software module for combined FPP and AFP laminate planning will also be presented.

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