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Airborne Introduces Composite Automation Products at JEC World 2018

06 March 2018

Airborne Introduces Composite Automation Products at JEC World 2018

At JEC World 2018, Airborne will introduce its latest innovations in automated manufacturing solutions for composites: an Automated Laminating Cell for tape laying, cutting and pick & place of composite laminates, and an Automated Honeycomb Potting solution for efficient filling of sandwich honeycomb with potting compound.

These two new systems are designed to significantly reduce both touch labour and material waste, and follow on from the launch Airborne‘s automated kitting system last year. 

Automated Laminating Cell

The Automated Laminating Cell (ALC) is a low-cost platform that combines three functionalities: tape laying of the laminate, cutting by robot of the finished laminate into the required shapes, and then pick & place for offloading the laminates to the next process step. The platform is based on standard robots, equipped with new technology to enable the accurate lay-up of material according to aerospace specifications. Besides a small footprint and low investment, the cell can be adapted or expanded depending on production needs. The ALC can be tailored to specific products or product families, while maintaining the flexibility to produce a whole range of different composite products. The cell is highly flexible and can switch easily, within 1 minute, between its automated tape laying, automated cutting and pick & place functionalities.

Automated Honeycomb Potting

The Automated Honeycomb Potting solution is designed to fill honeycomb blanks efficiently and accurately with potting compound. The traditional practice in the aerospace industry is to apply potting material either manually or with a mechanised system. This new system will solve issues such as costs, accuracy and repeatability of potting, thereby lowering the weight of the end product. It is also a very flexible system. The workflow is automated, with an easy-to-use pre-processor. Any shape of potting geometry can be used and the machine code is automatically generated. The system features real-time quality control, measures the height of the honeycomb blank and adjusts the potting process.

"Our automated solutions for composites manufacturing are the answer to more affordable, flexible and very easy to use systems,” notes Marcus Kremers, CTO of Airborne. “They are part of our building blocks for automation of composites and already fully digital. In close collaboration with our partners KUKA and Siemens, and our new partner ViscoTec for the Automated Honeycomb Potting system, we have succeeded to develop these robotised systems capable of the required accuracy to the levels needed to achieve aerospace and any other qualifications, without adding expensive additional equipment.”

Visit Airborne in Hall 6, Stand F6, at JEC World 2018.

Photo provided by Airborne

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