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CGTech Showcases Software for Automated Fibre Placement Machines

  • Friday, 20th August 2010
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CGTech will be showcasing its Vericut Composites Applications Software on stand 400 at The Composites Engineering Show on September 29-30 at NEC Birmingham.

Visitors to the CGTech’s stand will see an overview of the steps needed to get from a CAD designed composite part to CNC programs that drive an Automated Fibre Placement (AFP) machine. Current customer projects to be highlighted include: a large one-piece fuselage barrel on an Electroimpact multi-machine AFP fabrication cell; an aircraft inlet duct on a Cincinnati Viper 1200 AFP machine; the challenges encountered supporting a flexible AFP gantry machine; layup of a U-channel structure on a 7-axis mTorres AFP machine; and aircraft skin panels and experiments using an AFP head mounted on a 6-axis robot.

“Manufacturers of AFP machinery often supply in-house developed off-line NC programming software with their machine, forcing companies to inconveniently adopt multiple software applications for multiple brands of machines,” said CGTech Ltd Managing Director, John Reed. “But the race is on to develop productive automated composite lay-up machinery and processes. To survive in this industry, a company must be able to select the best machine for the job, without the cost and risk associated with being locked to a single machine supplier.”

Vericut Composite Programming (VCP) reads CAD surfaces and ply boundary information and adds material to fill the plies according to user-specified manufacturing standards and requirements. Layup paths are linked together to form specific layup sequences and are output as NC programs for the automated layup machine.

Vericut Composite Simulation (VCS) reads CAD models and NC programs, either from VCP or other composite layup path-generation applications, and simulates the sequence of NC programs on a virtual machine. Material is applied to the layup form via NC program instructions in a virtual CNC simulation environment. The simulated material applied to the form can be measured and inspected to ensure the NC program follows manufacturing standards and requirements. A report showing simulation results and statistical information can be automatically created.


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