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Lockheed Martin has partnered with Ingersoll Machine Tools to develop a new and visibly improved software package for the programming of Automated Fibre Placement equipment.
Lockheed says their funding will help promote and speed up the development of CPS2, a successor to Ingersoll’s current integrated composite programming software, iCPS.
The intention of further AFP software development is to provide more flexibility and ease-of-use throughout Lockheed Martin’s automated composite processing. CPS2 will be independent of both the AFP machine and the software’s operating system. Lockheed explains that the new software will interface to any of the more commonly used CAD programs, including a direct interface to FibreSim from Vistagy. Common independent software offers more freedom from supplier specific products, and will provide the user with significant cost-savings over the life-time of multiple machines.
According to Lockheed, CPS2 is based on more than 20 years of experience in composite automation software, but will also offer new functionality in addition to improvements on existing features. More advanced path planning and collision avoidance will be a part of the new software package. Additionally, machine program improvements, such as smooth motions based on NURBS and improved off-part motion/path optimisation will be included. CPS2 will be complemented by a total solution software bundle to support AFP throughout the entire process. Offering one package with similar “look-and-feel” to assist with initial part design, simulation, machine motion optimisation and final layup is expected to reduce training and streamline the design and production process.
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