Exclusive preview of SAMBA preforming demo

Cevotec unveils its Artist Studio software and automated SAMBA preforming cell at JEC World 2017.

CW has the first look at Cevotec’s (Taufkirchen bei München, Germany) new automated preforming cell, which it will demonstrate live at JEC World 2017 next Tuesday, March 14 at 14:00 in Hall 6, Booth S-82. Cevotec is a spin-off from the Institute of Carbon Composites (LCC) at Technische Universität München (TUM, Munich, Germany) and partners with Airbus Group, Baumann Automation (Amberg, Germany) and the European Space Agency (ESA) to industrialize the production of complex carbon composites.
 

Cevotec puts forward a revolutionary paradigm change, eliminating steps from the preforming process by using patch laminates instead of endless tape or multiaxial fabric layups. “While many composite technologies place the laminate on a flat mold and then drape the laminate to achieve a near-net shaped geometry, our SAMBA preforming system directly creates complex 3D preforms,” explains Cevotec CTO Felix Michl.

Based on the Fiber Patch Placement (FPP) technology, SAMBA uses a pick-and-place robot and a tool manipulation robot to precisely place fiber patches at calculated positions along load paths. The form-adaptive patch gripper allows for free positioning of the patches on complex 3D molds. Precise cutting of the patches is achieved via laser and two industrial camera systems inspect and document the quality of each patch in a continuous quality report. The system produces more than one patch per second, using 30% less material while achieving up to 150% higher stiffness and strength vs. fabric preforms.

“But only engineering software can exploit the full potential of SAMBA,” adds Dr. Neven Majic, Cevotec  executive vice president software technology. Therefore, the Cevotec software engineering specialists have developed ARTIST STUDIO. This easy-to-use CAD-CAM software allows for a fast and continuous process from CAD to machine data and combines two modules of the digital development process on a single platform: PATCH ARTIST and MOTION ARTIST. 

PATCH ARTIST generates a patch-based, multi-layered laminate on a 3D CAD-surface, using a standard CAD file and proprietary algorithms to optimize the patch overlaps and thus, the mechanical properties of each laminate. MOTION ARTIST uses the digital laminate to perform an automated offline programming of the two interacting robots while simulating the entire production process, including collision test.

“Manufacturers benefit from having production preparation time and fiber material massively reduced, achieving an end-to-end automated process with the advantages of additive manufacturing,” concludes Cevotec managing director Thorsten Groene.