Ingersoll Machine Tools Inc. (Rockford, Ill., USA) reported on May 1 that it has partnered with Lockheed Martin to develop a new and visibly improved software package for the programming of automated fiber placement (AFP) equipment for composites manufacturing.
Ingersoll says Lockheed Martin’s funding will help promote and speed up the development of CPS2, a successor to Ingersoll’s current integrated composite programming software, iCPS.
The intent 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. The new software will interface to any of the more commonly used CAD programs, including a direct interface to FiberSIM from Siemens subsidiary VISTAGY (Waltham, Mass., USA). Ingersoll says that common independent software offers more freedom from supplier-specific products, and will provide the user with significant cost savings over the lifetime of multiple machines.
CPS2 is based on more then 20 years of experience in composite automation software, but will also offer new functionality in addition to improvements to 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 (non-uniform rational basis spline) and improved off-part motion/path optimization, will be included. CPS2 will be complemented by a total solution software bundle to support AFP throughout the entire process. Ingersoll says that offering one package with a consistent “look-and-feel” to assist with initial part design, simulation, machine motion optimization and final layup will reduce training and streamline the design and production process.