CGTech (Hove, U.K.) will demonstrate the process of programming automated composites manufacturing machinery. The software specialist will provide an overview of the steps needed to get from a CAD-designed composite part to CNC programs that drive an automated fiber placement (AFP) or automated tape laying (ATL) machine. There will be updated information on projects presented at past JEC events, as well as information on new projects that highlight the implementation and use of machine-independent, off-line NC programming software for AFP and ATL machines. Current customer projects to be highlighted include extensive use of robots, lasers, probing and ultrasonic knifes. “Manufacturers of AFP and ATL machinery typically 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,” says CGTech Ltd. managing director John Reed. “But to survive in this industry, a company must be able to select the best solutions for the job, without the cost and risk associated with being locked to a single machine supplier.” Software demonstrations will include VERICUT Composite Paths for Engineering (VCPe), VERICUT Composite Programming (VCP) and VERICUT Composite Simulation (VCS). VCPe gives the user the ability to measure and evaluate the effects of AFP and ATL path trajectory, material steering, surface curvature, course convergence and other process constraints as they would be applied in manufacturing. VCP reads CATIA V5, STEP, or ACIS surface models. It also reads Fibersim, CATIA V5 or other external ply geometry and information. 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. CGTech will also exhibit its latest version of VERICUT software. VERICUT is CNC machine simulation, verification and optimization software that enables users to eliminate the process of manually proving out NC programs.
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The project’s goal is to reduce product development and certification timelines by 30 percent for composite aircraft.