Visitors at the Anaglyph Ltd. (London, U.K.) stand had the opportunity to see the company’s latest versions of its software products Laminate Tools, LAP and CoDA and see the new software/hardware capabilities of its trademarked PlyMatch ply-placement technology in action. Unlike conventional fixed, overhead-mounted laser ply placement systems, the PlyMatch system is designed to be uniquely flexible: Notably, its laser projection head and support arm and/or the mold tool can be moved by the technician without system recalibration — the system self-calibrates — and its compact design enables it to guide manual placement on vertical surfaces and inside enclosed spaces. Further, the ply data can be generated by any CAD application, although Anaglyph’s Laminate Tools application is recommended for full and integrated functionality without the need to generate additional data. Quality control is assured by the digital video recording provided by the system, enhanced by optional measurements of boundary deviation or fiber orientation misalignment. Anaglyph noted that one of the first users of PlyMatch in the aerospace industry, aerospace manufacturer Applied Composites Engineering (ACE, Indianapolis, Ind.), is using PlyMatch to produce complex-shaped heated inlets for AgustaWestland’s (Cascina Costa, Italy) AW 189, a new 8-metric-tonne class, multirole helicopter.
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The project’s goal is to reduce product development and certification timelines by 30 percent for composite aircraft.