Airborne, JETCAM develop digital interface for automated kitting

Integration of Airborne’s automated kitting solution and JETCAM’s CrossTrack software provides seamless data exchange for automated kitting of composite plies. 
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Digital interface for automated kitting.

Airborne’s automated kitting system. Photo Credit: Airborne

In response to significant demand from the market, JETCAM International s.a.r.l. (Monaco, Monaco) and Airborne (The Hague, Netherlands) have jointly announced a collaboration on integration between Airborne’s automated kitting solution and JETCAM’s CrossTrack composite material tracking software.

According to both companies, the integration ensures seamless data exchanges between the two systems as plies are unloaded from the cutting table and then automatically sorted into ordered kits by Airborne’s kitting system. As the operator loads each ply to the kitting machine, it is scanned and its shape identified, along with its stacking order. The robot sorts, sequences and stacks all subsequent plies until the kit is complete, automatically updating its status within CrossTrack without any user input. When the completed kit leaves the buffer, its location status is updated, completely automating the process from cutting through to moving onto layup.

“Many companies move from producing static single kit nests to using nesting software that produces highly efficient dynamic nests, often containing multiple kits,” says Martin Bailey, general manager of JETCAM International s.a.r.l. “However, this leads to bottlenecks at the cutter as staff try to unload and sort plies into kits, often removing some or all of the material savings made. With our relationship with Airborne and their kitting technology and experience, companies can have the best of both worlds, with highly optimized nests that are quickly and automatically sorted.”

CrossTrack is an advanced material tracking software package that ensures that composite materials are tracked from freezer storage to curing in the autoclave on an individual ply basis. Connecting the automated kitting software to CrossTrack further ensures that this fully automated step is also fully digitally connected. For example, the interface is based on CrossTrack Web Services platform, which allows any external app to safely and securely exchange data with CrossTrack, including triggers and alerts which enable automatic data exchange when an event occurs, such as a ply’s location or a status change. All transactions will be logged automatically in CrossTrack’s traceability logs.

The connector will be available as an option for companies wanting to connect Airborne’s automated kitting solution with JETCAM’s CrossTrack composite software.

“We see from our clients that automating the kitting process has two main business drivers: one is to reduce cost and secondly, it creates much more flexibility and control in a digital factory,” adds Arno van Mourik, CEO of Airborne. “To capture those benefits, it’s crucial to be connected to the software systems our customers are using. Therefore we are thankful to JETCAM for this collaboration to create the digital connection between the software solutions of both companies.”