Broetje-Automation enlarges AFP portfolio for serial composite production

The STAXX product line of automated fiber placement (AFP) machining centers is designed for both thermoplastic and thermoset composite applications.
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Broetje-Automation (Rastede, Germany) has introduced its STAXX product line for automated fiber placement to support serial composite production for both for thermoplastic and thermoset composite applications.

The STAXX Compact 1700 is a CNC-controlled machining center for automated fiber placement that has been specially developed for industrial series production. The pre-impregnated tows are guided directly from the spool magazine into the AFP head, where they are automatically cut to length and accurately placed in the right orientation at the defined position. The process is said to significantly reduce material losses and scrap, resulting in decreased costs.

The STAXX Compact 1700 is designed to integrate into existing production structures and comes in a standardized compact size equal to a 20-ft. intermodal container, said to enable flexibility and capabilities for high levels of automation.

Watch a video demonstration of the STAXX Compact 1700 here.

The STAXX 3D, presented at JEC World 2019, builds on the STAXX Compact design, adding the ability to store complex components in 3D. A tilting, rotary table with vertical layup combined with an in-house developed innovative fiber placement head enables series production of complex parts in six axes.

The STAXX 3D system, like the STAXX Compact, comes with an air-conditioned enclosure  that holds all supplies within a compact machine center. This design is intended to reduce the costs of an additional air-conditioned and clean environment in the workshop facility. The pallet handling system enables automated and easy loading and unloading of the system.

The STAXX Flex fiber placement head, the newest offering in the product line, is currently the lightest end effector for automated fiber placement on the market, according to the company. It is designed for easy attachment to standard robots and has the ability to place 16 tows simultaneously, even on complex shaped components. It has been designed for flexibility in larger-scale complex parts while minimizing investment in handling robots. 

The fiber placement head is also designed to for easy maintenance friendly, reducing costs and downtime. All components of the head, including the compaction rollers, material spools and the cutter unit, can be assembled and de-assembled without any additional tooling.

Watch a video demonstration of the STAXX Flex here.

All STAXX products run on Broetje-Automation’s software suite, which enables offline programming and optimization of all numerical control (NC) programs. The components are highly standardized and support integration into an Industry 4.0-enabled digital factory.