A new degree of freedom:
Variable patch length in ARTIST STUDIO
At Cevotec, we always aim to push the limits and exploit the full flexibility of Fiber Patch Placement (FPP). With FPP technology, we offer a high degree of automation both in software-based laminate design and physical production, as well as their seamless interface. As our SAMBA systems produce the fiber patches “in-line” by cutting fiber tape, we have repeatedly received requests for variability of patch lengths within a laminate or even a single layer. Variability in patch length introduces an additional degree of freedom that designers can take advantage of. For manufacturers, this results in faster cycle times, less material scrap, and better structural properties. We have now completed the integration of this functionality into the CAD module PATCH ARTIST.
The flexibility to vary patch length on a patch-to-patch basis stresses the advantage automated lay-up holds compared to conventional, manual processes. A “quick win” of the new feature is the further reduction of design-induced material scrap by minimizing material overstands at part boundaries. The flexible use of patch lengths across the laminate can also improve structural properties by multiple mechanisms.
One part category to highlight the enhanced functionality are components with sharp bends. Thanks to the new degree of freedom, the patch length used in the laminate can be varied in critical areas when e.g. the placement gripper reaches physical limits of its deposition capabilities. This leads to a shorter production cycle and better process economics. Local laminate requirements can now be met without adversely affecting the global laminate.
With the latest release, ARTIST STUDIO users now have the option to create laminates making use of this new variable length feature. Instead of a single patch length to be used throughout the laminate, you may specify a range of minimum and maximum lengths. Patches may have any length in between these defined values. The automated laminate creation process determines the optimal length for the patches using our newly developed algorithm, specifically designed for this feature.
Stay tuned to witness this feature make its way from the CAD module towards machine data creation and the production of actual laminates. After completing the development of the CAD feature, our team plans the implementation in MOTION ARTIST and first SAMBA systems in 2022. Customers with high interest in this feature can contact us already now to check for necessary updates to their SAMBA systems’ control unit.
Munich-based automation specialist Cevotec offers one of the world’s most advanced production systems for complex fiber composites. At the intersection of composites, mechanical engineering and software, Cevotec develops production systems and software based on Fiber Patch Placement (FPP) technology: SAMBA and ARTIST STUDIO. The production systems enable the automated lay-up of carbon fiber, glass fibers, adhesive films and other technical fibers on complex 3D geometries. Manufacturers use FPP technology to produce e.g. multi-material aerostructures, composite pressure vessel reinforcements, and other high-performance components in a quality-controlled, fully automated process, which enables them to realize cost & cycle time savings of 20%-60% when switching from conventional processes to Fiber Patch Placement.