Automation for next-generation aerostructures

Accelerating next-generation aerostructures post COVID-19

next-gen aerostructures

While currently dealing with the immediate impact of the COVID-19 situation, all major aerospace suppliers and OEM expect that “green aerospace” initiatives will gain in importance and need to accelerate in the years to come. In addition to new propulsion technologies, it’s in particular lightweight construction that will play a major role as new aerospace programs are defined in the decade to come.

Integrated lay-up for sandwich structures with monolithic areas

Automation is key to a widespread use of high-performance composites in next generation aerostructures, in particular when higher volumes are needed for e.g. single-aisle medium-range aircrafts. As of today, multi-material composite structures like fairings, radomes, nacelles, control surfaces still require a lot of manual worksteps in fabrication. Fiber Patch Placement (FPP) technology has the potential to change this. It offers a new combination of productivity, flexibility and costs and enables automation for complex 3D shapes, multi-material composites and locally load-adjusted fiber designs. This results in a remarkably improved buy-to-fly ratio. It’s the technology for the next generation of composites aerostructures.

Benefits

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    Digitized, automated process chain
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    Multi-material lay-up capabilities (carbon, glass, adhesives, etc.)
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    20% – 60% cost saving compared to manual lay-up
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    100% raw material control

R&D collaboration for automated composite lay-up system

Together with GKN Aerospace Deutschland GmbH, TUM – Chair of Carbon Composites, SGL Technologies GmbH, Augsburg University of Applied Sciences, and under the co-founding authority of Bavarian Ministry of Economic Affairs, Regional Development and Energy, we started another pioneering R&D project: The full automation of sandwich structure production.

As of today, sandwich structures, known as an excellent means in building lighter and greener aircrafts, still depend on manual material lay-up and subsequent inspection steps. We plan to further enhance the Fiber Patch Placement process by e.g. enhanced on-line inspection steps and self-adaptive process control, advanced placement routines, and automated core handling. The project team aims to improve net lay-up speed of relevant components by factor 7-10x.

Automation for multi-material aerostructures

Automation specialist Cevotec focuses on the efficient and automated production of complex aerospace composite parts. Based on Fiber Patch Placement (FPP) technology, Cevotec’s SAMBA lay-up systems work with a broad range of material systems, both prepreg and dry-fiber, enabling manufacturers to automate the lay-up of multi-material aerostructures. The flexible process also allows for the combination of sandwich-core-based structures and monolithic areas in one integrated process (read more). To safeguard high quality standards for every part produced, the production systems feature self-corrective control systems for material conditions and positioning accuracy. Application examples include e.g. fairings, nacelle panels, radomes, control surfaces, and more.

ARTIST STUDIO software

ARTIST STUDIO is the dedicated software suite for Fiber Patch Placement technology. It enables a full digital thread and supports engineers in the creation of patch laminates through technology-specific lay-up features. The integrated CAM module programs the SAMBA system robots fully automated.

PATCH ARTIST (FPP-CAD)
PATCH ARTIST (FPP-CAD)
MOTION ARTIST (FPP-CAM)
MOTION ARTIST (FPP-CAM)

FPP at a glance

Test your ideas & realize your vision

Cevotec operates an FPP Competence Center near Munich for developing automated lay-up processes for composite structures with sizes of up to 2 m x 3 m. Composite producers are invited to get in touch and learn how FPP can save 20% – 60% in production cost & time when switching to FPP. Schedule your personal consultation to discuss those applications that are relevant to you. Learn about available project set-ups to develop demonstrator parts. We offer a suitability and unit-cost analysis upfront at no cost. Take the opportunity to explore new options for your future composites production!

How to get started with FPP

Includes manufacturability assessment, unit cost and time analysis, benefits and ROI estimation. This service is complimentary for you.

>> How much does your application benefit from FPP?

Includes virtual studies, application and demonstrator development, equipment customization, and more.

>> How do you best develop & test your FPP application?

Includes SAMBA lay-up systems, ARTIST STUDIO software, customized patch grippers, quality control systems, and more.

>> Which system configuration is best for your application?

More information!

    I am interested in automated 3D fiber lay-up for complex aerostructures!

    Downloads and more information

    Cevotec intro presentation

    Cevotec brochure

    Cevotec video

    The scientific vote

    Prof. Klaus Drechsler; Carboncomposites;
Foto: Eckert und Heddergott Verwendung frei fuer die Berichterstattung ueber die TU Muenchen unter Nennung des Copyrights

    “Fiber Patch Placement has taken a remarkable development in the last years. It checks a lot of boxes of what our corporate research partners are looking for in current development initiatives. We will certainly see interesting use cases of FPP technology in composite aerostructures of next generation aircraft.”

    Prof. Klaus Drechsler,
    Chair of Institute for Carbon Composites
    Technical University München

    Partners & references

    Automation & digital innovation

    Munich-based automation specialist Cevotec enables manufacturers to build complex high-performance composites in high volume and quality. With Fiber Patch Placement based SAMBA systems, Cevotec offers customized, fully automated fiber layup systems with integrated process control for manufacturing complex 3D geometries and multi-material laminates. ARTIST STUDIO is the technology-specific CAD-CAM software for generating patch-based fiber laminates and automated robot programming. Cost and time reductions of 20-60% can be realized when switching from manual layup to Cevotec’s SAMBA systems. Composite manufacturers also benefit from a comprehensive service portfolio, including application-specific customizations and FE-based component development.

    Join the growth

    We have moved to new headquarters and increased our lab space. Now we are looking to grow our team with experienced automation heroes, software wizards, technical sales masters and HR talents. Join the team!

    More information!

      I am interested in automated 3D fiber lay-up for complex aerostructures!