Published on December 12, 2023

SAMBA pushes Rolling Motion

SAMBA pushes Rolling Motion

A key goal of the grant-supported project ACoSaLUS was to further optimize the Fiber Patch Placement process in order to implement an end-to-end automated lay-up process for composite sandwich parts. Dealing with the challenge of placing larger patches on a strongly curved legacy tooling, we advanced the Rolling Motion placement feature to consider multiple angles of compaction in one movement. In order to further increase adhesion and overcome bridging effects at the trimming edges of the tool, our robots and grippers can now also perform post-placement push-ins, emulating typical manual lay-up activities.

The post-placement push facilitated by our gripper allows the lay-up of very complex surfaces with tight radii where adhesion and bridging effects can be challenging for automated lay-up. The supplementary push of the gripper right after placement provides additional compaction of the patch on complex surfaces. In addition, it also reduces potential bridging effects that can occur at sharp edges e.g. for trimming excessing material on legacy tooling. Precisely applying a post-placement push on bridged laminate areas moves the material to its intended position and thereby emulates activities that a technician would perform to achieve a conforming lay-up. This development represents a further step towards eliminating the need for labor-intensive manual work in the production process of complex composite parts.

Additionally, Cevotec enhanced the so-called Rolling Motion movement of the robot. Rolling Motion is a movement of the 6-axis robot to place patches precisely on highly complex, convex surfaces. The movement of the placement robot follows a curve with a different normal for each point of the curve, resembling an accentuated 3D movement during the placement activity. We expanded our ARTIST STUDIO software with relevant functionality to program such movements, and also our gripper received up upgrade with further advanced vacuum & blow-off controls.

These enhancements to the FPP process underpin our ambition for flexibility and excellence in the automated lay-up of complex composite sandwich parts, ensuring increased accuracy and efficiency throughout the lay-up process.

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