Great interest in Fiber Patch Placement at Global Urban Air Summit

At the Global Urban Air Summit, Cevotec’s Fiber Patch Placement technology convinced with elevated flexibility and scalability for high-performance lightweight structures: FPP enables production automation that ramps-up as fast and economically as urban air vehicles conquer the skies.

On September 3 and 4, 2019, the inaugural Global Urban Air Summit took place at Farnborough, the birthplace of UK’s aviation. A somehow overdue event, as Alan Peaford, Editor-in-Chief of Farnborough International News Network, states, individual passenger transport “in a bubble above traffic jam below is no longer science fiction, but science reality.”

But even if first prototypes are already flying, GUAS participants had to face the challenges that still lie ahead to make the dream of urban air transportation come really true. The question, how Urban Air Mobility (UAM) will reshape our cities with the new real estate and smart-systems was examined as well as the regulators view on UAM and the potential impact of drones on society.
The circle of illustrious participants included NASA, represented by Deputy Associate Administrator Bob Pearce and members of the aviation authorities from several countries like Jay Merkle, Executive Director, Office of Unmanned Aircraft Systems, US Federal Aviation Administration as well as representatives of well known major aerospace companies. Among them, Munich based Fiber Patch Placement specialist Cevotec was the only composites company presenting answers to pressing manufacturing-related questions of the still infant industry.

“Top-class speakers presented a broad spectrum of topics at the summit and also worked through them in detail,” summarizes Thorsten Groene, Managing Director and Co-Founder of Cevotec, who represented the company at Farnborough. From a composites point of view on urban air mobility, Groene pointed out the importance of extreme lightweight construction that is also 10x scalable as manufacturers forecast production rates starting in the 100s and extending to the 1000s.

„Vehicles for urban air mobility have to be extremely lightweight to cover the distances expected. Producing them has to be cost-effective to meet public acceptance in financial terms. And production also has to be highly scalable to absorb the yet unpredictable development of the market,” explains Groene. Currently, there are no sufficiently suitable production tools for the size class and component complexity of UAM vehicles available. In commercial aircraft production, ATL and AFP are established for automated production of composite wings and fuselage, but in general, hand lay-up is still indispensable. “With Fiber Patch Placement Cevotec offers a real option to produce the components of future urban air vehicles cost-efficiently at low volumes and with the potential to scale 10x as markets unfold, thus avoiding also costly re-qualifications.” resumes Groene. “Furthermore, short set-up times enable the economic production of different parts on a single system.”

Cevotec’s SAMBA Series production platforms can process multiple materials such as carbon fiber, glass fiber, adhesive films, or copper mesh prepreg on a single platform. This allows manufacturers to automate the layup of sandwich structures, contributing to extreme lightweight constructions with a remarkably improved performance-to-weight ratio. In addition, glass and carbon fibers can be easily mixed to balance structural properties with material cost. Featuring additive manufacturing following bionic principles, FPP also consumes less material than other technologies by eliminating production scrap and optimizing fiber architecture. Thanks to this exceptional characteristics, Fiber Patch Placement literally offers ground-breaking opportunities for an efficient production ramp-up in new urban air mobility.


About Cevotec:

Cevotec enables manufacturers to build complex fiber composites in high volume and quality – by smart process automation based on Fiber Patch Placement technology. With SAMBA Series, Cevotec offers a customizable fiber lay-up automation platform for challenging 3D geometries and multi-material laminates with complex fiber orientation. ARTIST STUDIO is the associated CAE software for generating patch-based fiber laminates and automated robot programming. Along with development services that include FE-based modeling and simulation, Cevotec offers the entire process chain from digital design to final fiber product.

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