Okay, if you were looking outside from our office in Munich, you would think that Christmas is still a long way off: The sun is shining, birds are singing, and the alps are green instead of white. But: The holidays are not far away, and we would like to use the peaceful pre-Christmas time to look back at the highlights of 2022.

It started quite busy for our technical teams. Mid-February, we commissioned our first SAMBA Pro system on US soil at the National Institute for Aviation Research (NIAR) at Wichita State University. The new Fiber Patch Placement (FPP) system, located in the Advanced Technologies Lab for Aerospace Systems (ATLAS), opens multiple options for US-based manufacturers to evaluate FPP technology for their purposes, including prototyping, and testing. Few weeks later, the team traveled onwards to Italy and installed another FPP system at the global aerospace, defense and security specialist Leonardo. Watch our video for details on our new ultrasonic cutting unit and other upgraded features of our latest SAMBA Pro generation!

Furthermore, our teams are currently working on two grant-supported R&D projects together with other industry partners. In the project ACoSaLUS (Automated Composite Sandwich Lay-Up System) we are advancing our gripper technology and are developed a dedicated gripper to automatically pick and place honeycomb cores for sandwich structures. Also in the focus of developments: advanced post-placement quality control. In the second project, called Patch 2 Patient, our FPP technology serves as the centerpiece of an envisioned digital, flexible and automated value chain for geometrically complex carbon fiber parts in the medical device industry. We are currently developing a dedicated feeding and cutting unit as a key enabler for the efficient and economical production of e.g. orthotics and prosthetics.

As you have certainly noticed at conferences or in the press, the topics of emission neutrality and hydrogen get more and more attention. To support from our side to this global challenge, we developed an industrial solution to reinforce the domes of hydrogen pressure vessels. This approach not only decreases the carbon fiber material consumption of type 4 vessels, but also improve their storage efficiency and CO2 footprint significantly – and thus makes hydrogen even more attractive for mobile applications. To underpin our approach, we are developing an optimized, full-scale tank demonstrator in a multi-company industry project and presented already a cutout of such a vessel at trade shows this year. Currently, we are performing last iteration loops to optimize the design based on the latest burst pressure test results. We will present the project’s results in the course of next year – stay tuned! Meanwhile our software team developed a new feature which makes the laminate creation of such pressure vessel reinforcements easier. In summer, we introduced this new function for trapezoid shaped patches for our CAD CAM software ARTIST STUDIO – watch our video to learn more! And last but not least, we’re happy to announce that we started implementing the first SAMBA Pro PV production system, dedicated to the production of FPP dome reinforcements, which will be commissioned in our cevoLab in 2023 and is then available for customer projects.

Followig our mechanical test campaign last year, we published a whitepaper regarding the material characterization of FPP for composite aerostructures. Since FPP laminates represent a discontinuous fiber pattern, we investigated the question of material equivalency and conducted various mechanical tests according to relevant aerospace testing standards. Dr. Florian Lenz presented the results at the SAMPE conference North America in May and we hosted an own webinar on that topic in September.

Reflecting on the past year, we feel humble, honored and proud of the achievements, but even more of our cevoTeam that made them happen despite all challenges. A highly committed team that continues to grow: During this year, six new colleagues joined our teams. Chary and Sergi started working in the Application Development team, Alex and Nikola joined the software team, Tomás is our new team lead for Production Technology and we welcomed Adem in December joining the team Production Technology as well. We are very happy to have such a motivated, international team!

We also would like to thank you, our customers, business and project partners for your support and your trust in our work at Cevotec! And now, we would like to wish you a joyful Christmas time and happy holidays!

Oh, wait, did it just start snowing? Happy Christmas from the entire cevoTeam!

About Cevotec

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.

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