NIAR’s ATLAS lab to install SAMBA Pro system in 2021

The National Institute for Aviation Research (NIAR) at Wichita State University (WSU) selected Fiber Patch Placement (FPP) technology for their portfolio of future composites production technologies. By end of 2021, Cevotec will install a SAMBA Pro Prepreg system at NIAR’s Advanced Technologies Lab for Aerospace Systems (ATLAS).

Since its inception in 1985, the National Institute for Aviation Research (NIAR) at Wichita State University (WSU) become the United States’ premier aviation research institute. With nearly one million square feet of research and office space, NIAR provides research, design, testing, certification and training to the aerospace and manufacturing industries, FAA, Department of Defense and other government agencies.

NIAR will now expand their technology portfolio with a SAMBA Pro Prepreg system of Cevotec.

“We are happy to announce our agreement to install a SAMBA Pro system for ATLAS in 2021,” states Thorsten Groene, Managing Director of Cevotec. “Together with our U.S. partner Composite Automation, we are excited about this first FPP system in the United States and look forward to future R&D collaborations with NIAR.”

ATLAS Director Waruna Seneviratne believes integrating Fiber Patch Placement technology in the ATLAS portfolio will lead to pioneering projects.

“We are looking forward to receiving the SAMBA system and further advancing our portfolio of robotic-based placement technologies,” said Seneviratne. “The flexibility of Fiber Patch Placement will be of interest in particular for our R&D partners from the defense community.”

The SAMBA Pro system, features an ultrasonic cutting unit and active material cooling, will be operational for application development with industrial customers by end of 2021.

“Wichita is known for having the largest concentration of airframers in the world” said John Melilli, President of Composite Automation LCC. “NIAR’s ATLAS is the perfect place for the first U.S.-based FPP system, where it will be available to commercial as well as DOD clients to demonstrate the advantages of Fiber Patch Placement for the automated production of complex aerostructures.” The new system at NIAR ATLAS will open multiple options for evaluation and development based on FPP technology, including material characterizations, application and process development, prototyping and testing.


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 systems, which are particularly suited for automated fiber placement on complex 3D geometries, process carbon fibers, glass fibers, adhesive films and other technical fibers. They can be used for a broad range of applications. Such flexibility is particularly appreciated by customers from aerospace and med-tech industries, who realize cost and time savings of 20%-60% when switching from manual processes to FPP. More information:


Cevotec GmbH
Biberger Str. 93
82008 Unterhaching
Phone: +49 89 2314 165 0


About NIAR

NIAR provides research, testing, certification and training for aviation and manufacturing technologies. Established in 1985, NIAR has a $96 million annual budget; a staff of 650; and nearly one million square feet of laboratory and office space in four locations across the city of Wichita, the Air Capital of the World. NIAR laboratories include Additive Manufacturing, Advanced Coatings, Advanced Manufacturing, Aging Aircraft, Ballistics/Impact Dynamics, CAD/CAM, Composites/Advanced Materials, Crash Dynamics, Environmental/Electromagnetic Test, Full-scale Structural Test, Nondestructive Test, Reverse Engineering, Robotics/Automation, Virtual Engineering, eXtended Reality and the Walter H. Beech Wind Tunnel. More informarion:


Waruna Seneviratne, Ph.D., ATLAS Director, WSU-NIAR
Phone: +1 316 978 5221


About Composite Automation:

Composite Automation, LLC is the only manufacturer’s representative in North America purely focused on the composites manufacturing space. As a multi-line representative we are able to introduce non competing technologies to clients as we work with them to solve manufacturing challenges. Along with our principles we become subject matter experts and help with the creation of a trade study, RFI, RFQ and machine specification to automate the manufacture of composite parts, prepregs or intermediaries. Our principles complement each other to add value to our customer’s search for innovative automation solutions. More information:


John Melilli
Composite Automation, LLC
1121 Cape Coral Parkway West
Cape Coral, FL  33914, USA
Phone: +1 856 273 7565


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