The company has created a web-based platform where anyone can design composite parts and get direct feedback on performance and price. With this feedback the user can optimise the design for his or her specific use and order the part. The first application of the portal is for thermoset laminates manufactured in prepreg material by the Automated Laminating Cell (ALC) technology of Airborne.
This robotised system combines three functionalities in one system. The first is to create the laminate by automated tape laying. The second step is to cut the laminate into the required shapes and this can be used to nest multiple parts in one larger laminate. The third step is pick & place which can be used to place local patches on the laminate, or to combine sub-laminates into new, larger structures.
The portal is now operational for thermoset prepreg laminates made with the ALC system. Airborne plans to add its other automated solutions to this portal as well.
“This portal is a key building block of how we see the digital future of composite manufacturing,” stated Airborne’s CTO, Marcus Kremers. “It demonstrates how intuitive, easy and fast it will be to design and use composite products. One doesn’t need to be a specialist anymore; all the know-how of composites and automation is embedded in Airborne’s algorithms and is fully-automated. This will dramatically lower the cost of composites, but also radically reduce the development time and speed up the adoption, so that composites can be used widely to make the world more sustainable and efficient.”