Kanfit, a manufacturer of fit-to-fly assemblies and subassemblies for the aerospace industry, has completed the production of a u-shaped spar acceptance test part in its automated fibre placement (AFP).
The part was produced with carbon epoxy material with several layup orientations, combined with a Nomex honeycomb core.
The 6-axis robotic Ingersoll Machine Tools AFP machine, equipped with a head stock-tail stock system, enables Kanfit to manufacture complex composite aerostructures up to two meters in length. The AFP machine is comprised of a robotic arm for rapid placement of up to eight tows of one-quarter inch composite fibres.
“The AFP system fits perfectly into our company's strategy of adopting new technologies for manufacturing high precision, quality components for the aerospace industry," explained Shachar Fine, EVP business development, marketing & sales at Kanfit. "Until now, certain aerospace components were either manufactured by conventional processes such as hand layup, or were impossible to manufacture due to their geometric complexity. Our AFP enables us to design and manufacture lightweight, complex structures in a much shorter time period then was possible with traditional manufacturing processes, and it reduces raw material waste. These two factors translate into a savings of time and money for our customers."
The AFP, the first of its kind in Israel, is part of Kanfit's joint research and development venture with Israel’s aerospace and defence industry leaders, including Elbit Systems, IAI, Israel's Ministry of Defence and Rafael Defence Systems. There are also plans to expand its use to other industrial sectors using other types of prepreg materials besides carbon epoxy.