Preforming System Samba
Industrial Fiber Patch Placement
At JEC World Composites Show 2017 Cevotec GmbH, Taufkirchen, Germany, introduced the first industrial solution for the automated production of complex carbon composites in high volumes: the preforming system Samba and the matching CAD-CAM software Artist Studio. The novel system is based on the Fiber Patch Placement (FPP) technology which enables the fully automated production of complex 3D composite geometries – in a continuous process from digital design to the final fiber product.
Artist Studio, Cevotec’s easy-to-use CAD-CAM software, significantly shortens the production preparation as it combines two modules for the digital product development: Patch Artist creates patch-based high-performance laminates with curvilinear fiber direction and variable thickness out of any standard CAD geometry. Powerful, proprietary algorithms optimize the patch overlaps to significantly increase the mechanical properties of each laminate. Motion Artist is using this laminate architecture to perform an automatic and collision-free offline programming of Samba’s two interacting robots, tests them for collision, and simulates the entire production process.
The high-tech production system Samba allows for the precise orientation of each patch to achieve a perfect fiber architecture. Strength and stiffness can be increased by up to 150%. While Samba’s two robots precisely position the fiber patches, industrial cameras inspect and document the quality of each patch in a continuous quality report. Thanks to additive manufacturing, the system uses up to 30% less of the fiber material, as patches are only placed where necessary. In addition Samba significantly reduces scrap and eliminates additional forming processes through direct 3D net-shape preforming. The functionality of Samba and Artist Studio is explained in this video .
“Defined fiber pieces, so called patches, are placed with a rate of one patch per second on a 3D mold. The optimal positioning of the patches significantly improves the mechanical properties of the finished component”, explains Cevotec CTO Felix Michl. He adds: "The system, jointly developed with our partner Baumann Automation, is adaptable to many application scenarios. It works as stand-alone system as well than as part of larger industrial production chains.” Currently, the process works with dry fiber tape. The prepreg-version of SAMBA will be released in the course of the year. Also, more modules with FE-based functionality like the new module for load path calculation, will be added to future versions of Artist Studio.
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