Composite Design Technologies, Inc. and Cincinnati Machine partner to provide best in class fiber placement production methods for composites manufacturers

Industrial Robot

ISSN: 0143-991x

Publication date: 1 June 2000

Keywords

Citation

(2000), "Composite Design Technologies, Inc. and Cincinnati Machine partner to provide best in class fiber placement production methods for composites manufacturers", Industrial Robot, Vol. 27 No. 3. https://doi.org/10.1108/ir.2000.04927cab.010

Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2000, MCB UP Limited


Composite Design Technologies, Inc. and Cincinnati Machine partner to provide best in class fiber placement production methods for composites manufacturers

Composite Design Technologies, Inc. and Cincinnati Machine partner to provide best in class fiber placement production methods for composites manufacturers

Keywords: Composites, Manufacturing, Design

Composite Design Technologies, Inc. (CDT), the market leader in creating CAD integrated software solutions for composite design and manufacturing, and Cincinnati Machine (CM), the industry leader in large, high-speed, specialized machine tools for the aerospace industry, announced that they have partnered to enable companies to take better advantage of the tremendous potential of the fiber placement manufacturing process. Engineers can now design parts specifically for fiber placement in a highly productive CAD integrated design environment and quickly get the producibility feedback necessary to efficiently exploit this new process. The direct link between CDT's composite design software and Cincinnati Machine's fiber placement programming software eliminates the manual re-entry and re-creation of design data previously required. This link significantly increases engineering productivity, eliminates errors, and facilitates changes to optimize designs for fiber placement.

Fiber placement machines combine the advantages of filament winding, contour tape laying, and computer control to automate the production of complex composite parts that conventionally require extensive hand lay-up. Using fiber placement machines can reduce costs, cycle times, structural weight, and handwork/rework when manufacturing composite parts, but creating the data files for the fiber placement programming software requires the user to follow specific labeling conventions. With the new FiberSIM fiber placement interface from CDT, users can automatically generate fiber placement data files directly within their CAD system from the 3D model of the composite part. This enables engineers to evaluate the producibility of a part in its to-be-manufactured state at any time throughout the design process.

Fiber placement technology has tremendous potential, but only if the parts are designed specifically for that manufacturing process. Because it is now so easy to pass design data to the fiber placement programming software, engineers can get producibility feedback early in the design cycle so they can make changes to create the optimal design. By providing a direct link between the CAD model and the fiber placement programming software, engineers can pursue a concurrent engineering methodology and take the surprise factor out of designing fiber placed parts.

Until the integration of these products, engineers were forced to take a considerable amount of time to organize and annotate the CAD model to comply with the fiber placement programming software. Now the FiberSIM fiber placement interface links the FiberSIM composite engineering environment (CEE), CDT's composite design software, with Actaplace, Cincinnati Machine's fiber placement programming software. The fiber placement interface exports FiberSIM CEE data and part geometry directly from the user's CAD system to a file written in Cincinnati Machine's fiber placement language (FPL). The fiber placement interface provides interactive functionality within the FiberSIM CEE to manage unique fiber placement design entities, including fiber axis, lay-up side point, mandrel/shaft alignment points, and process regions. The product enables automated creation of Acraplace FPL import files that accurately represent part lay-up surfaces, ply definitions, ply orientation information, and the unique fiber placement entities.

CDT and Cincinnati Machine have been working closely together for a year to link their products and the two companies plan to continue to collaborate on developing new products. By reducing the chance for error and the time required to design fiber placed parts, executives from both companies expect a dramatic increase in the use of fiber placement technology. Expedience has shown that instead of taking days to determine if a potential design can be fiber placed, engineers can now design a part and obtain producibility feedback on fiber placed parts in a few hours. Having access to this rapid feedback enables the designer to easily make changes to the design if necessary.

To endorse the relationship between the two companies, CDT named Cincinnati Machine an official member of the FiberSIM Integration Partner Program on 21 September 1999. The program facilitates the seamless integration of composite design and manufacturing by ensuring that FiberSIM output is compatible with downstream manufacturing processes.

For more information contact Composite Design Technologies, 235 Wyman Street, Suite 110, Waltham MA 02451. Tel: 781-290-0506, x281; Fax: 781-290-0507; Internet: www.cdt.com