Automation of composite manufacture is key to establishing future high-performance, cost-effective manufacturing solutions.
Working alongside other CATAPULTs the AMRC utilises automated fibre placement (pdf 467kb) and advanced robotic filament winding (pdf 568kb) to demonstrate to SMEs, and its member companies, the cost and performance benefits of the technologies.
Recent work includes the manufacture of advanced composite blades for GE Dowty Propellers, in which novel manufacturing techniques were developed for next generation propeller blades, working alongside the NCC.
- Developing in-process monitoring systems that improve system accuracy and reliability.
- Working with material suppliers to develop and evaluate new, process-specific materials.
- Developing software to provide a seamless transition from design to manufacture.
Industrial application and benefit
The automated composite manufacturing processes developed by the AMRC yield the following benefits:
- Higher performance components resulting in lighter, more economical, designs.
- Improved material utilisation, up to 30% compared to conventional techniques.
- Significantly Increased productivity compared to traditional hand lay-up.
Also of note
The development of automated composite manufacturing technologies at the AMRC has allowed supply chains and SMEs to become involved in large-scale collaborative projects:
- Tinsley Bridge Group.
- Majestic Systems.
- Automated Dynamics.
This work supports these companies by providing a world-class facility to enable the demonstration of their products and expertise.