The order includes MAG's modular ACES® software (Advanced Composites Environment Suite), a programming and simulation system for both tape laying and fibre placement.
“This is FACC’s first automated system dedicated for these types of parts, which have to be manufactured in quantity for many aerospace programmes. FACC is a new customer for us in composites, and we succeeded against some worthy European competition. Ultimately, we had the right sized machine and the complete system package from offline programming to process support.”
Robert Harper, Director Technical Sales, MAG Composites
The CHARGER has a bed-type configuration and features a simplified, versatile tape head and integral vacuum layup table. The small flat tape layer (SFTL) platform can be used to produce long, narrow, flat parts such as spars, stringers, beams, ply packs, shear ties, frames, flaps and skins.
The SFTL system is scheduled to ship in the first quarter of 2013, with installation complete by May.
The SFTL is designed and built using proven modules and technologies from larger CHARGER tape layers, which are widely used in the aerospace industry. According to Harper, the CHARGER’s new tape head is the most productive and consistent on the market at compacting layers of carbon fibre/epoxy tape. The new head allows faster, simpler side loading of tape rolls up to 300 mm (12") wide and 650 mm (25.6") diameter.
Common hardware permits layup of 150 mm (6 in) and 300 mm (12 in) wide tape with minimal changeover time.
The head design also features tape flaw detection, integrated ultrasonic laminate cutter, laser trace inspection and cutter depth-setting assistance.
The PC-based ACES software is compatible with CATIA V4 and V5, CATIA CWB/CD3 and FiberSIM, and provides a variety of path generation types. The software supports part programming, part simulations, productivity analysis and production animations.
The SFTL is equipped with MAG’s CM100 computer control, which is designed specifically for automated composite production.