This new head is interchangeable on the fibre placement robot that was already supplied by Automated Dynamics to AMRC and will support research and development for the production and machining of composite components, including aerospace structures.
The AMRC Composite Centre develops complex fibre-placed structures for aerospace manufacturing. The centre also investigates the use of automated manufacturing cells to increase throughput and reduce errors by minimising human involvement in the production process.
“The new Automated Dynamics fibre placement head will allow AMRC to remain at the cutting-edge of carbon fibre composite material production and is vital to projects we are currently pursuing with GE Aerospace,” says Richard Scaife, manager, AMRC Composite Centre.
“By adding this head to our already existing in-situ thermoplastic, automated tape laying and 12-tow ITC thermoset heads, we have increased the versatility and overall efficiency of the machine, allowing us to develop solutions that were previously unattainable.”
Benefits of the new quarter-inch, thermoset four tow head are said to include:
- individual tow control, which reduces the amount of scrapped material;
- improved capabilities of laying up complex geometries;
- an integrated creel and rewind system that simplifies the tow path; and
- decreased set-up and exchange time between alternate material systems.
The University of Sheffield AMRC with Boeing is dedicated to working with manufacturing businesses, from global aerospace giants to local SMEs, to identify, research and resolve advanced manufacturing problems. The AMRC has four core research groups: machining, assembly, composite materials and structural testing. The AMRC now employs around 180 highly qualified researchers and engineers from around the globe, in two purpose-built centres on the Advanced Manufacturing Park in South Yorkshire, UK. The AMRC is supported by the European Regional Development Fund.
Automated Dynamics, Schenectady, New York, USA, manufactures advanced composite structures and high performance composite processing equipment. Through the development of innovative processes – automated fibre placement and automated tape laying – the company delivers strong, light-weight structures that solve complex problems for clients in the aerospace, automotive, defense, oilfield, and other commercial/industrial markets.