Get ready for JEC 2023!

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JEC World attracts exhibitors from around the world. Composites in Manufacturing previews some of the companies that will be showcasing their latest products and innovations during the show.

We begin our exhibitor round-up with Ascent Aerospace (hall 5, stand P6). The leading, single-source provider of turnkey production and automated assembly systems for the aerospace, defence, and space industries offers a variety of products and solutions to resolve challenging aerostructure assembly requirements, from wing components and fuselage structures to final assembly lines. Ascent produces a full suite of composite tooling, including layup moulds, mandrels, bond tools, and trim and drill fixtures, including the largest Invar moulds ever made for aerospace. Ascent can also evaluate the use of 3D printed jigs and fixtures as part of sub-assembly and final assembly processes and print them in-house. In addition, Ascent offers automated, drilling and fastening systems, having installed more than 2,200 systems globally. As an assembly line integrator, Ascent works with airframers to develop their project and see it through from process design and engineering through build and installation, to ensure it is an efficient and cost-effective solution.

Elsewhere, Alan Harper Composites (AHC) will showcase its fibre infusion Reusable Silicone Technology (fiRST). In hall 5, stand T39, members of the team will be available to discuss this innovative closed mould technology that provides rapid production of reusable silicon membrane B tool faces. fiRST single reusable membranes last up to 600 moulding cycles meaning they offer a cost-effective solution after only six moulding cycles. In addition, the technology eliminates thousands of kilograms of plastic waste mixed with contaminated unused catalysed resin.

Moving on, Anaglyph (hall 6, stand R40) will demonstrate the latest version of its hand-layup ply placement technology PlyMatch. PlyMatch uses augmented reality to show the live combined images of actual and target ply outlines and fibre orientation details on a monitor, so that the two can be matched by the operator. PlyMatch is used for the accurate placement of plies in hand lay-up manufacture of composite parts, as well as for monitoring and validation of automated methods.

In the next aisle, BriskHeat’s (hall 6, stand Q31) says its solutions help optimise the composite curing process with uniform and consistent heating. BriskHeat’s products help reduce cycle time, improve product quality, and increase efficiency in the composites manufacturing process. BriskHeat’s composite curing offering includes ACR Hot Bonders, Heating Blankets and Infrared NDT Kits.

At this year’s JEC, Cevotec (hall 5, stand N71) will present the latest advancements in Fibre Patch Placement (FPP) based composite automation and its applications. The company will digitally display an optimised FPP production system dedicated to dome reinforcements of hydrogen tanks.

Cevotec has developed an industrial solution to reduce the amount of carbon fibres by locally reinforcing the dome areas of the pressure vessel. FPP is the said to be the first technology to lay-up dome reinforcements directly onto the liner using a fully-automated, industrial process which can be combined with established wet or towpreg winding equipment. This approach reduces net fibre consumption by approx. 15%, depending on the vessel type, which translates into considerable material cost savings while maintaining equivalent mechanical properties. Due to the material reduction, the reinforced tanks have more storage volume available at the same built space.

Compcut (hall 6, stand R73), Sharp & Tappin’s specialist division designing and manufacturing composite cutting and machining solutions, is improving its services to the European market by teaming up with partner, Aptco Technologies. The European-based developer, manufacturer and worldwide supplier of sample preparation and testing equipment for labs, will now actively promote, sell and technically support the latest Compcut composite cutting machines used primarily for the preparation of consistently accurate composite test samples.

This European partnership with Aptco Technologies will allow more companies and organisations to produce critical composite test samples using Compcut machines as they join many composite engineers who now realise that this solution is safer, easier, quicker, cleaner, cost-effective, and more consistent.

At JEC, Compo TechPLUS (hall 6, stand G71) will be showcasing its capabilities with automated fibre winding and laying technology. The highlight will be its custom-built, automated fibre winding machine with fibre placement using a FANUC 6-axis robot. CompoTech has always used its own winding technology, which it now offers as part of a bespoke design robot assisted filament laying machine to meet specific customer requirements.

The automated production machine on show includes an integrated robot arm and specially designed ‘end of arm’ fibre delivery head tooling; the robot arm also provides fully automated tool changes, and part loading and unloading. The new machine has been programmed to manufacture a new type of carbon fibre epoxy composite pallet, which can be seen in operation during the show.

Eastman Machine Company (hall 6, stand D59), a manufacturer of industrial cutting, spreading, and material handling equipment announces plans to demonstrate the Eagle C135 conveyor cutting system at JEC World. The Eagle C135 continuously conveys rolled material with consistent speed and control, delivering high levels of material utilisation. The CNC ply-cutting system is engineered for single- to low-ply automatic cutting of flexible fabrics and requires minimal operator guidance to automatically feed and spread material.

The ability to continuously cut and convey makes the C135 an ideal choice for companies who need to cut long parts, or simply want to minimise the material handling commonly associated with a static table cutting system. It is the system of choice for thousands of manufacturers around the world due to its industrial build, durable components, and proven rack & pinion drive system.

With years of injection moulding and automation expertise, Engel (hall 5, stand N79) develops cost-effective production concepts for the manufacture of composite parts in large quantities. At JEC World, the Austrian machine manufacturer is demonstrating how high production efficiency and cost effectiveness can be combined with sustainability for both the aerospace and automotive industries.

At its stand, Engel is demonstrating the huge potential of organomelt lightweight technology with a live machine exhibit. An Engel victory 660/160 injection moulding machine and an Engel easix articulated robot are being used to automate the production of inspection flaps for the fuselage of passenger aircraft. The production cell also includes an IR oven, which also comes from Engel in-house development and production.

EXPO-NET (hall 5, stand Q56) will showcase a new infusion processing guide and bioplastic resin flow meshes at JEC World. The range of 100% recyclable, extruded thermoplastic resin flow mesh products it produces are extensively used in composite manufacturing as essential vacuum infusion processing aids; up to four different custom-made resin flow mesh grades can be used in specific areas of an infused part to increase productivity and avoid premature resin hardening and air voids.

Visitors to the EXPO-NET stand will be able to see and discuss the new ‘Vacuum Infusion Resin Flow Mesh Technical Processing Guide’, which provides comparative data on the different types of EXPO-NET flow mesh grades available: Quick, Medium or Slow. EXPO-NET is also investigating possible bio-attributed thermoplastic polymer formulations that can be extruded to provide netting and flow mesh products with properties which match the specifications of currently used PE and PP polymer raw materials.

Huntsman (hall 6, stand M31) says it has expanded its expertise into the defence sector with ARA DEFEND 50100 resin system, engineered to extend performance, even in multi-hit situations. ARA DEFEND 50100 Resin System is a two-component, low-viscosity epoxy resin system with good latency. This allows for longer working times for better infusion of larger panels via resin transfer moulding (RTM) and compression moulding and reduces chance of exotherm. This resin system is designed to cure at relatively low temperatures (121°C/250°F) allowing for easier processing and flexibility in large-scale production.

Hypetex (hall 6, stand S52) will be displaying more of its coloured carbon fibre products which combine advanced composites with stunning aesthetics, striking colours and, in many cases, increase the performance properties of the material. Such products are becoming increasingly popular in sport, including Hypetex’s Kromaskin hockey stick. Also on display is a series of diving fins from Australian company DiveR made from Hypetex material.

Hypetex is also popular in the automotive sector. Following the reveal of the new Ford Mustang Dark Horse which has Hypetex trimming on its wheels, examples of coloured carbon fibre wing mirrors will also be on display. Visitors will be able to see Hypetex’s range of colours and materials, including flax and chopped carbon fibre samples, but also at the stands of various collaborative partners attending the show.

Next up is JETCAM (hall 6, stand S52), a manufacturer and supplier of CADCAM, nesting, and industry 4.0 IoT software. JEC presents an opportunity to experience the array of software that JETCAM provides to composite manufacturers, including nesting, material location/life/consumption tracking, and automation software. JETCAM Expert is a leading nesting and automation software. CrossTrack runs alongside JETCAM Expert and is designed to be fully interactive within ERP, MES, and other shopfloor technologies, such as automated freezers or kitting robots for turnkey automation. Its latest option includes Ultra Performance Nesting: a feature which allows for progressive nesting of pattern quantity and material efficiency.

Plataine (hall 6, stand H74) will use the event to demonstrate how it can help to address labour shortage challenges with its AI and Industrial IoT (IIoT) solutions for composite manufacturing. Plataine’s IIoT and AI solutions for manufacturing allow businesses to transform how they utilise their workforce and materials. Getting the most out of every resource to optimise operations for even the most advanced aerospace composite manufacturing process.

Manufacturing optimisation technology that’s built on AI and IIoT changes the game for the aerospace industry by: Tracking assets and production in real-time; Identifying trends and deviations; Finding inefficiencies and automating repetitive manual tasks; Reducing waste by using the optimal materials including adopting a short rolls strategy; Calculating multiple layers of data in real-time and proactively offering actionable insights and recommendations, hence acting as a force multiplier to the experienced workforce.

After celebrating its 40th anniversary last year, PRF Composite Materials (hall 5, stand E41) will bring its range of prepreg systems and the ThrustWSH project to JEC World. On its stand, PRF will be showcasing its new, RP570 FR eXpress cure epoxy prepreg system. Formulated for structural components requiring FST properties, RP570 FR is a fire-retardant ultra-fast prepreg system which is cured and demouldable after five minutes at 160°C. This express resin system is principally designed for snap cure press moulding. However, it can equally be used in conventional autoclave moulding and significantly reduces time in the autoclave – up to 50% less – thereby cutting energy usage per part. RP570 FR is tested to Federal Aviation Requirements 25.853, AITM 2.0007 and 3.0005, UL94 V1 and FMVS Standard No.302.

Continuing its drive to develop materials that offer measurable advantages in cost-effectiveness and improved sustainability - with reduced energy consumption per part – PRF will also be presenting its Q.tool prepreg tooling technology, which significantly reduces the time and costs of carbon tool manufacture. Using PRF’s class-leading RP800 epoxy tooling system, the combination of Q.tool’s designed surface and 1,020g/m2 bulk plies provides the same weight and thickness as a 1:8:1 system, and offers significant advantages: up to 50% reduction in labour time/cost; reduced number of debulks to as few as one; improved sustainability with reduced use of plastic consumables; exceptional drapeability and surface finish.

As prepreg suppliers to ThrustWSH, PRF will also have the ThrustWSH C3.1 model on the stand. The aim of ThrustWSH is to set a new water speed record, and PRF is part of this cutting-edge project in advanced engineering.

At JEC World, Schütz Composites (hall 6, stand D50) will be presenting many different areas of application for its high-tech CORMASTER material, which combines high mechanical strength and resistance with light weight, thanks to its honeycomb shape. The material is also resistant to extreme heat and humidity, as well as to corrosion from oil, water and paraffin. The aramid paper-based material is used wherever low weight and maximum stability are required. The modern honeycomb material offers outstanding processability. Whether used as sandwich or engineered panels, milled or formed parts or curved sandwich panels from the autoclave – CORMASTER honeycombs are suitable both for load-bearing structural parts and for high-quality interior design.

Finally, Zünd (hall 5, stand T41) is inviting visitors to JEC World to discuss efficient digital cutting and kitting workflows. The company will present its latest developments in the field of modular, digital cutting solutions.

When cutting fibre composites, digitalised data management is key to an efficient cutting process. Zünd PreCut Centre – ZPC optimises cut files automatically and adjusts cut paths according to the material and tools at hand. The integrated nesting function ensures cut parts are automatically nested for maximum material utilisation.

Zünd will also present its Pick&Place interface, an economical solution for automatic picking, sorting, and placing of cut parts. For automated parts removal, the Pick&Place interface communicates directly with a robot via Zünd Cut Centre – ZCC. If the cut parts are to be removed manually, the operator can mark each part with labels containing printed barcodes and job information and, in this process, is visually supported by a projection system. The required parameters are derived from job metadata.

Finally, Zünd will showcase its Heat Sealing Module – HSM, a powerful tool for cutting dry fabrics and sealing the edges at the same time. This cutting and sealing process facilitates the handling of cut parts and reduces the need for cleaning the conveyor belt.

www.jec-world.events

Company

JEC Group

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