The hybrid work cell integrates the advantages of both, filament winding (FW) and automated fibre placement (AFP) technologies, to provide new and exciting opportunities for increased freedom in designing parts and reaching new levels of productivity and profitability in the aerospace, automotive, oil and gas storage and transport, marine and other industries with high demand of composite parts.
The configuration of the new AFP and FW work cell is a result of Mikrosam’s new R&D Centre and offers customers flexibility through a dual process equipment: interchangeable multi-tow (16) AFP head, and a FW system to access the best of both process variants. The advanced AFP head, equipped with infrared heating device, is designed for automated bi–directional lay-up of thermoset prepreg tapes. The filament winder performs wet and dry winding of carbon, glass or aramid fibres.
The time-consuming process of transferring the product from one machine (FW process) to another (AFP process), which can take more than a day, is significantly reduced. On this new machine, switching from one process (FW) to another process (AFP) is done within minutes. For validation and optimization of the multi-material process, Mikrosam has developed an integrated MIKROPLACE & WINDING EXPERT software module, an exclusive software package for programming and simulating of the cell.
“We have developed many innovative solutions for the composites market, but this one is definitely the most sophisticated, easy-to-use and cost-effective integrated machine in recent years. It is optimised for production of large composite parts, with excellent strength to weight ratio (up to 100 tons weight), diameter of up to 3.5m, and lengths of 10m. Helicopter propellers, rocket boosters, hydrogen storage tanks, cryogenic tanks, pipes and many other medium to large, complex final composite parts can be produced faster than before. The return on investment is expected to be within two - three years. The possibility of applying multiple material forms on the same part, is expected to increase customer’s productivity by 20% and save time for many new projects,” – stated Dimitar Bogdanoski, sales manager at Mikrosam AD.
First presented at the South Carolina’s Carbon Fibre Conference 2017, in the section dedicated to Advanced Technologies for Production of Composite Products, this solution is now available to visitors at the CAMX Expo. Mikrosam’s engineers and representatives, at booth B27, will demonstrate and discuss its many advantages to customers looking for new high-performance solutions in manufacturing composite parts.