Automated Cutting and Handling of Carbon Fiber Fabrics in Aerospace Industries

Andreas Angerer, Claudia Ehinger, Alwin Hoffmann, Wolfgang Reif, Gunther Reinhart, and Gerhard Strasser

The use of composite components in aerospace industries has become more and more important since the 1980s. Especially structures made of carbon fiber-reinforced plastic are well suited for aircrafts where highly stressable but lightweight constructions are required. However, the efficient use of this technology is still limited by a largely manual production process. To increase automation, the paper presents a completely new approach for the automated cutting and handling of carbon fiber textiles. This includes a detailed analysis of the current industrial process and its automation potential, the construction of a special handling tool and the development of an automation software. Experimental results show the flexibility and feasibility of the approach.
6th IEEE Conference on Automation Science and Engineering (CASE 2010), Toronto, Canada, August 21-24, 2010