Design of an Automation System for Preforming Processes in Aerospace Industries

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

Due to their material properties, carbon fiber reinforced plastics have become more and more important in aerospace industries since the 1980s. However, their efficient use is still limited by a largely manual manufacturing process. In this paper, we present a novel automation system for preforming and draping dry carbon fiber textiles into a mold. It consists of a multi-functional robot end-effector, which integrates the three essential functions gripping, draping and fixation, as well as a software solution which supports the automation of the process. Experimental results gained on industrial reference toolings show the feasibility and flexibility of the approach.
Proc. 7th IEEE Conference on Automation Science and Engineering (CASE 2011), Trieste, Italy, August 24-27, 2011
Nominated for IEEE CASE Spansion Best Conference Paper Award