By automating the manufacture of composites, costs can be reduced by up to 15 percent, with a better work environment and more consistent quality.
Introducing robots into production offers numerous benefits. Manufacturing costs can be cut and certain physically demanding tasks can be eliminated. Furthermore, robots never have a 'bad day', which means consistent results can be guaranteed.
Industry robots cut and assemble
The manufacture of small composite volumes is currently a manual process, and RISE has assessed how this can be automated by using robots.
The manufacture of composite structures usually requires several physically demanding steps, such as the assembly of composite layers. This means that the material shall be cut and assembled at the right fibre angle and in the right position. The material is then shaped by heating, pressing and scraping it over a mould. The layers are sticky and creases may form during shaping. This step can be likened to folding paper around a ball – there is always a surplus of paper that needs to go somewhere.
Faster, simpler, cheaper
By utilising a robot to do this job, assembly becomes much faster and simpler, while production costs are lower. RISE, together with Saab and KTH Royal Institute of Technology, has conducted tests which show that robots can perform these demanding tasks. Automation will now be refined further. Saab's goal is to pursue further automation in their line of production.