Wind blade designers and other companies in the best-in-class status have a number of other factors in common, according to the survey. Companies looking to replicate their successes with composites should consider the following recommendations:
Establish goals and measure results, using the survey as a benchmark to identify what should be measured.
Lead with a design-for-composites strategy, as opposed to converting traditional metal designs on a 1:1 replacement basis.
Employ digital analysis tools to validate designs and reduce the number of physical prototypes. Do so early in the design process, and share the data with designers and analysts for the best results.
Incorporate manufacturing knowledge into the design cycle as a best-practice for achieving goals and improving manufacturing results.
Create optimized workflows and methods specific to your environment and designs.
Invest in the people, tools, and processes, and don't just focus on lowering costs.
What's the biggest takeaway from the survey? Boes says the lesson is that you get out of composites what you put into them.
I'm now an independent consultant for materials and processes, having worked in the field of large composite structures , solid rocket motors, rocket launchers,etc, for about 29 years. I have authored or edited three books on composites, Filament Winding, Composite Structure Fabrication, Composite filament Winding, Handbook of Composites, 2ond ed.
@Akmose98: Thanks for the feedback. Nice, practical suggestions for those getting started with composite design. Can I ask what industry you're in and what type of applications you've worked on involving composites?
Vistagy's survey shone the spotlight on a number of key trends surrounding composite design and manufacturing. For me, however, one of the stand outs was the fact that best-in-class performers have typically put new processes in place to support and promote the use of composites. Given that the survey didn't drill down into those specific best practices, I'm curious as to what kind of new processes engineering organizations are adopting in order to better leverage composites and achieve gains beyond part cost reduction. Any one out there care to weigh in?
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.