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Materials & Assembly
Robots Speed Complex Composite Fiber Placement
8/6/2012

The first automated fiber placement machine in the UK, shown here with employee Tim Smith of GKN Aerospace, will help speed production of complex composite aircraft structures like wings.   (Source: National Composites Centre)
The first automated fiber placement machine in the UK, shown here with employee Tim Smith of GKN Aerospace, will help speed production of complex composite aircraft structures like wings.
(Source: National Composites Centre)

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Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Big step for composites
Ann R. Thryft   8/6/2012 5:16:04 PM
williamlweaver, thanks for quoting Twain, one of my favorite authors. The image that quote always gives me is the idea of the spiral path of time and change. I think your comparison with the automated loom invention is a good one. Automating carbon composite production could have effects at least as far-reaching.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Big step for composites
Rob Spiegel   8/6/2012 12:46:09 PM
That's a good Twain quote, Williamweaver. I agree this type of production could lead to additional automated production for composites. That would certainly move composites more into the mainstream.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Big step for composites
Ann R. Thryft   8/6/2012 12:36:16 PM
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Rob, that's for sure. Using robotics in carbon composite production for automotive applications is also an area of current R&D, which we report on in my upcoming September feature on carbon and cars.

williamlweaver
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Re: Big step for composites
williamlweaver   8/6/2012 12:33:21 PM
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As Mark Twain famously said, "History doesn't repeat itself, but it does rhyme." This sure looks similar to the invention of the automated loom that produced textiles using patterns of holes placed on punch cards. That development helped to spur the Industrial Revolution. Solving the problem of long composite lay-up time may spark a similar revolution in materials...

Rob Spiegel
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Big step for composites
Rob Spiegel   8/6/2012 10:42:07 AM
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Moving to automated production is a big step in the development of composites. Given the long-term demand on parts made from composites, it's pretty much a necessity that production becomes automated.

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