Smart Manufacturing of Thermoplastic CFRP Skins

Alfons Schuster, Lars Larsen, Frederic Fischer, Roland Glück, Stefan Schneyer, Michael Kühnel, Michael Kupke
2018 Procedia Manufacturing  
Under the concept of "Industry 4.0", production processes will be pushed to be increasingly interconnected, information based on a real time basis and, necessarily, much more efficient. In this context, capacity optimization goes beyond the traditional aim of capacity maximization, contributing also for organization's profitability and value. Indeed, lean management and continuous improvement approaches suggest capacity optimization instead of maximization. The study of capacity optimization
more » ... costing models is an important research topic that deserves contributions from both the practical and theoretical perspectives. This paper presents and discusses a mathematical model for capacity management based on different costing models (ABC and TDABC). A generic model has been developed and it was used to analyze idle capacity and to design strategies towards the maximization of organization's value. The trade-off capacity maximization vs operational efficiency is highlighted and it is shown that capacity optimization might hide operational inefficiency. Abstract High performance aerospace structures often require a combination of innovative materials and new production technologies. Carbon fiber reinforced thermoplastics (CFRTP) have shown their potentials over the last decades especially due to their competitive production rates. Thermoplastic matrix systems allow joining by welding, which is a major advantage for assembly. Production systems for flat thermoplastic organic sheets are readily available on the market, as well as advanced fiber placement and tape laying machines (AFP/ATL). But there is a lack of systems capable of fabricating 3D-curved, near net shaped patch preforms that may serve for mass-customization of standard parts, e.g. for future aerospace panel production. With the composite prepregs being stacked within the mold the fibers will undergo less reshaping during consolidation (i.e. debulking) thus giving a better control over fiber angles. We describe an autonomous smart manufacturing system that is capable of handling unique parts by means of a complete digital workflow from part design over automated cut-piece fabrication, generation of system related meta-information, virtual planning of grip and drop up to the final layup. The system consists of a preprocessing and production planning apps, an industrial robot, a gripper with an ultrasonic welder, a storage system for cut-piece supply, a computer vision system, a collision avoidance app and a logging system for process relevant production parameters for inline quality control. The described system was successfully used for the production of four thermoplastic CFRP skin segments each consisting of 104 cutpieces. Abstract High performance aerospace structures often require a combination of innovative materials and new production technologies. Carbon fiber reinforced thermoplastics (CFRTP) have shown their potentials over the last decades especially due to their competitive production rates. Thermoplastic matrix systems allow joining by welding, which is a major advantage for assembly. Production systems for flat thermoplastic organic sheets are readily available on the market, as well as advanced fiber placement and tape laying machines (AFP/ATL). But there is a lack of systems capable of fabricating 3D-curved, near net shaped patch preforms that may serve for mass-customization of standard parts, e.g. for future aerospace panel production. With the composite prepregs being stacked within the mold the fibers will undergo less reshaping during consolidation (i.e. debulking) thus giving a better control over fiber angles. We describe an autonomous smart manufacturing system that is capable of handling unique parts by means of a complete digital workflow from part design over automated cut-piece fabrication, generation of system related meta-information, virtual planning of grip and drop up to the final layup. The system consists of a preprocessing and production planning apps, an industrial robot, a gripper with an ultrasonic welder, a storage system for cut-piece supply, a computer vision system, a collision avoidance app and a logging system for process relevant production parameters for inline quality control. The described system was successfully used for the production of four thermoplastic CFRP skin segments each consisting of 104 cutpieces.
doi:10.1016/j.promfg.2018.10.147 fatcat:tzqrgxz4ijdkvovrqsble4dlfy