Enhanced Robotic Automated Fiber Placement with Accurate Robot Technology and Modular Fiber Placement Head 2013-01-2290
The process of robotic automated fiber placement has been enhanced by combining the technologies of an accurate articulated robotic system with a modular Automated Fiber Placement (AFP) head. The accurate robotic system is comprised of an off-the-shelf 6-axis KUKA Titan KR1000L750 riding on a linear axis with an option for an additional part rotator axis. Each of the robot axes is enhanced with secondary position encoders. The modular fiber placement head features a robotic tool changer which allows quick-change of the process heads and an onboard creel. The quick-change fiber placement head and simplified tow path yields terrific process reliability and flexibility while allowing head preparations to occur offline. The system is controlled by a Siemens 840Dsl CNC which handles all process functions, robot motion, and executes software technologies developed by Electroimpact for superior positional accuracy including enhanced kinematics utilizing a high-order kinematic model. Part programming and simulation are performed offline using CGTech VERICUT Composite Programming and VERICUT Composite Simulation. This combination of technologies results in a system that has high path accuracy and process flexibility at a lower cost than traditional fiber placement machines.