Adaptive process control of robot based production cell for composites manufacturing
Airborne is technology leader in advanced composites, specializing in the automation and digitalization of the manufacturing of composite parts for aerospace, space and other industries. A number of standardized automated manufacturing cells are available that offer solutions for automating the most common processes in composites manufacturing. An example is the above depicted Automated laminating cell (ALC) which places pre-impregnated tape to create a product.
The objective is to make a 6-axis robot-based Automated Laminating Cell accurate enough to comply with high quality requirements such as for space applications, which so far no one has achieved with a robot based platform. The results of the DIGITAL TWIN project will lead to a much more advanced adaptive process control to bring the standard low cost equipment (standard robot based automated tape lay (ATL)) to a higher level of lay-up accuracy.
Airborne expects that the cost for such a high accuracy machine can be constrained by keeping the platform the same, but finding the resolution in smart sensing, advanced computer algorithms and autonomous adaptive control using digital twinning techniques. In such a way, the autonomous machine should not only correct for its own deviations or imperfect behavior, but also for effects from outside, and material and substrate variations.