Mikrosam is launching an innovative machine that integrates AFP head for thermoset and ATL head for thermoplastic prepreg laying into a single robotic cell for custom development of structural composites.
According to Mikrosam, the new automated solution is the first on the market and will revolutionise high-performance production of lightweight and durable crucial composite parts not only for the aviation and space industry, but also for the automotive, marine, gas and oil piping industry.
Mikrosam says that one of the greatest strength of the AFP/ATL Robot Machine solution is the capability for fast transition from automated placement of fibres to automated laying of tape and vice versa, by simply changing the head. “With this new technology we can enable customers’ flexibility to develop premium quality, final composite products of complex shape and save time on setup costs and investments in multiple machines. Our solution helps customers achieve process efficiency and higher throughput which means significantly faster turnaround time on new composite parts produced,” says Dimitar Bogdanovski, Mikrosam’s Sales Manager.
Mikrosam explains that advanced parts can now be produced, whether flat or highly contoured, with automated computer controlled placement of the UD carbon (glass) – epoxy slit tape and thermoplastic prepreg tape, small to medium sized. The temperature control of the thermoplastic material is controlled via a compaction surface laser (heating temperature up to 400°C) integrated to the ATL head and an infrared heating method (heating the surface up to 100°C) with control function provided for the thermoset material used by the AFP head.
Before the delivery of every solution produced, Mikrosam says that it performs extensive testing at its laboratory. The new AFP/ATL Robot solution machine was tested with pre-impregnated material that was, slitted and rewinded into wide and narrow slit tape spools, according to required tape dimensions by the customer. Mikrosam also designs and produces a prepreg making machines utilising solvent, hot-melt and thermoplastic resin system.
Mikrosam says it enables high quality of the automated fibre/tape placement manufacturing process via its own tools: MikroPlace – an intelligent machine-independent software for off-line programming, design, simulation and analysis; and MikroAutomate – a software for online process control and data acquisition system tailored to the specific need of AFP/ATL production.
The new solution integrates the robotic arm, the two heads and the software combined with 24/7 on-line and off-line technical assistance before and after delivery of the machine. Mikrosam stands by its quality standards and is prepared to serve the demanding needs of customers.