AI meets Composite: SAMBA Pro Fiber Patch Placement System of Fraunhofer IGCV in the new »Hall 43« of the University of Augsburg

The SAMBA Pro Prepreg plant of the Fraunhofer Institute for Casting, Composite and Processing Technology IGCV has found its new home in »Hall 43« of the University of Augsburg, an AI research hall inaugurated in June 2023. The production facility is now in use for research into innovative approaches in the field of machine learning. In addition, it is available to companies from various industries for active technology and application development together with researchers from the Fraunhofer Institute.

Cevotec Samba Pro Prepreg Fiber Patch Placement
© Fraunhofer IGCV
Cevotec Samba Pro Prepreg Fiber Patch Placement

Fraunhofer IGCV is dedicated to researching and developing automated composite manufacturing techniques, especially using AI and digitalization. Fiber Placement (FPP) is one of these techniques. It has gained considerable relevance in production, which is why Fraunhofer IGCV already commissioned a SAMBA Pro Prepreg system from Cevotec in Meitingen in 2020. In the course of founding the Augsburg AI Production Network, of which Fraunhofer IGCV is a member, it was decided to relocate the SAMBA Pro Preprag plant to the University of Augsburg research hall. The main objective of this production network is to research AI-based production technologies at the interface between materials, manufacturing technologies, data-based modeling and digital business models.

Dr. Renato Bezerra, research associate and project manager at the institute, comments on the commissioning: »The commissioning of the FPP facility opens up excellent conditions for us to advance research in the areas of digitalization and AI in composite manufacturing. The conditions both in the environment and in the existing AI production network create optimal framework conditions for investigating such approaches. It would be desirable to transfer successfully tested approaches developed at the FPP plant to other manufacturing technologies«, says Bezerra. Furthermore, he emphasizes that in addition to research in the areas of AI and digitization, interested partners at the SAMBA facility can research and evaluate the feasibility of components in FPP design and develop components that are suitable for series production.

The SAMBA system from Cevotec features a laser cutting unit that ensures maximum flexibility in geometries and patch edges. A temperature-controlled material feed guarantees the precise processing of pre-impregnated materials in a controlled environment. The system uses Stäubli's proven TP80 (pick-and-place robot) and TX200 (tool manipulator) robots. This combination enables efficient placement of complex molds with medium to small dimensions by realizing a high laying frequency and exact positioning.

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