Our world asks for a more sustainable, greener future. These new demands have a profound impact on our mobility, especially when it comes to the automotive industry. The drive for sustainability and electrification requires new solutions and radical ideas. Many new concepts are being developed, in battery or hydrogen powered vehicles, in new shared mobility concepts or in urban air mobility. These all require light weight and robust solutions in composites, manufactured efficiently, affordable and at high production rates.
At Airborne your questions are met by experienced engineers who have been solving these issues for over 25 years. We are a knowledgeable composite company: we know composites, we know automation and digitalization and we are here to help.
Composites play a vital role achieving the sustainable goals of the automotive industry. Airborne is a world leader in enabling fast, flexible and scalable on-demand manufacturing of advanced composites. These past years Airborne has been developing the next generation automated digital production systems, to make composite manufacturing easy, robust and scalable for NewSpace, Aerospace and Automotive Industries. This enables truly flexible and on-demand manufacturing and addresses the challenges traditionally associated with composites, which can be complex, expensive and not very scalable in manufacturing. We offer our solutions in a portfolio of services, from straight machines sales, subscription, pay-per-use or manufacturing-as-a-service.
For the mobility sector, we provide our Automated Kitting & Preforming platform, to convert composite materials into tailored blank laminates. In any material (thermoplastic, dry, prepreg), any part geometry, 100% net-shape, thickness variations, combinations with other materials like core, surface film or other. The Airborne Automated Preforming Solution is suitable for the production of e.a. battery carrier structures, underbody panels, structural parts, door/roof/seat structures, complex parts such as brackets, pedal, frames.
See more about this product below (video) and on our website you’ll find most specifications. Please reach out to us to schedule a meeting at the IAA and talk more on this solution!
Many composite forming processes such as press consolidation, press forming, vacuum forming or diaphragm forming are based on the use of tailored 2D preforms or blanks. Although the forming processes are usually efficiently automated, the blanks or preforms going into these processes are often produced manually. By automating the production of preforms, you can match the rate of follow-on processes and significantly reduce manual labour.
Automation of preforming ensures high volume production at constant quality. Manual preforming is a repetitive process which requires both skill and concentration from the operators. With higher production rates it becomes increasingly difficult for operators to keep up with production while maintaining quality. Automated Preforming can solve these challenges by handling plies, assembling blanks robustly and can even include automatic inspection systems. Digital traceability throughout the process ensures transparency on your shop floor.
Automated kitting & sorting of composites: what does it solve? As known, kitting, sorting or sequencing of the composites plies is a complex process. The operators have to manually keep track of the many plies that are cut from multiple materials, and collate and order them to make the kits. This requires companies to commit significant human resources to this critical step of the production process, or to limit nesting of the plies to simplify the job, but accept significant waste of raw material. Airborne’s automated kitting solutions enable you to reduce both labour and material waste, while ensuring that the process is easy to manage and error free.
Airborne has developed a plug-and-play, Automated Kitting solution for composite plies. Plies are loaded on a conveyor, or automatically fed from the ply cutter (a digital cutting system). The machine then picks the plies from the conveyor belt cutter and sorts them into groups on trays, drawers or cabinets in a buffer station. The pregroupped plies are then automatically sequenced in the order required for layup. Airborne’s proprietary buffer system design ensures fast operation and a small footprint.
Thermoplastic materials have tremendous potential for applications in many industries, but efficient manufacturing can hold back implementation. Often, the forming and consolidation process is automated, but the blank production is inefficient. Airborne provides solutions to this challenge by offering Automated Thermoplastic Processing for high volume and flexible, low- to medium volume applications. An example of a high volume solution is the Falcon Line at our headquarters in Den Haag. This fully functioning high volume thermoplastic line not only proves our capability to produce well over 1 million parts per year, it can also be used for prototyping and serial production if you are not ready to invest in your own manufacturing line. Thermoplastic UD tapes are processed into laminates within 15 sec cycle time, with the option to add core material or surface finish material.
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