Cutting Room Operations
Running the cutting room in a composite factory is difficult. Planning is complex, mistakes can have big impact on factory efficiency and the materials are expensive so waste needs to be minimised.
To help you, we have created a modular portfolio of Automated Kitting solutions. You can start with a simple system or go directly for high performance, all within the same software framework. Our Automated Programming provides a fully automated workflow: you upload the design and nesting files and the system takes care of the rest, no programming required.
Automated Kitting takes care of three steps: offloading (taking plies from the cutter), sorting (placing the plies into the right kit) and sequencing (ensuring all plies are in the order of laminating). It can handle prepreg, dry fibre or thermoplastic composite materials. Storage is in the Airborne dynamic buffer system, which is compact, fast and is accessible both for the robot and the human operator.
Efficient kitting systems
To increase efficiency of the offloading and sorting steps, two innovative systems have been developed: Cobot offloading and Kit by Light.
A first step to automate is to use a collaborative robot (‘cobot) for offloading the plies from the cutter. We have created a system that is simple and elegant. By using a cobot, no fencing is needed and operators can still be present. The cobot can place the plies in designated area’s, to be defined by the user.
Kit by Light:
The human operator can still be the right choice for offloading the plies. To support the operator, the Kit by Light system can be used. A light system indicates which ply to pick and in parallel the automated buffer system presents the right tray to place the ply. The algorithm takes care of the whole process and ensures that no mistakes are made. The system makes life of the operator easier, increases speed and makes the process more flexible without mistakes.
If you want to maximise your output and the size of the plies that can be handled, have look at our high performance Automated Kitting systems that transfer the plies into fully sequenced kits. These systems are equipped with our Automated Ply Placement technology, which is developed to handle delicate composite plies, fast and robust.
Stand-alone Automated Kitting
This system takes care of all the sorting and sequencing. The plies are loaded into the system, either on the conveyor belt or directly in the buffer. Individual plies can be loaded, or a stack of plies. A camera system recognises the shape, location and orientation of the ply, and the robot system automatically adapts to pick the ply correctly. The plies are then sorted and sequenced into kits in the buffer. With this buffer, multi-material kits are no problem.
Integrated Automated Kitting
If you need a system that takes care of all steps, the Integrated Automated Kitting system is what you need. The Automated Ply Placement technology is used to safely offload plies directly from the belt. A fibre cut detection system ensures all fibres are cut before picking. The robot then takes care of the sorting and sequencing in the buffer.
Factory integration and Trolley loading systems
We can use our building blocks to create a fully automated system, from material input to sequenced kits at the laminating station. We can load the plies directly into the trolleys which are then used for further transporting into the factory. We can also create a bespoke solution, to connect directly with processes that are already in place in your factory.
We can integrate the automated kitting system directly to up- and downstream processes, for example with robotic offloading, conveyor belts, robots on a track of AGV’s. All digitally integrated, to have full operational control.
Trolley loading systems
In many composite factories, trolleys are used to transport the kits from the cutting room to the laminating area. We can use these trolleys to be filled directly. Once the trolleys are used for transporting of the kits to the laminating area, they are returned, ready to be filled again.