It’s been a whirlwind year marked by several exciting developments for Loop Technology and we are delighted to end it with the announcement that another FibreLINE has been ordered! This will see our pioneering automation technology being used in North America for the first time.
FibreLINE is a state-of-the-art high rate preform manufacturing system. At its centre is FibreFORM, a new generation of end effector that radically accelerates the deposition of composite material for high-value manufacturing. It is world-leading because of its capacity to effectively pick, shape and deposit plies at unrivalled speed. Where traditional methods such as Automated Fibre Placement (AFP) typically operate at 20 kg per hour, FibreFORM deposits material at up to 200 kg per hour.
The system is able to pick composite sheets (plies) and form them into a multitude of complex 3D double curvature profiles before placing them on to a tool, inspecting them and heat staking them ready for the next stage of the production process. This is done whilst managing sheer forces within the ply to prevent the composite material being damaged.
Because FibreFORM can handle large plies with millimetric accuracy and repeatability, it drastically reduces the number of separate parts that need to be brought together to produce a composite structure. For instance, it can help reduce the number of parts required in the production of an aircraft wing cover from 100,000 to as little as 150.
FibreFORM works in conjunction with a wider Loop Technology toolkit that includes FibreEYE, our advanced optical inspection system, FibreTACK for stack stabilisation and FibreKIT for cutting and kitting of plies. The result is end-to-end automation of the entire preforming cycle.
FibreLINE is applicable across many industries and can accelerate the production of aerostructures, wind turbines, railway vehicles, automotives and much more.
This order means our flagship technology has now been adopted in two continents- we cannot wait to see where FibreLINE ends up next!