Project Spotlight: ASCEND
Loop Technology is one of fifteen companies part of a £39.6 million UK industry consortium called ASCEND (Aerospace and Automotive Supply Chain Enabled Development). It aims to accelerate the development of composite material and process technologies for the next generation of energy efficient aircraft and future mobility.
What is Loop Technology’s part in ASCEND?
This is an exciting opportunity for us to collaborate with some of the best companies in the Aerospace and Automotive industries to extend the scope and performance of our range of composite automated handling and layup solutions to better meet their needs.
In order to develop and deploy these capabilities, we have invested in a demonstration cell which will also serve as a hub for evaluation studies for our partners.
Check out the progress of the demo cell being built from the ground up!
What is Loop Technology developing?
We can reveal this includes enhancements to our composite ply deposition products, FibreFORM™ and FibreROLL, which provide high deposition rate alternatives to AFP and ATL technologies for large scale parts, and our inspection system, FibreEYE.
Our conformal pick and place end effector, capable of manipulating plys into double curvature forms, is perfect for complex shaped plies.
FibreFORM™ will be redesigned to reduce its overall footprint whilst picking the same size ply, making it more even flexible.
Our roller-based end effector, accommodating plys in excess of 20m long, is extremely effective when utilised in the layup of larger, simpler shaped plies.
FibreROLL will be modified to allow it to handle more challenging ply shapes for added versatility.
Our in-process inspection system is used to verify the deposition integrity of glass or carbon fibre tows or fabrics.
FibreEYE will be enhanced to improve its tolerance for a wider range of materials by exploring AI techniques.
FibreTACK and more
On top of our product enhancements, we have several work packages dedicated to new developments.
Including preform stabilisation for use alongside FibreFORM™ and FibreROLL, the manufacture of tailored plys, and raw material inspection.
The deployment infrastructure features our show-stopping KUKA Titans (which the team have fondly named Thor and Loki) mounted onto a 12m Güdel 7th axis linear TrackMotion unit.
Next Month’s Focus
Project Spotlight: DACS Update
We revisit project DACS, a robotic ‘Distributed Automatic Cutting System’ led by Eurovia UK in partnership with Loop Technology and The University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC).
Philip Reid, Digital Construction Manager, at Eurovia commented; “I’m blown away by the progress that has been made to date.”