Compo Tech PLUS, spol. s r.o (stand U140) is promoting its latest advanced composite component design and bespoke automated production technologies at Advanced Engineering 2023, NEC, Birmingham, UK (1&2 Nov).
The focus this year is on the recent business expansion into automated winding machine design and production, using expertise gained from nearly 30 years developing in-house manufacturing machines for their innovative carbon fibre winding technologies. CompoTech is now able to provide complete solutions from carbon fibre composite component design, prototyping and part production to process installation of custom-built ‘turnkey’ automated fibre winding and filament placement machines.
The company has invested in additional resources and formed links with specialist robotics and software supply partners to enable CompoTech to custom design and produce in-house automated winding machines for manufacturers looking to invest in automated, high performance carbon composite component production capabilities; this expansion of the business is included in the newly redesigned website – www.compotech.com
CompoTech has an established track record for developing and manufacturing innovative, high performance carbon structures using its unique production technologies. The company is a specialist supplier of high precision composite beams, rotary shafts, spindles and tools for production machinery, and automation, replacing traditional steel and aluminium structures and components. Attention to process innovation has led to developments such as their automated placement integrated loop technology (ILT) for producing continuous fibre connections that do not require any drilling or fixings. This ILT joint production technology, demonstrated in their “CDuro” development project bicycle frame, was a JEC innovation award finalist, and CompoTech’s advanced winding and connecting technologies were showcased at JEC World 2023 in the ‘Industry’ Innovation Plant.
CompoTech includes these innovative proprietary axial fibre placement and winding technologies in their highly flexible and efficient automated production machines. CompoTech’s placement technology, which uses graphite “Pitch” as well as PAN fibres, is able to accurately place continuous fibres axially along the length of a CF epoxy composite beam. The result is 10 – 15% higher stiffness in the axial direction and up to 50% greater bending strength compared to conventional filament winding. Manufacturers now have the opportunity to install automated winding technology able to produce carbon composite components with the same enhanced mechanical properties, weight and cost-saving benefits that CompoTech component customers enjoy.
Having CompoTech’s advanced winding technologies in their automated winding machines creates new possibilities for OEMs and tier 1 and 2 component producers across industry sectors. Dr Humphrey Carter, Head of Business Development for CompoTech explains: “Our advanced winding machines and technologies provide optimal composite laminate production capabilities and flexibility that other filament winding machines, or even other processes, cannot offer. Companies looking to cost effectively produce high strength structural carbon composite components for themselves can now do so using our technology in a custom built machine. We also work with our automated winding machine customers to help them develop the composite parts and design that can be manufactured most efficiently.”
New automated winding machine offering
All of their advanced winding machines are based on a ‘customizable’ standard platform to meet individual customer needs and specifications; automated production options available include:
- Compo FixTool – Fixed Spindle and tailstock
- Compo AdapTool – Automatic tool length control up to 3m
- Compo LinAx – For larger parts up to 12m, robot mounted on linear axis rails
CompoTech ‘turnkey’ winding machines include an integrated FANUC M-20iA/20M – R-30iB 6-axis robot arm and remote controller unit, along with in-house developed ‘Shneg 2.0’ fibre placement and winding software that controls the robot arm and winding mandrel; the software converts a design specification into a production programme to precision manufacture a CF component. Standard program preparation winding codes for producing common types of products, such as round tubes, beams and n-edge profiles, come with all machines, along with operator training and full system service and support.
Ongoing Innovation Projects
Visitors to the CompoTech stand during Advanced Engineering 2023 will also be able to find out about ongoing development projects in both the production automation, and new design CF composite components that will need bespoke winding machines for OEMs and Tier 1 specialist producers. The R&D team is looking at various advanced materials to process from the latest in resin technology and tow preg/thermoplastic tape placement to manufacture next generation products, such as ‘linerless’ hydrogen tanks for applications such as energy storage, aviation, HGVs, and mass transportation.
The CompoTech team is looking to meet with companies during Advanced Engineering 2023 to discuss their specific requirements for either custom designed CF epoxy components or automated production machines.
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