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McNAIR Center


Design and Manufacturing

Automated Manufacturing

Increased automation is essential for increased productivity while maintaining and in fact improving product quality and repeatability.  Composite manufacturing has experienced an increased use of automated systems, such as advanced fiber placement, automated tape layup, braiding, weaving, and fused deposition hardware over the last decade.   The new frontier is to bring multiple of these technologies to work on a part in a coordinated fashion with multiple material systems.

Partners Involved:

  • Ingersoll Machine Tools
  • KUKA Robotics
  • TIGHITCO
  • Hexcel

Design Optimization

Broad use of composite materials in design and design optimization has had a major impact on the use of methods of engineering optimization for product design.  In addition to the traditional dimensional and shape variables, designing the material system itself is now an integral part of the design optimization, leading to the concept of laminate tailoring and tailored structures.   Further integration of the design activities with those of automated manufacturing methods is also allowing the designers to develop nonconventional composites with novel structural configurations.

Partners Involved:

  • Boeing R&T
  • Ingersoll Machine Tools
  • Fokker Aerostructures
  • Lockheed Martin