Procedure of Laser Projection for Composites
Composite parts consist of several layers, that are placed on top of each other in a tool. The number of layers depends on the local strength needed to absorb inner and outer forces. As a result, many objects have irregular surfaces, meaning a different number of layers to be stacked.
Up to now, mechanical templates (paper, metal, plastics, …) or measurement instructions have been used for positioning of cut-outs. But this work is time-consuming. Changes in design cause the need of new templates or changed instructions.
CAD data, available from product design, are the basics for projection of outlines. If the design changes, only the projection files have to be adjusted. Using the generated projection files and being calibrated on a tool surface, the projectors display the outlines as a laser line.
Laser Projection of Outlines, Templates, Patterns
Laser projectors display precise outlines, templates, patterns or other shapes on virtually all surfaces by projecting laser lines.
The laser projection is based on CAD data. Because of the different requirements, LAP makes a difference between projectors and software for 2D applications (projection on flat surfaces) and 3D applications (projection on curved surfaces).
Measurement equipment or physical templates are substituted by a 1:1 outline, displayed by a bright laser line. Manual alignment is easier and faster, errors during parts placement are reduced.
Changes in design can be easily implemented, as no new physical template has to be produced, no complicated measurement description has to be rewritten – changing the projection data is sufficient.
- for flat or curved surfaces
- increases your throughput by up to 100%
- improves your quality
- reduces your set-up time
- reduces your costs
- join parts
- place layers of material
- align parts
- display work steps
- control completeness
- or support any other work by giving visual aids:
Laser projectors reduce time to production, improve output capacity and reduce rejects.
In aircraft component manufacturing the application of carbon fibre prepregs requires utmost precision. Laser projectors help in positioning the prepregs and the preassembled components with the required high level of accuracy. Laser projectors save time – while enhancing precision
CAD-PRO 3D laser projectors from LAP are used in aircraft manufacturing for positioning CFR prepregs with an exactness of a millimetre, for example, when building up fuselage and structural components.
They are capable of projecting with highest precision the contours of the parts to be positioned – even if the surfaces are curved as those of fins, wing spars, landing gear covers or cabin doors.
The new system is particularly well suited for projecting contours onto large parts with lengths of more than 30 meters. In such case the task is shared between several projectors and the data are automatically allocated to the corresponding projector.
The laser projector guides the operator step by step through the complete process of component build-up. This process does not only include the positioning of the prepregs but also the exact marking of where ribbed structures, honeycombs or copper bands are located.
As it is no longer necessary to align the components by means of difficult-to-handle templates and complicated measurements, the work can be accomplished much faster.
Templates Are Dying Out
LAP is currently the only manufacturer of laser projectors capable of projecting three colours (green/red/yellow) at the same time. This makes it possible to highlight areas requiring special treatment or attention.
Colour changes of the complete contour from green to red or yellow may be used to signal warnings. It is also possible to indicate the direction of the carbon fibres in a different colour than the contour.
The templates which were used in the past are difficult to handle. The manufacturing effort is high and the templates may become useless when they get dirty or damaged.
Additionally each change in design requires a new template to be produced. This is a time-consuming procedure, adding a great deal of extra costs.
LAP laser projectors project the contours of the prepregs, reinforcements or preassembled components with an accuracy of a millimetre onto the surface of the segments to be built up.
The projection is based on existing CAD data transmitted to the projectors.