Additive Manufacturing Strategies

Partnership Brings Cevotec’s Fiber Patch Placement Additive Manufacturing Technology to North America

ST Medical Devices

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Munich company Cevotec specializes in a kind of additive manufacturing called Fiber Patch Placement, designed for the manufacturing of composite materials. Fiber Patch Placement is capable of creating complex components with much greater strength and stiffness than their conventionally manufactured counterparts, and now Cevotec is bringing that technology to North America thanks to a partnership with Florida-based Composite Automation, LLC. The collaboration will expand the range of advanced process technologies for fiber composites available to North American manufacturers.

“We are very happy to have John Melilli and his team at Composite Automation to introduce the benefits of patch technology to every composite manufacturer in North America,” said Thorsten Groene, Managing Director of Cevotec. “As a result of the positive feedback we received at CAMX 2017, we became convinced of the need to have a proactive presence in North America and Composite Automation is laser-focused on the markets we are pursuing.”

Cevotec’s Fiber Patch Placement technology was nominated for an Innovation Award at CAMX 2017, the Composites and Advanced Materials Expo. The partnership with Composite Automation was announced last week at JEC World 2018, which took place in Paris from March 6th to 8th.

“Increasing throughput, first pass quality, reducing waste and reducing reliance on touch labor are driving manufacturers to look for innovative automation solutions,” said John Melilli, President of Composite Automation. “Cevotec offers just that – flexible lay-up systems based on additive patch technology. Their Composites-4.0-approach with a powerful software suite focuses on especially complex parts. We are delighted to represent them in North America and believe that Cevotec’s technology will replace many hand lay-up applications.”

Cevotec recently upgraded its SAMBA production cells, which can now process thermoset prepreg tape, replacing manual lay-up operations for complex parts. Standard AFP/ATL tape can also be fed into the SAMBA systems, providing an efficient outlet for residual tape material on bobbins from AFP/ATL processes. Changes are also coming to Cevotec’s ARTIST STUDIO CAD/CAM software for patch placement; it will be extended through a plug-in for commercial FEA software, allowing for efficient modeling and FE analysis of fiber patch laminates.

[Image: Cevotec]

“This technology is truly disruptive. From the design to the fabrication of the part, the complete process is managed by the Cevotec software and automation system,” said Melilli. “The full properties of the part are known before the part is manufactured. Reliable throughputs and material usage are empirically understood. This data is part of the justification for a machine acquisition. Fiber Patch Placement is a must-have technology for companies that want to be ahead of their competitors in the manufacture of composite parts.”

Composite Automation will now act at the official representative for Cevotec in North America, offering Cevotec’s entire product portfolio, including its “technology-as-a-service” products. Cevotec’s services include laminate design and FE analyses as well as prototyping and manufacturing, giving manufacturers several options for applying patch technology to their operations.

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