Research benchmarking

The CFK Valley is an international network for the entire composites value chain, comprised of more than 100 members worldwide, from companies to research institutes and universities. They get together every year in a convention at Stade, and it is an established platform for gathering information related to R&D in composites, especially carbon fiber. The attendees were mainly from the aerospace and automotive sectors, including suppliers and companies which work with recycling of components and fibers.

The Lightweight Structures Laboratory of the Institute of Technological Research (IPT) attended the event this year, represented by the researchers Rodrigo Andrade de Oliveira e José Everardo Baldo Junior. They presented the paper \’Manufacturing of Civil Aircraft Rear Fuselage with Automated Fiber Placement Process (AFP)\’, showing results from a project in partnership with Embraer and supported by Embrapii. “Sharing the results of the project enabled us to market our capabilities, and confirm that they are aligned with the industry needs,” says Oliveira. “We identified several project opportunities which could be applied to the Brazilian reality, especially in the context of Industry 4.0 initiatives.
Manufacturing process simulation and production of the fuselage were made at the Lightweight Structures Laboratory
Manufacturing process simulation and production of the fuselage were made at the Lightweight Structures Laboratory
Many presentations were focused on the development of automation technologies, either for manufacturing processes or for the inspection and recycling of composites structures”, says Baldo.

BENCHMARKING– The researchers also visited research laboratories on composites applications, one at Stade from DLR, and another at Marknesse, the Netherlands, from NLR. They could see research related to technologies that will allow more automation and productivity of manufacturing processes.

“Both DLR and NLR support large companies of the aerospace sector to develop new manufacturing processes through the use of pilot cells, which can be scaled to solutions applied for serial production. The business models of both centers and IPT are similar to each other, and the infrastructure is mostly complementary”, say Baldo and Oliveira.

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