Defense Manufacturing Conference 2013
December 2-5, 2013
Tom Sharp, PhD, Principal
Etegent Technologies, NLIGN Analytics Division
Title: 3D Process Analytics for Carbon Composite Manufacturing
Composite manufactures are under increasing pressure to increase rates and reduce rework and scrap while at the same time meeting tightening requirements. This is a challenging task; composite manufacturing is a complex multistep process impacted by many variables. A possible solution to this problem lies in the myriad of data generated by these processes. Currently, integrating this enormous and diverse data into a global view of the process is very difficult. Typically each data set is analyzed in its own software package, limiting the ability to integrate the multiple data types and detect process trends.
This presentation discusses work being supported by the US Air Force and US Navy to develop a software -based capability to collect, organize, archive, and analyze this data. The data is organized by automatically aligning the data to 3D models of the parts being manufactured. The software can then visualize, layer, filter and trend the process data on various 3D models, such as product geometric models, mold models showing mold seams and thermocouple locations, ply models showing ply drops, preform models showing individual preforms, etc. This enables detailed analysis to detect trends at specific locations on the model that are often indications of process problems. This presentation will provide an overview of the system along with representative examples of how it has been successfully used to improve first pass yield, reduce scrap, and improve material review board activities associated with the composite structure fabrication process.