FACC Acquires MAG Small Flat Tape Layer and Advanced Composites Environment Suite (ACES) Software for Flat-Part Production

Oct 15 2012

FACC, an Austrian-based Tier 1 aerospace supplier, has acquired a CHARGER small flat tape layer from MAG for layup of primary and secondary structural composite components. The order includes MAG's modular ACES software (Advanced Composites Environment Suite), the industry's fastest and most powerful programming and simulation system for both tape laying and fiber placement. The CHARGER has a bed-type configuration and features a simplified, versatile tape head and integral vacuum layup table. The small flat tape layer (SFTL) platform provides a right-sized solution to production of long, narrow, flat parts such as spars, stringers, beams, ply packs, shear ties, frames, flaps and skins. “This is FACC’s first automated system dedicated for these types of parts, which have to be manufactured in quantity for many aerospace programs,” said Robert Harper, Director Technical Sales, MAG Composites. “FACC is a new customer for us in composites, and we succeeded against some worthy European competition. Ultimately, we had the right sized machine and the complete system package from offline programming to process support.” The SFTL system is scheduled to ship in Q1 2013, with installation complete by May. The SFTL is designed and built using proven modules and technologies from larger CHARGER tape layers, the most widely used tape layers in the aerospace industry. According to Harper, the CHARGER’s new generation tape head is the most productive and consistent on the market at compacting layers of carbon/epoxy tape. The new head allows faster, simpler side loading of tape rolls up to 300 mm (12") wide and 650 mm (25.6") diameter. Common hardware permits layup of 150 mm (6 in) and 300 mm (12 in) wide tape with minimal changeover time. The advanced head design also features tape flaw detection, integrated ultrasonic laminate cutter, laser trace inspection and cutter depth-setting assistance for maximum system flexibility and performance. The PC-based ACES software is compatible with CATIA V4 and V5, CATIA CWB/CD3 and FiberSIM, and provides a variety of path generation types. The software supports part programming, part simulations, productivity analysis and production animations to significantly reduce risk and ensure a part can be produced before shop-floor production begins. “The simulation capability of ACES software was a key factor in this order,” said Harper.

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