Digitization as an opportunity for automated composite manufacturing


The digitization of production processes in the aerospace industry offers new opportunities for significant productivity gains in composite manufacturing. Building on more than 40 years of experience with the integration of production lines, Broetje-Automation has specifically positioned itself as a supplier of integrated production systems. “Industry 4.0“ applications play a key role in this.

Turnkey capability as a prerequisite for industrialization

With increasing production rates, composite manufacturing today has to meet the requirements of a mature, series-capable industrial production. Without stable “end-to-end” organized production processes, the industrial use of fiber composite components in the aerospace industry will not be competitive in the long run.
The Broetje-Automation Group uses the extensive experience of specialized production facilities for the aviation industry as well as a deep understanding of composite production processes in order to exploit the full potential of digitization together with its customers. The in-house experts for composite materials have brought various new production processes onto the market in recent years. The focus is on innovative fiber placement and tape laying systems, continuous preforming as well as 3D handling, cutting and draping systems for all types of composite materials through to automated sealing, which can be precisely integrated into the customer’s existing production systems according to the customer’s requirements.

The systems developed by Broetje-Automation are already equipped today for use in digitized manufacturing. The backbone of every integrated solution is standardized machine communication. The core components of almost all Broetje-Automation systems for the aerospace industry are high-end Sinumerik 840D sl CNC controls, the functionality and performance of which also enable very demanding and complex functions on the basis of a uniform platform.

Assembly / Line Management for effective production control

The individual components are interconnected by the Assembly / Line Management System developed by Broetje-Automation to ensure the necessary transparency in production. In addition to the creation of overall assembly controls and paperless documentation, the software also permits process-accompanying flow control with the aid of KPI indicators (QCDP) over the entire production chain. This leads to a significant increase in productivity and cost reduction due to the more effective production control of the interconnected machines. An open interface to the respective MES/ERP of the customer closes a gap in the digitization of production processes that often occurs today.

This provides the customer with a uniform interface for effective control of both individual systems and the entire production line. With the consistent application of state of the art industry 4.0 principles with the help of solutions from Broetje-Automation, the way of the transition to industrialization of composite production if opened for the future.