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Quality @ 1m/s: New Innovations for the 2021 AFP-XS

Updated: Nov 16, 2021

The all-new AFP-XS is here with new technology innovations that enables:

  • 1m/s speed with aerospace-grade placement tolerances

  • Cut-on-the-Fly

  • No Lag Tension Control System

  • Cut Failure Detection System

  • Modular: Width-Matrix-Fiber-Heater-Robot

  • Plug-in with monthly rental

This article highlights how key technological innovations are enabling high speed, high precision, and reliable automation with the all-new AFP-XS. Let's get started with a demo video!

In the video 1/4'' thermoset tape is placed on a straight 0.9m long pass. All 20 layers are placed within the specified tolerances while cutting the tape on the fly.

Latest technological innovations to achieve faster speeds

1. Blade Material Science

One of the main sub-processes of AFP is cutting the fiber repeatably and consistently. This process involves fiber stabilization and shearing, repeated over thousands of times without error. In the all-new AFP-XS, the key mechanical innovation is the blades chemistry and their associated hardening processes. This enables very tough and wear-resistant cutting edges, improving cutter reliability by up to 500%, without deformation or reduction in cutting ability!

Edge-layer hardening
Hardening process of cutting blades

2. Cut Failure Detection System

After continuous operation and thousands of cuts, the blades will become blunt and resin will become built up, resulting in a cut failure. The latest AFP-XS includes a clever sensor suite that detects whether or not a failure has occurred during operation, which then pauses the machine for operator attention. This has the potential to reduce scrap after many hours of layup work and material deposition, while simultaneously easing the operators' work during layup!