What is an AFP Rental? How does it work?

Updated: Feb 24

Automated Fiber Placement Rental

An AFP rental is the rental of all associated components for converting any existing robotic cell to become an automated composites manufacturing cell. The components include: automated fiber placement tool head, control system, and OLP software that are installed and integrated into an existing robotic cell on a monthly basis. The installation is conducted either virtually or in-person, depending on the user's preference.

Why it's possible now

  • Compared to bulky and complex fiber placement systems, AFP-XS is ultra-compact and can be plugged into existing robots (Kuka, ABB, Fanuc, etc) to begin production within a day of arrival.

  • The AFP-XS controls simply connect with all major robot communication protocols without changing the existing settings and tolerances, eliminating the need to purchase a new robot, robotic cell, and robot integration services.

  • Traditional AFP programming software requires either an upfront installation cost of upwards of 10k euros or expensive modeling software like CATIA.

  • AddPath, Addcomposites's AFP programming software, is a plug-in for readily available Rhino and is easily installed on any PC without additional cost.

How it works

  1. You fill-up the requirement of your production setup via an online form to receive a quotation

  2. Place your order and receive the tool with installation instructions

  3. Installation can be completed on the day system is received. Run the test layup to evaluate production accuracy. Ready to run the production.


Why use rental

  • Take up new high-value projects without dipping into the CapEx budget

  • Effectively execute advanced customer R&D projects

  • Saves up to €200 000 in capital cost

  • Performing actual production runs enables evaluation of real challenges and real risk assessment

  • Based on the real production data, evaluate system ROI on machine investment

  • The possibility of purchasing the system after the rental results in a big discount

  • Cost of the system after rental = [agreed price - (~80% of paid rental)]

When not to rent

  • Already know the use case If you already know how the system will be used, purchasing the system gives you a very high degree of freedom to request add-ons to suit the required parameters.

  • Need a specific system If you have a specific need e.g. need to have extra tow or unique sensor suite that is not standard in AFP-XS.

  • Do not have an existing robot for installation In case your facility does not have an existing robot compatible with AFP-XS, it's better to order the robotic cell and AFP-XS tool as a complete package. That way you have better control over the layup area and detailed functionality of the cell.


Why automate your production

The main reason to invest in an AFP system is to automate the production of composite parts. If you're still hesitant in investing in the automation equipment, below are a few key points our customers have mentioned why they invested:

  • Digital design and production simulation, which accurately represents the robot motion

  • Eliminate labor-intensive ply cutting and placement work

  • Assured production quality

  • Reduced material waste

  • Reduced faulty production

The article above is written by Addcomposites as an informative resource for companies who are interested in automating composites production, but who may not be willing to fully invest in a complete AFP system. The information provided above is liable to change at Addcomposites discretion. Please reach out to info@addcomposites.com to get the latest details.