Paper number 295


E. D. Ledbetter

Manager, Research & Development - Operations,
Lockheed Martin Aeronautical Systems
86 South Cobb Drive, Marietta, Georgia 30063

Summary This paper baselines the current state of methods and applications that employ computer data to direct composite manufacturing processes. Industry needs, emerging solutions, and potential research to advance these technologies are addressed. It contrasts today's processes to laser based virtual operator assistants and encourages scientific exploration and developments to maximize the utilization computer model data for minimum product costs. Computer graphics for design and analysis is creating extensive electronic data for product definition. The improved visualization, simulation and accuracy of 3-D images is enhancing quality and reducing design costs. Laser projection is emerging as a viable method to clearly and accurately display computer model data for worker instructions.
Applications are expanding. Today laser images direct manual cutting, pickup, and placement of composite laminates. Tomorrow they will provide complete identification, validation, inspection, and assembly guidance. This technology may truly represent the missing link between human operators and computer data.
Keywords laser, low-cost, manufacturing, 3-D, industry needs, lay-up, inspection, cutting, kits, identification.

Theme : Processing, Integrated Design and Manufacturing ; Low cost Manufacturing

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