(additional fee to attend)

Tuesday, April 8, 2014
8:30am – 11:30am

Introduction to Composite Manufacturing Processes

Instructor: George N. Bullen, FSME, CPIM, President and CEO, Smart Blades, Inc.

This workshop defines, illustrates, and describes the basic composite manufacturing processes and innovative manufacturing processes and technologies used to solve the “composite challenge” for aerospace, space vehicles, transportation, and wind products. The definitions, descriptions, and illustrations are derived from successful demonstrations of the technologies and processes on in-use hardware.

The technologies described in the seminar fit into a broad range of other markets such as buses, trucks, automobiles, wind turbines, and rescue vehicle accessories. The cost of composites material and its manufacturing complexity have been inhibitors to transfer composite material and its benefits to the non-aerospace market. The low cost processes and technologies proven and described in this seminar will provide viable examples of how the technology can be extensible to other markets.

  • Understand what composites are and how they are used to manufacture parts
  • Understand critical emerging technologies that will enable expansion of composites
  • Identify innovative manufacturing processes that enable low cost composite manufacturing
  • Determine the critical features for successful composite part assembly
  • Distinguish key characteristics of various composites manufacturing processes

Smart Blades designs and develops highly efficient wind turbine blades and in-situ wind turbine blade manufacturing modular factories. Smart Blades, Inc. is located in Oxnard, California.

George retired from Northrop Grumman Corporation in 2011 as Principal Engineer, Technical Fellow, and Chief Technologist for Advanced Programs and Technology Development. He was also Deputy Director for Directed Energy and Space Programs including the ALTAIR Lunar Lander and the Max Launch Abort System for NASA.

Mr. Bullen has been awarded 16 US and International patents for technology innovations related to manufacturing, mechanization, robotics, robotics control software and nuclear testing/quality devices that are the basis for all current automated systems used for the assembly of airframes in the US and Europe.

Automated Fiber Placement Technology

Instructor: Barrett Mileski, Research and Development Engineer: Composites Automation and Processing, ATK Aerospace Structures
Guest Speaker: Jeffrey Causey, Process Engineer, Fives Cincinnati

Composite materials offer great performance advantages to many products in our world today. One of the factors keeping composites from being more universally used is the overall cost of fabrication. The raw materials are generally higher in cost than most materials they compete with, and fabrication labor adds to the cost of finished parts. Several companies, including ATK Aerospace Structures (ATK), have been involved in developing lower cost manufacturing technologies for complex composite products. One of these automation technologies, pioneered by ATK, which has been and continues to be very successful, is Automated Fiber Placement (FP or AFP). Fiber placement has become an accepted production process for many space, commercial and military structures.

  • History/background of AFP
  • AFP State of the Art (SOTA)/Current Applications
  • Process Overview - example process flows for AFP parts, thin skins, stiffened skins, core structures
  • Materials - What materials are being used today? Epoxy, BMI, fibers, tow widths, typical critical machine parameters, etc... Where is it going next?
  • Design for Manufacture (DFM)
  • Offline Programming
  • Is AFP the right process for your part? – What parts typically work well for AFP, ATL, AFP + ATL, etc…

Barrett has been working in the Research and Development group at ATK Aerospace Structures for the last 7 years under the mentorship of Vern Benson, one of the pioneers of Automated Fiber Placement (AFP) and other composite automation technologies. Barrett has extensive experience in machine design and process development for AFP machines and AFP products. Prior to ATK, Barrett worked at FiberForge (formerly Hypercar) developing automated lay-up and processing techniques for thermoplastic composites.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014
1:30pm - 4:30pm

Tooling for Composite Applications

Instructor: Dave Dickson, Associate Technical Fellow, Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Equipment & Tool Engineering

This tutorial will cover many of the important concepts for creating tooling for fabricating composite parts. It will have an emphasis on layup and cure tooling, but will touch on trim tooling. A significant amount of the class will be spent on tooling materials selection, from Invar to composite materials, and on the many design considerations that must be well-understood before engaging in decisions. The class will have a strong focus on tooling for aerospace applications, but other end-items such as windmill blades and other transportation applications such as motorsports will also be considered. The class will be interactive, so bring your questions!

  • Understand the differences in tooling materials, their durabilities and the choices available for your application.
  • Understand the trade-offs in part quality that can occur in design decisions
  • Understand the fabrication methods for making tooling for composites

Dave’s current responsibilities include investigation and implementation of new and existing tooling technologies that help reduce overall production and tooling costs. Dave has been a Boeing employee for more than 30 years. He has had assignments as a Tool Engineer and in Tooling Management, in both Boeing Commercial Airplanes and Military programs, including 787, B-2, F-22 and other Programs. He has also been an Integrated Product Team Leader on a Military Airplanes program and in Commercial Product Development. Dave spent several years on 787, from the beginning of the program through late 2010, he was Tooling Technical Leader. He is a Boeing Designated Expert in Tooling for Composites.