At Aligned Vision, we love to hear customers affirmatively marvel, “We can do that?” Our pioneering work has eliminated whole warehouses, cut hours of manual processes, and enabled low-skill operators to complete work that previously required skilled artisans. Rate, weight and quality drive our industry, and our solutions address all three. Our innovations have dramatically increased throughput, drastically reduced the cost of production and rework, and enhanced quality and traceability.
EXECUTIVES gain repeat business, satisfied customers, and a healthier profit and loss statement.
ENGINEERS gain confidence that components are built rigorously in accordance with their designs and specifications.
MANAGERS gain new tools and methods for streamlining fabrication and raising production rates.
OPERATORS gain clear and easy-to-use guidance for each task of each build.
Low production cycle times
After nearly three decades of using “templates of light” to swiftly and accurately align composite plies onto layup tools, composite fabricators may have trouble imagining the warehouses full of physical mylar and fiberglass templates that dotted the fabrication landscape in the 1980s. Aligned Vision pioneered industrial laser projection in 1988, and since then has accomplished every major “first” in this technology.
Key to the effectiveness of laser projection are both hardware and software developments. Today’s LASERGUIDE and LASERVISION systems are equipped with the most advanced lasers, galvanometers, optics and temperature stabilization mechanisms. Software enables seamless importation of design files and creates 3D projection patterns; enables multitasking; and facilitates integration with automatic fabrication equipment.
AUTOMATED INSPECTION AND DEFECT PREVENTION
Assurance of built-as-designed components
Prevention of defects, reworking and scrap
Accurately laid up plies are essential to achieve “as-designed” part performance. Until recently, fabricators have been unable to accurately verify whether as-built fiber orientations, ply positioning, and other key parameters comply with the model definition. Nor could they automatically detect Foreign Objects and Debris (FOD) or other defects so that correction could occur immediately.
Now, LASERVISION directly relates the orientations and boundaries defined in the model with the as-built parameters. The system captures and analyzes calibrated images of the surface of each ply as it is laid up. Automatic defect detection saves LASERVISION users from the high costs of major rework or scrapping of composite components. LASERVISION has been proven in applications in which automatic detection of FOD is essential to part integrity.
ELECTRONIC PROCESS CONTROL AND DOCUMENTATION
Maximum information content for each part produced
Detailed, quantitative evidence of the correct build
Fumbling through hardcopies of work instructions, tracking progress only with stamps and signatures – these bottlenecks and sources of error in composite fabrication are now things of the past. Aligned Vision’s BUILDGUIDE Process Control Suite electronically directs operators, helping to ensure that the right ply sequence, right debulk cycles, and so on, occur according to the engineer’s instructions.
BUILDGUIDE also provides traceability through automatically populated electronic records of material and production information. Ply presence, sequence, material batch, out time; debulk time, vacuum and duration; production information entered by operators; and inspection information and images generated by LASERVISION automatic inspection, are all kept in a database, referenced by work order, in a reportable form suitable for electronic transmission or hardcopy generation.
INTEGRATION AND IIoT
Automatic maintenance of common coordinate system
Solutions with their products. Our Software Development Kit (SDK) is a library that allows programmers to write software to directly control LASERGUIDE or LASERVISION from the automated system controller.
For both integrated and standalone appliations, our Fabrication Management Solutions generate a wealth of data that may be fed back to the design model to facilitate process improvement. Traditionally, the uncertainty created by manufacturing variations has been addressed through overdesign, with its attendant material, weight and cost penalties. But today, LASERVISION reduces the need for overdesign by serving as a data hub for IIoT systems and smart factories.
“We have achieved 85% savings with LASERGUIDE.”
Danielle Fernholz ,GENERAL DYNAMICS
“When integrating a new technology into a process, it is sometimes hard to justify the startup cost...but in this instance, with the outstanding customer support and responsiveness of the [Aligned Vision] team, we were able to be up and confidently running within a day...”
Russell Rowles ,NASA GODDARD
“The laser ply projection system reduced the layup production time by 80% over conventional methods.”
Steve Sucic ,UNITED TECHNOLOGIES
“LASERVISION helps our AFP machine cells to virtually eliminate pre-inspection calibration and setup time, and to minimize actual inspection times while enhancing inspection accuracy and documentation.”