Kanfit, a leading manufacturer of assemblies and subassemblies for the aerospace industry, has accepted delivery of an Automated Fiber Placement (AFP) robotic system from Ingersoll Machine Tools. The system will be used to develop and manufacture complex composite structures made from carbon fibers that until now have traditionally been made using hand layup or, due to their extreme complexity, were not possible to manufacture at all.
The new AFP robotic system is the first of its kind in Israel and is being introduced into the company for research and development purposes. Initially, Kanfit will partner in this venture with Israel’s aerospace and defense industry leaders, and there are plans to expand the project to include partners from other industrial sectors outside of aerospace. In short we will establish an Israel Center of Excellence for AFP at Kanfit.
“Kanfit has always been an early pioneer in adopting and mastering new technologies,” said Shai Fine, General Manager of Kanfit Ltd. “The AFP robotic system is essential to the company’s strategy to expand its design-to-build capabilities, and is a further step in strengthening our position as a leading company for engineering and manufacturing composite parts for the aerospace industry. We are certain that the AFP system will increase our company’s standing in the local as well as in the international arena.”
The AFP machine is comprised of a robotic arm for rapid placement of up to eight tows of one-quarter inch composite fibers. The goal is to design and manufacture lightweight complex structures in a much shorter amount of time, with reduced material waste.
Following installation, the AFP system will undergo factory acceptance testing (FAT). Kanfit engineers returned from intensive training at Ingersoll’s headquarters in Rockford, IL, where the AFP robot underwent Pre-Acceptance Testing (PAT).