Original Date: 04/24/2007
Revision Date: / /
Best Practice : Advanced Composites Manufacturing Technology
The University of New Orleans, College of Engineering participates in the development of a highly capable fiber composite system and contributes to a collaborative manufacturing environment that provides considerable economic and educational opportunities.
The University of New Orleans, College of Engineering (UNO COE), in partnership with the state of Louisiana, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and Lockheed Martin Corporation at the Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans, is directly involved in the provision of research, development, and education for manufacturing the next-generation launch vehicle systems. State funding and NASA facilities have been combined to provide the UNO COE with an opportunity to participate directly to effect an intelligent collaborative manufacturing environment, strengthen national competitiveness in aerospace/commercial markets, develop and manufacture composite materials, and expand regional economic development and advanced manufacturing technology education opportunities.
Operating under the auspices of the National Center for Advanced Manufacturing (NCAM), the UNO COE established significant cooperation with federal agencies, universities, the state, and industry. NCAM currently possesses and operates a highly capable fiber composites installation and is in the process of developing and obtaining a state-of-the-art system to advance this manufacturing technology. With the capability for seven axes and 24 tow-fiber placements, the current composite fabrication equipment has successfully supported a number of NASA and aircraft applications. The current NCAM fiber placement machine has a working area that measures 5 x 12 meters (Figure 2-1). NCAM personnel have participated in research and technology development while effecting a collaborative manufacturing environment. The facility also provides both economic and educational opportunities from the added technical capabilities and work brought to the region, increased use of the UNO COE educational offerings by NASA and NCAM members and employees, and expanded research opportunities for graduate students and faculty. Of equal importance are the improved product offerings and quality that have been delivered to NASA and aircraft applications. Considerable expansion of all these opportunities is anticipated when the additional state- of-the-art system is added.
Figure 2-1. Ingersoll Fiber Placement Machine
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