SAMPE Europe's seventh international technical conference and forum – SETEC 12 – took place 19-20 September in the picturesque city of Lucerne, in the “heart” of Switzerland. Included were two keynotes, plenary sessions, tabletop exhibits, a gala dinner plus a choice of plant tours. The evening prior to the event, a welcome reception was held after registration at the conference site. It featured the tasty Swiss specialty cheese fondue, eaten in groups, which encouraged networking and getting acquainted with old (and new) colleagues.
Conference venue was the impressive Swiss Museum of Transportation (Verkehrshaus der Schweiz) which presents a diversified and extraordinary exhibition of all segments of transport. Adjacent to the conference area were the numerous table top exhibits, well attended during coffee breaks and lunches served nearby. A shuttle bus connected the main hotel with the conference site.
Conference theme or “Leitmotiv” was Advanced Composites – Design and Process for Sustainability – and performance of current and future advanced materials systems. The aspect of “green fibers” and “green elements” in the matrix (not to mention manufacturing) systems is steadily gaining importance. Within this M&P framework, a total of two keynotes and seven sessions offered 27 presentations on the general themes of materials, processing, nanotechnology, repair, design, NDT, thermoplastics and the ever more relevant topic of end-of-lifecycle processing activities.
SAMPE Europe President Paolo Ermanni opened SETEC 12, welcoming all and noting that, in over 30 years of SAMPE conference history in Europe, this is the first time an event was held in a museum. The technical museum contains items large and small relating to transportation since the beginning of the wheel – with inherent emphasis on the role played by material and processes. Gratis entrance to this impressive museum was included with registration.
The first keynote followed, given by John Russell, of the central US Air Force M&T facilities in Ohio. His theme of “Design and Manufacturing for Next Generation Aircraft” used the new JSF military jet as reference, while discussing management and budget aspects, cost-overruns etc. Agile manufacturing was another theme. Some of his many timely points: invest early in programs – and save money; the autoclave as a production “choke point”; avoid holes as far as possible, since they cost $50-100 apiece. Other topics addressed included advanced automated NDE and tool-less assembly methods.
In conjunction with the conference, a choice of two plant tours were offered: one to nearby Pilatus Aircraft, the other to the diversified RUAG Aviation, with headquarters and main manufacturing center at the Swiss Air Force base in Emmen, also close by. The plant visits were conducted at the end of the first day's conference sessions and preceded the event dinner.
The SETEC 12 reception and gala dinner took place at the conference Hotel Seeburg, with it's gorgeous view of Lake Lucerne and nearby Mt. Pilatus. Paolo Ermanni and Mark Erath thanked attendees for their participation, the keynoters for their contributions, and the sponsors for their kind support. Mark then introduced distinguished visitors from the US, including SAMPE's new International President, Dr. Kate Thorp and Executive Director Gregg Balko.
Beginning Day Two, the second keynote, by T. Tervoort, from Taenia Tec and the ETH Zurich, was entitled “Flat Fibers: from Fibers to Unidirectional Foils”. The talk described a novel new process where polymeric Vectra-type fibers are extruded, laid out, then flattened together to form a UD sheet. This can be employed alone, as a high strength foil, or pressed with other foils, to form a multilayer, quasi-isotropic panel stronger than the base material. The unusual manufacturing process – still in the pilot stage – involves “transesterification”. The final day of presentations ended with an an entire session devoted to the European FP 7 research program IMAC-Pro 2 (Industriialization of Manufacturing Technologies for Composite Profiles for Aerospace Applications).
In his closing remarks, conference organizer Mark Erath thanked all attendees and sponsors, and advised that SETEC 13 will take place at the Stadthalle, in the German city of Wuppertal, 10-12 September 2013. Be sure and mark you calenders.
The SAMPE UK and Ireland Committee and members attended their 2012 AGM on 12th June at the National Composites Centre (NCC), at Emersons Green, Bristol. The event was hosted by Rob Backhouse, an Engineering Specialist at Rolls Royce, based at the NCC. Rob gave the introductory talk about the centre.The NCC was launched in 2009 as part of the UK Composite Strategy led by the UK Technology Strategy Board. The site is hosted by Bristol University and the funding for building the centre comes primarily from the CATAPULT project, which encompasses seven high value manufacturing centres around the UK, with the NCC being the centre specialised in composites manufacture. Other centres specialise in different areas such as polymers, metallics, etc, with the overall aim being that no two centres should need to duplicate any technology or hardware, as the use of the centres will be managed through a central leadership (possibly based at the NCC) that deals with external customers in a single contract. This central leadership is however, still in development with the TSB setting up links between the CATAPULT centres. The CATAPULT centres are intended to bridge the gap between university projects that typically launch research projects in the Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 1-3 category and Industry which considers TRL 7-9 (mature enough to apply on actual serial products). There is currently a significant bias towards manufacturing, but there is an increased focus on Materials and Processes, including modelling and simulation of new composite materials. There is little component testing conducted at the NCC, with the preference being for them to provide the expertise and knowledge to manage the development of a product from concept to application. Rob, along with Dean Jones also of Rolls Royce, then guided members on the tour around the facility. The tour showed the group around the extensive 5500 square metres of workshop and office space, including work stations for 200 personnel. Many of the autoclaves and numerically controlled inspection machines were recently moved from Airbus Filton to this site, as part of the Airbus contribution to the NCC. Several other facilities are available, including clean rooms, material storage, and materials characterisation labs.
The SAMPE UK & Ireland AGM followed soon after the tour, with a summary of the year’s activity given by Chairman Andrew Long and discussion on the future 2013 programme. A pleasant surprise came for several members who had reached their membership milestones of 5 years, 10 years, 15 years, 25 and 35 years and received SAMPE badges in recognition of this. Congratulations to all those who have remained steadfast members, as follows: 35 years - Keith Armstrong; 25 years – Robert Bird, David Carlton, Stephen King; 20 Years – Vince Kelly; 15 years – Geoff Gould; 10 Years – Shumit Das, Marc Doyle, Bob Lewin, Andrew Long; 5 years – Natalia Becerra, Adam Broomfield, James Broughton, Alan Riley, Carwyn Ward and Tim Wybrow. Our thanks to Rob Backhouse and Dean Jones at NCC for the tour and hosting the AGM. Report by Shumit Das.
David Carlton advises that the SAMPE UK & Ireland Chapter is holding its ANNUAL SEMINAR & SME TABLE TOP EXHIBITION: Advanced Composites: The Engine for Growth. Evaluating the development of the UK Advanced Composites Materials Industry and it's current and future contribution to the UK economy. Thursday 24th February 2013, at Cranfield University, the Vincent Building B52, with SME Table Top Exhibition Sponsored by the UK National Composites Centre. Details of the seminar programme, delegate enrolment and SME programme will appear on the SAMPE UK & Ireland website: http://www.sampe.org.uk/
took place March 28-29, 2011, again at the Hotel Mercure Paris Porte de Versailles Expo. Themed “New Material Characteristics to Cover New Applications Needs”, a new two-day conference format this year allowed two full days at SAMPE - with two remaining for the JEC exhibition. Also new this year was a pre-conference Welcome Reception held Sunday evening at the hotel, which was quite well received.
Monday morning, SAMPE Europe President Bruno Beral welcomed delegates, noting the extensive opportunities for networking with highly qualified colleagues from around the world, while broadening one's own knowledge. Organizer Mark Erath happily added that in the final days prior to the start, registrations poured in, slightly exceeding those for last year and confirming the appeal of the new format.
SEICO 11 featured two keynotes along with parallel sessions. The first day's plenary session was devoted to the key European MAAXIMUS composite aircraft development program. The second focused on automotive aspects. The first keynote, by Dr. Kakashi Ishikawa of Japan Aerospace, provided an impressive overview of composites R&D at JAXA – the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency. On the second morning, a keynote by Dr. Jan Anders Manson, of EPFL Lausanne (Switzerland) addressed challenges for large scale use of composite in the automotive industry. Both presentations were detailed, substantive and captured considerable interest.
Other sessions addressed such relevant composites topics as OOA (Out of Autoclave), thermoplastics, sandwich cores, new materials, RTM/Infusion, design, joining and textile structures. At the same time an exhibition of students' posters (summarizing their presentations) was on view immediately adjacent to the conference rooms, portraying state of the art composites research projects carried out under experienced professors. Tasty buffet luncheons were again part of the full registration package, while gratis coffee breaks and snacks were available to all attendees throughout both days.
The reception and gala dinner, also included with full registrations, was held at the end of the first day, offering additional newworking opportunities in a lively, full service, multi-course sit-down dinner atmosphere. Bruno Beral and Mark Erath took the floor briefly with greetings, noting we were honored to have the SAMPE International President Dr. Allen Crasto and Executive Director Gregg Balko present this year.
Traditionally part of the gala dinner evening in Europe is devoted to the SAMPE student conference aspects. Student Coordinator Adrie Kwaakernak again explained their activities (with six sessions, occupying the entire weekend prior to the main SAMPE conference, including a visit to the Musée des Arts et Métiers) and introduced the two winners of the technical paper presentations. These were: Rajivsan Luchoo, U of Nottingham – on Automated carbon composite charge deposition for automotive body structures; plus Dirk Lukaszewics, ACCIS, U of Bristol, on Modeling of the automated layup process. Of course all students are invited to participate in the full SAMPE conference as well, making quite a long event for them.
Conference organizer Mark Erath later provided some interesting conference statistics. Of 231 registrations (slightly more than last year), 167 were from Europe, 41 from the Americas, 22 from Asia. Moreover, 128 of these were from industry, 65 from universitities, and four from official bodies. SAMPE also invited 21 students, with 12 additional external students. Next year the same two-day format is planned, with dates of 26-27 March. It may not be too soon to mark your calendars.
As noted, from the last Journal issue and condensed from info byTony Green. The event was held in a new venue, the Avenue Convention Centre in Airport City, adjacent to Ben Gurion Airport. It was sponsored by Aerospheres Inc, the Israel Agents for Airtech International, M.C.Gill Corporation, Alcore, Park Electrochem Group and Aero Consultants AG, plus Ornigon, the Israel agents for Evonik Industries. An exhibition was held in parallel with the conference with displays from material suppliers and local composites manufacturers.
The Conference was opened by Dr. Tony Green and Hagit Levy, the joint chairpersons of Israel SAMPE, with a summary of the membership status of SAMPE Europe and Israel. Brief welcomes also came from Jacob Asif of Aerospheres and Aviad Aronson of Ornigon.The technical program began with a review of developments in nanotubes and mechanics by Professor Danny Wagner of the Weizmann Institute. This very thoughtful present was entitled 'A Guide to the Perplexed'. Next was David De Silva, of Airtech Europe, on development of new high temperature composite tooling based on benzoxazine resin matrices. This was followed by Uwe Lang form Evonik who described new methods for designing sandwich structure to improve process economics during production. Ido Abramovitch of Israel Military Industries, Givon, then described the use of nano fillers and fibre surface modification to improve the properties of ablative PAN/phenolic composites.
After a short break, Rick Price from Park Electrochemical Corp., presented on the progress of the use of shared composite databases via the Agate, NCAMP and NADCAP programmes. 45 aerospace companies are now members of NCAMP, with support of the FAA. Dr. Alexander Roth of Evonik then described how Rohacell foam core could be used for designing efficient structures and manufacturing processes. Next, Yoav Steckelman of Israel Aerospace Industries spoke on the significance of reinforcement fabric permeability measurements for assessment of liquid composite moulding processes. He was the SAMPE, Israel student at the SAMPE, Europe Conference in Paris in April 2010, and this was a repeat of his student conference presentation. He concluded with a review of the 2010 SAMPE Student and SEICO conferences and the parallel JEC Exhibition. Dr. Jens Kaerger of Aero Consultants AG then described uses and applications for Hysol syntactic foam materials. The final paper was from Lior Zilberman of Cyclone-Elbit on the development of composite propellers for UAV's. They met or exceeded design and performance parameters for the parts they replaced and were significantly cheaper as a bonus. The conference ended with an exhibition visit and a late lunch for the 357 attendees.
The Swiss SAMPE Technical Conference took place 26 January, 2011. Dr. Jochen Mueller reports that the biannual event, the 5th in the series, was held at the ETH in Zurich. He notes that it occurs every two years, alternating with bridge building contests for students in January.
The framing topic of the conference was “THE INDUSTRIALIZATION OF ADVANCED COMPOSITES THROUGH TEXTILE TECHNOLOGY“.
The topic was chosen due to the vast potential of advanced composites, which will be manifested once the level of industrialization has exceeded the present one, limiting their application to high end markets. Changes are imminent as the composite industry has finally reached a turning point. Several Swiss and European companies are on the way to semi or fully automated production processes bringing reliable, high performance, light and cost effective composite components to market. Common to most of these is the key role of textile technologies. Switzerland, with its traditional and still powerful textile industry can play a significant role in the ongoing efforts to exploit the full potential of advanced composites.
The conference reviewed the key textile technologies, but also showed examples of production processes already industrialized.
Prominent speakers from Germany and Switzerland gave papers on: Increasing functionality of "textile" composites; Textile Technologies and Preform Manufacturing for Advanced Composites; Analysis and process simulations of textile structures; Innovative Preform Technologies For Thermally Conductive Fiber Reinforced Plastics; and MPT Multi Parallel Technology: Repeatability in serial production through textile automation. In addition students presented their research projects within a competition.
Two winners were chosen by a jury to represent Switzerland at SEICO 11 in Paris. The conference was a full success with many lively discussions during the breaks. Excerpts of the papers will be available shortly on the homepage of SAMPE Switzerland.
Traditionally, the “composites” year here begins with the SAMPE Benelux Students Meeting. The event, organised for the ninth time, was held in Ghent (Belgium) and started with a visit to Acrosoma (Lokeren, Belgium). After a keynote lecture by Alexander Verhuizen from ASCO, nine students from five different universities presented their research to a jury of SAMPE Benelux industrial members.
The abstracts of the students are collected in a Book of Abstracts that can be downloaded from the SAMPE Benelux website (www.sampe-benelux.org). Sjoerd Hooning (Delft University of Technology) and Svetlana Verbruggen (Vrije Universiteit Brussel) were selected to represent the Benelux at the SAMPE Europe Students Meeting in Paris. Report by Dr. Richard Loendersloot.
SAMPE Europe was very proud to present a completely new event recently - the first SAMPE Symposium on Automation in Composites Technology. It took place 9 - 10 June, at Munich's huge modern trade fair center, in parallel with Automatica, the 4th International Messe for Automation and Mechatronics. This recently created exposition itself occupied four large halls, including several composites exhibits, and draws ca 32,000 visitors every two years.
One might in fact term SEMAT 2010 an “innovation applied to conferences”, since automation of composites production is currently a hot and demanding topic. SAMPE Europe utilized this opportunity to stage a highly relevant new event comprising seven sessions and twenty-five papers, with themes such as: needs and technologies from different markets, textile preforming, applications and lessons learned, specific technologies for automation, thermoplastics, fiber placement techniques, and the automation process chain.
SAMPE Europe President Bruno Beral kicked off the conference with a welcome and wish for a highly productive two days, organizer Mark Erath added pertinent announcements, and Prof. Klaus Drechsler, SEMAT organizing committee, noted that the intent was to bring composites to automation – and vice versa.
The Keynote address by NASA's Mark Shuart focused on space applications, addressing “Advanced composite structures and materials technologies for launch vehicles”. Using shrouds and fairings on the Ares V launch vehicle as examples, the talk focused on weight and risk reduction, damage tolorance, materials downselection and the building block approach. Huge 10 meter diameter carbon barrels have been built (payload bay fairings) using CAPRI technology (Controlled Atmospheric Pressure Resin Infusion) with special resins selected for their long outlife, due to the size of the structures. The intent was to avoid autoclave use, due again to parts size. Various TRL's (Technology Readiness Levels) were also presented in connection with this substantial NASA effort. Mr. Shuart's point in closing: composites manufacturing automation is no longer optional; it has become a requirement.
As part of full conference registration, tasty lunch choices were offered – along with a memorable evening reception and dinner at Munich's sprawling “Residenz”, a large historic castle directly in the city center, dating from the 1300s and home of Bavarian kings and governments since the the late 1500s. Following a welcome by Bavaria's deputiy minister for economics and infrastructure, along with SAMPE's Bruno Beral, the dinner began. The elegant ambiance (with guitar duo) and meal were outstanding; a perfect venue to encourage relaxed and effective networking.
As conference organizer Mark Erath observed in closing, SAMPE Europe was quite pleased with the results of this first effort. Since the Automatica trade fair iteslf is biennial, the second SAMPE SEMAT conference is tentatively planned for June 2012. But we hope to see you at various SAMPE events - in Europe and elsewhere - many times before that.
Editor's note: featured here is a review of SAMPE Europe's recent Fall technical conference, SETEC 04/-09, held in Bristol, UK. There have been three such events since 2006 – in Toulouse, Madrid and Augsburg. SAMPE Europe and UK teamed up to organize this one, which surprised many, with a lovely venue, superb keynote, interesting technical tours, and excellent attendance.
SETEC 09 FILTON
...took place September 17-18, 2009, in the gently rolling countryside north of Bristol and the famous Filton aerodrome, long a center for the British aerospace industry. The elegant venue was the restored Victorian mansion Tortworth Court, with a maze of 190 rooms plus conference facilities set on a magnificent 30 acre estate boasting an arboretum of over 300 rare and protected trees; quite something to see and experience.
Themed as “High Performance Composites for a Changing World“, this SAMPE Europe technical conference – together with a large roomfull of accompanying exhibits – informed on the latest achievements in aerospace and other industries, regarding advanced materials and processes, design, applications, testing, simulation and more. A total of 22 papers from industry, R&D centers, universities and institutes were presented in five sessions. Speakers enjoyed free registration and for the first time SAMPE Europe offered a highly inclusive full board package, along with the plant tour to the Airbus Filton works.
SAMPE Europe President Luigi “Gino” Torre welcomed attendees, complimenting the organizing committee on arranging a great program, plus the choice of a uniquilly appealing venue. He noted it has been a trying economic year, and overcoming such challenges will require high technology, competitiveness, creation of new markets, and that conferences like SETEC will help by showing the most recent advances in advanced M&P. Moreover, the friendly environment SAMPE creates will assist in building new relationships and business. He also pointedly thanked the several sponsors (listed later).
The conference began with a lively keynote address delivered by Iain Gray, head of the UK Technology Strategy Board (TSB). Speaking on “The Business of Shaping the Future: the High Performance Composites Industry” he described the government – industry interface as seen mainly in the UK. The TSB's aim and purpose is to drive innovation. Emphasizing the country's environmental concerns, the fast moving overview included numerous composites-oriented technology programs with imaginative, often amusing acronyms, e.g. OASIS (Out of Autoclave Simulation of Induced Stress), IpsoFACTo (re engines and their environmental impact), ACLAIM, HIRECAR etc, and of course the UK's own Next Generation Composite Wing. The idea is to “connect and catalyze” in order to inspire innovation. Notably, he stressed that composites are one of four key technology areas the UK has identified as absolutely necessary to develop further and faster.
Session 1 then addressed Advances in Manufacturing Processes, with papers on waterjet machining, carbon composites for low cost UAVs, novel one-shot aircraft manufacturing concepts, and opportunities for automation of future commercial aircraft structures.
The standup buffet lunches and coffee breaks enabled participants to browse the surprising number of exhibits. Many were substantially more than tabletops. Standing rather than being seated at tables also made it easy to move about and network. During these periods the exhibits area was a beehive of activity. Session 2, on Lightweight Material Developments, followed lunch and included talks on next generation carbon fiber, simulation of thermoplastic forming, damage tolerant composites via in-situ polymerized thermoplastics, plus experimental (and exotic) foldcores – sometimes considered “high-tech origami”
Highlight of the first afternoon was a very substantive visit to the AIRBUS Filton plant. Attendees were bussed to the historic Filton aerodrome (home of the Concorde, among other famous aircraft) where we were privileged to inspect not one but three specific present day composites-related Airbus activities: the A400M wing assembly facility (several wings in production), the Assembly Development Center (Europe's ALCAS program wing assembly ongoing) along with the Composites Development Center, where various innovative manufacturing methods are being explored.
Following return from the Filton visit was a reception that preceded the tasty conference dinner, with its ample networking opportunities. SAMPE Europe conference organizer Mark Erath arose to interject a serious note on the challenges of conferencing in the current trying business climate. He also extended a specific welcome several Russian and Ukrainian attendees, expressing the hope that Eastern and Western Europe would continue to expand their cooperative ties. SAMPE Europe President Gino Torre then took the floor to say how pleased he was with the conference in general, the good turnout in particular - and then sprang a surprise, announcing that our next Fall technical conference, SETEC 2010, would take place in the coastal city of Brindisi Italy, with it's Mediterranean flair and Italian charm, as he ably pointed out. (Gino is Italian, of course). Many are already looking forward to this experience.
The second day began with Session 3, on Sandwich Structures. Papers included approaches to automating complex sandwich panel production, plus the potential for high performance PEEK foldcores. Session 4 dealt with Novel Applications, with composites and modeling tools for lighter AFVs, the technical and political problems of making structural composites for the automotive industry, a revolution in hybrid manufacture, and composite wing spar development for the A350 XWB.
Following lunch, the second keynote address was given by Bob Johns, of the TWI Composites Network. His topic was A Perspective on the Future of Non-Aerospace High Performance Composites. He compared UK, European composites shipments, and signposted UK composites R&D capabilities. Conclusion: aerospace will continue to lead but other sectors – especially renewable energy – need to follow that lead. Vertical integration of the supply chain will also expand, while skills and innovation are becoming the differentiator on the world stage.
The final Session 5 addressed Out of Autoclave Processing. Papers were presented on automated liquid resin molding, “No Pressure!”, manufacturing process simulation tools for faster industrialization of composite parts, and automatic application of liquid mould agents in an aerospace environment.
In closing, SAMPE UK President Andrew Long acclaimed SETEC 08 a highly successful event with a great Airbus plant tour,140 attendees (including exhibitors) and specifically thanked Roy McCarthy and Mark Erath.
He also expressed gratitude to the organizing committee, the attendees themeselves, and of course the sponsers: Airbus, HITCO/SGL, Toho Tenax, GKN Aerospace and Xperion.
It might be noted in hindsight, the continued economic turmoil makes it challenging to attract significant attendance. But in this case at Bristol, it was “mission accomplished”.