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manually lay down the fibre mats – but that can present a problem. Fritz says: ‘You can cut it with a knife, for example, an electrical knife, but the problem is for this you have to lift the material a little bit, causing the projection not to match. So that is a problem with a projector; you can cut it if [a mat] is flat on a table, but if you have to lift the material by 2mm or more it is likely to cause you trouble.’ The mats are also known as plies. Workers

are given a ply book that defines in detail the exact order in which the plies should be laid up. In some areas they have up to 250 layers of different plies inside a blade mould, so it is very important that the workers know the sequence of plies. They need to know where every ply is positioned, so the projector is acting as a guiding system through the lay-up process to ensure the manufacturer can expect

efficient and high-quality production. Since the moulds for the blades are very large, several projectors are used, spaced at different points along the length of the huge mould. For areas where there can be complex geometries that lead to shadowing within the mould, two projectors are used to ensure the worker can still see what the exact outcome should be like. The accuracy is crucial because the carbon fibre stiffener mats must be located in exactly the right position for a perfect fit. ‘We show the outline contour of the fibre mat so the workers know exactly where to put that specific ply. Additionally, the complete process can be controlled via remote control,’ Fritz says. ‘Sometimes you cut inside the mould, but that is very seldom. Most of the patterns are pre-cut. Beside the outline contour, we can project information like

Since the moulds for the blades are very large, several projectors are used

Lasers project key product

information onto moulds for turbine blades to guide the manufacturing process


Z-Laser and TPI Composites

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