In almost all industrial sectors handling processes are automated through the use of robotic systems. However, in the production of fiber-reinforced structures with complex geometries, the handling of dry, pre-impregnated semi-finished textiles is still performed mainly manually resulting in long processing times, low reproducibility and high manufacturing costs. The scope of the project AutoHD is to fully automate the draping and handling process of complex, three-dimensional fiber composite structures with high degrees of deformation and multiaxial curvature. Upcoming draping defects need to be detected early during the draping process in order to be able to take countermeasures and thus to meet strict requirements. Therefore, non-destructive inline inspection systems are integrated directly into the handling system. However, such integration does not allow the use of molding press tools but requires the use of mechanisms for draping the textile.
In this context, this contribution is concerned with the design of mechanisms as used with an end-effector for the automation task. Therefore, a demonstrator part was specified representing common challenges of draping including varying edges and curves of different radii. Analyses of the required draping movements provide information on the motion task and the resulting requirements. Based on that, the discoveries of systematic type syntheses of translational manipulators are employed to find feasible mechanisms. In order to reduce the solution field, selection criteria are developed and a detailed evaluation is carried out. A subsequent task-oriented dimensional synthesis is performed to analyze the remaining structures and to assess their suitability for their integration into the overall system design.