Carrington Textiles
Inside Textiles

Free membership

Receive our weekly Newsletter
and set tailored daily news alerts.


Samba FPP system for Leonardo

Automating the lay-up of multi-material composites and complex-shaped parts.

15th April 2022

Innovation in Textiles
 |  Rome


Cevotec has successfully commissioned a Samba Pro Prepreg system based on fibre patch placement (FPP) technology for Leonardo, the global aerospace, defence and security company headquartered in Rome, Italy.

The adoption of FPP to Leonardo’s portfolio of automation technologies expands  the company’s capabilities and strengthens its role as an innovation leader in the field of composite aerostructures.

Cevotec’s Samba systems are particularly suited for automating the lay-up of multi-material composites and complex-shaped parts. The range of components meets the requirements of urban air mobility applications (UAM) as well as complex sandwich structures for commercial aircraft.

The Samba Pro Prepreg system was commissioned at the beginning of March after a year of designing, developing and finally installing the system at one of Leonardo’s production facilities in Italy.

It is the first FPP system featuring two six-axis robots for tool manipulation and patch placement. Using a six-axis pick and place robot for the patch placement operation significantly increases the ability to process larger and even more complex part geometries.

The gripper attached to the placement robot can place patches across 90° edges as well as on biaxially curved surfaces, without negative draping effects. The pick and place robot enables further extensions of the system with additional placement features such as rolling motion. This increases the degree of freedom for placing patches on challenging surface geometries, including honeycomb cores.

Equipped with advanced process monitoring, the system ensures that only 100% in-spec raw material is processed. The two in-process vision inspection systems for quality control check the geometrical accuracy of each patch as well as the position on the placement gripper. With its advanced material cooling the Samba system can process a various range of fibre material such as carbon and glass fibres – both in dry fibre and prepreg configurations -–and other technical materials like adhesives. The ultrasonic cutting unit features a cutting head from GFM Austria that improves the cutting performance significantly, especially for prepreg material, enabling patches with an areal weight of up to 300gsm to be precisely cut from the fibre tape.

“The system commissioned at Leonardo is the most advanced Samba Pro system to date,” said Dimitrios Sikoutris of Cevotec. “FPP has a big potential for aerospace manufacturing, and we are happy to advance this technology and develop new applications together with such an experienced partner.”

Latest Reports

Business intelligence for the fibre, textiles and apparel industries: technologies, innovations, markets, investments, trade policy, sourcing, strategy...

Find out more