Honeycomb Panels on Demand

In a complex satellite sandwich panel more than 800 inserts can be found. RUAG Space is upfront in the automated insert placement
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In the design of spacecraft structures weight and stiffness are critical design parameters and as a result composite sandwich panels are often used. In a complex satellite sandwich panel more than 800 inserts (to mount equipment) can be found. A typical communication satellite has more than 5000 inserts. Up until now the space industry has been using manual processes to place these inserts.

With a revolutionary new and patented insert as well as with an Automated Potting Machine (APM) RUAG Space has been able to automate the process of insert placement into composite sandwich panels for satellites. As a result manufacturing time and costs can be reduced significantly.

RUAG Space sets the benchmark in delivery time for design to spec or design to print honeycomb panels.

Challenges Solutions
  • Spacecraft structures should be light and stable
  • Automated insert placement instead of manual processes
Technologies Customer Values
  • Automated Potting Machine
  • Quick delivery
  • High flexibility (production within 1 day)
  • High production capabilities (up to 15 panels per day)

SUCCESS STORY: Up to 15 panels per day

With the Automated Potting Machine (APM) and a new and patented insert RUAG Space has been able to automate the process of insert placement into composite sandwich panels for satellites. Manual labor has been removed from the manufacturing process resulting in lower throughput times and higher quality. As a result the manufacturing lead time will be reduced by around one month, which depending on the spacecraft can save between 0,5 and 1 Million US dollar.

Up to 15 satellite panels per day, less errors

For many years the space industry has been using composite sandwich panels with manually placed inserts as a standard. The RUAG Space innovation allows to reduce significantly the throughput time and total cost of composite sandwich panels, whilst at the same it increases flexibility for customers to modify insert patterns late in the process. In addition, the automated process will eliminate the potential for errors linked to manual processes and increase the precision of the insert location. As a result of this technology RUAG today has a capacity of up 15 satellite panels (three satellite structures) per day and sets the benchmark in the industry.

Up to 1500 Inserts per day

In the design of spacecraft structures weight and stiffness are critical design parameters and as a result composite sandwich panels are often used. In one complex satellite sandwich panel more than 800 inserts (to mount equipment) can be found. A typical communication satellite has more than 5000 inserts. Up until now the space industry has been using manual processes to place these inserts. RUAG Space can place up to 1500 inserts per day.

Less weight saves money

In addition, the new process requires less potting compound to glue the insert into the panel resulting in less launch mass. This saves money, since every kilogram to be carried into space costs many thousand dollars.

Interested? For more information please contact:
Niklas Boman, Director Marketing & Sales Spacecraft
T: +41 79 77 07 107
Email
niklas.boman@ruag.com