LayupRITE: Manufacturing Support Tools for the Composites Industry

Dennis M Crowley, Carwyn Ward, Leah Rider, Paul Shakspeare, Brian Thornton, Stuart Edwards

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review


The vast majority of composite components are manufactured using some form of manual labour. This is especially true for components with any degree of geometrical complexity that requires some form of drape of cloth(s) to a mould surface. Most academic research and industrial manufacturing effort recently appear to have been dedicated more towards methods of automation, rather than supporting human operator(s) in the layup environment. Such automation has its place, but given the likelihood that some form of reliance on the human operating system in manufacturing is always required, it seems folly to entirely ignore the human aspects? This paper seeks to redress the balance somewhat, introducing an extremely agile and new layup knowhow system titled ‘LayupRITE’. Underpinned by significant volumes of research at the University of Bristol, LayupRITE is a series of software, hardware, quality, design for manufacturing (DFM), and training platforms that have been combined and deployed under the one capability. It is a system of augmenting technologies
intending to develop layup competencies, with an overall intention of de-risking the hand layup process; increasing reliability and quality. In this paper we will introduce the system, its technologies and capabilities, and show examples of its successful application in training and production environments.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)36-43
Number of pages7
JournalSampe journal
VolumeNovember/December 2019
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2019

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