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A fully-integrated composite part design solution

News International-French

10 Aug 2011

As the standard in the aerospace industry, the CATIA V5 Composites Design solution is already in use at major aircraft manufacturers and suppliers for developing largely composites-based new-generation aircraft.

(Published on April 2006 – JEC Magazine #24)





CATIA V5 Composites Design is an advanced process-centric solution that allows companies from the aerospace, automotive, shipbuilding and consumer-goods industries to reduce the time needed to design even the most complex composite parts. This solution can significantly improve the process and almost double the design staff’s capacity. It delivers tools to cover both the preliminary and detailed design phases while taking into account, even at the concept stage, the product’s requirements for its manufacturability. Thanks to powerful synchronization mechanisms, CATIA composite applications include the essential link between engineering design and physical manufacturing; this allows manufacturing and engineering designers to collaborate closely.


A specification-driven design approach


These composite applications form a process-centric solution for designing composite parts. It delivers all the tools needed to ensure compliance with best practices in composite part design. Based on CATIA’s experience in the high-tech composites domain, as well as on the latest V5 technologies, these applications deliver an intuitive, specification-driven solution that helps the user concentrate on the design, not on the tools.


CATIA composite applications support all types of composite configurations. They can manage complex designs with multi-part geometries, such as T-shaped parts, core-stiffened parts, and stiffeners, more easily than standard composite design solutions.


Manufacturing parameter management early in the design process


Detailed producibility checking enables users to predict how composite materials will behave on complex surfaces. Users can visualize fibre orientations, predict manufacturing problems such as wrinkles or bridges, and take corrective action in the initial stages of design, eliminating costly change orders and ensuring a producible part. Producibility checking is done directly from the Computer Aided Design (CAD) model to generate accurate flat patterns according to ply characteristics and fibre behaviour. As an option, composite designers can extend existing fibre simulation features with proven lay-up technology from external partners. Benefiting from 15 years of fibre simulation research, development and experience, this technology is already widely used by composite engineers worldwide and enables designers to perform advanced fibre simulations on the most complex parts.





Powerful synchronization/collaboration mechanisms with detailed design ensure true associativity/consistency between engineering design and physical manufacturing, and allow suppliers to collaborate closely with OEMs in the composite design process.


Supporting all composite manufacturing processes


Thanks to Dassault Systèmes’ partnerships, CATIA composite applications offer a complete integration with major production systems. Airbus Cimpa, Magestic Systems Inc., ESI Group, and MTorres deliver a complete offering based on V5 that addresses all composite manufacturing techniques, ranging from nesting, cutting, and tape-laying programming to fibre placement automation to resin transfer modelling.


Scalable CATIA V5 composites portfolio
The CATIA composite solution consists of three applications:
- CATIA – Composite Engineering 2 (CPE) – for preliminary and engineering detailed design.
- CATIA – Composite Design for Manufacturing 2 (CPM) – for manufacturing detailed design.
- CATIA – Composite Design 3 (CPD), the all-in-one solution to cover the complete design and manufacturing process.


Two major manufacturers of machines for composite tape laying and fibre placement, Cincinnati Lamb and Ingersoll, joined the CAA V5 adopter community this year to extend the range of composite machine support. This ensures that Composites Design can be used by any company, regardless of the manufacturing process or the machine provider.


These composite applications take advantage of the CATIA V5 infrastructure. One example is the specific V5 relational design change management capabilities, which use automatic updates to reduce the impact of changes to the design-to-manufacturing process. This ability avoids the need to restart the full design phase, saving time and expenses. Another example is the ability to create and reuse rules instantiated in stacking sequences to take into account industrial standards and corporate know-how.



As a strategic solution for Dassault Systèmes, CATIA composite products benefit from heavy research investments, in particular for the geometric modeller. In future, these products will include the latest modelling technologies. Finally, the company will continue to expand its winning partnership programme with leading companies to provide its customers with the best solution on the market for composite part design and manufacturing.