Digital Technology for Composite Industry

Composites are known to human for last 5000 years. We are still developing science of it. Every industrial revolution has brought new dimensions to composite industry. Sometimes efforts were made to develop new manufacturing processes and new type of materials. Industry 4.0 is focussing on digitalisation of product lifecycle so that they can be designed, manufactured and maintained efficiently and with very less environmental impact.

Composite industry is lagging in digitalisation because of two main reasons. First is the complexity of engineering and manufacturing processes and second is the complexity of data interaction within different stakeholders. During life cycle of composite development, multiple streams of engineering and physics play role. Many stakeholders add value to it, in its own format. This leads to requirement of common platform which can generate, store and reproduce data at different phases of composite development.

3DEXPERIENCE a platform developed by DASSAULT SYSTEMES provides very efficient platform for managing Composite development. 3DEXPERIENCE platform can host different tools required for Composite development i.e. CATIA for composite 3D modelling, SIMULIA for finite element analysis, DELMIA for manufacturing simulation and ENOVIA for managing data generated during composite development.

One of the key advantage of this platform is efficient data transfer between 3D Composite geometry and finite element analysis. Conventionally any design change created in 3D Composite geometry leads to very time consuming and error prone process of redefining same changes in finite element analysis tools. 3DEXPERIENCE has solved this problem by making 3D Composite geometry directly readable in 3DEXPERIENCE Composite Finite Element analysis tools. This makes sure exact same composite data is fed into finite element analysis tool reducing the time required for manual data migration and avoiding error.

Another advantage 3DEXPERIENCE brings is different type of Composite Finite Element Analysis models. 3DEXPERIENCE allows us to develop Microscopic, Macroscopic and Mixed Composite model for finite element analysis which allows us to validate composite design in very complex and realistic scenarios.

Material data plays important role during each phase of composite development, as it has to carry information from about three different streams i.e. 3D Modelling Data, Physical Properties and Manufacturing Simulation Properties. 3DEXPERIENCE platform works as a single source of truth and makes sure material properties are maintained on corporate level and properties shared by Engineering, Manufacturing and Simulation team are the same. This takes care of compliance requirement by OEM’s.

Composite Manufacturing is another stream of Composite industry which is evolving with very rapid pace. Many new manufacturing processes are getting developed. DASSAULT SYSTEMES is working with composite industry leaders to support this evolution. 3DEXPERIENCE platform hosts very interactive simulation tools for Hand Layup, Composite Forming, Composite tape laying and Composite Braiding. There is no match for 3DEXPERIENCE platform when it comes to Simulation of composite manufacturing as it supports all main composite manufacturing processes. 3DEXPERIENCE platform embeds Composite Fibre Modeller algorithms which helps manufacturers predict behaviour of composite fibre on tooling surface. This technology helps to predict flattened shape of the plies very accurately reducing waste of composite material.

Another technology supported by 3DEXPERIENCE for composite manufacturing simulation is laser projection. Laser Projection simulation technology allows manufacturer to simulate shop floor set up digitally so that efficient set up can be managed on the shop floor to reduce downtime. Managing composite related data on shop floor is another challenge faced by manufacturers. 3DEXPERIENCE platform now can host cost and labour related data for various composite manufacturing processes to plan shop floor activities so that optimum utilisation of resources can be achieved.

3DEXPERIENCE platform has brought new dimensions to digital composite technology by providing solutions to many challenges faced by composite industry.


Kedar Upadhye

Enthusiast of Digital Composite Technology

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Kedar Upadhye

29th June


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