Special Purpose Machines
Because of the modular nature of our machines, and our extensive in-house CNC machining facilities, Aeronaut can manufacture special purpose machines based on existing components at very reasonable prices.
Examples of existing special purpose machines are:
- Ultrasonic cutters for cutting and edge sealing.
- Floor mounting cutters.
- Wide span machines for carpet cutting.
- Ultra-wide span plotters and cutters.
- Stringers or yarn laying plotters for the manufacture of membrane sails.
- Hypergrinder attachments for working with Hypalon on inflatable boats.
Aeronaut manufactures a version of the Elektron which is designed to be mounted directly to an existing work bench or the floor. For more information on this, see the Floor Mounted Cutters menu.
Floor mounted machines for carpet cutting.
The machine below is a floor mounted machine for cutting carpet. It's the full width of a roll of carpet. Of course the gantry needs to be good and stiff for this type of work, and the machine needs to be able to apply a lot of cutting force on a large diameter tool to get through the carpet. Because of the stiffness and weight of carpet, there's no need for vacuum.
Sales people measure up jobs using low cost laser measuring devices and the floor plan is calculated and the patterns nested to get a price for the customer. When the order comes through it's just a matter of getting the roll of carpet off the rack, cutting it, and loading it onto the back of a truck. A nice example of automation!
The next machine is also an extra wide-span carbon fibre gantry machine. Although it is a special purpose machine, it is actually almost main stream. The 10.5 metre wide gantry carries a specialised yarn laying head used to make string sails. These machines, commonly called stringers, are used to manufacture the membranes used on modern racing sails. Aeronaut dominates this market and has similar machines working in plants in Asia, Europe, Australia, USA, New Zealand and South Africa.
The picture below showsAeronaut's Hypergrinderattachment developed for sanding, buffing or grinding the surface coating of Hypalon fabric. Hypalon is used in high end inflatable boats, RIBS and marine gear. The surface needs removing to allow patterns to be properly bonded. Even though this is a special machine, it shows all the excellent finish of any Aeronaut product.
This next machine is also involved with carpet, but is considerably more left field. The machine draws on the loosely woven backing for carpet. Using specially developed Aeronaut tracing software, the carpet designs are scanned and vectorised. The software understands patterns and looks for symmetry where it can find it. Index numbers are generated for each colour in the design.
The drawing is done using an ink jet pen which does not contact the fabric. A conventional marker tip would drag the fabric. When the design is complete (and the 100+ MB files take a while to plot) workers with special tufting guns complete the design. Paint by numbers on an enormous scale!
If this process seems unlikely, then consider this Before the plotter was introduced, the design projected onto vertically hung stencil material and the shapes marked by hand. The stencil was then punched by hand, laid out over the backing fabric and paint brushed through the holes.