Kaman estimates that Vistagy's FiberSIM will enable it to reduce ply development time from 180 to 40 hours, a saving of 78%, and average part lay-up time from 32 to 20 hours, a saving of 38%.

Kaman Helicopters, an OEM and provider of rotor blades and major subcontract assemblies, components and detail parts, selected FiberSIM because defining ply flat patterns for each ply in a composite design was taking too much time. By implementing FiberSIM, the firm expects to reduce the hours required for ply development and lay-up, streamline its manufacturing process, and eventually eliminate the use of Mylar patterns.

Kaman is using the software to define flat patterns as well as generate data to drive its laser projection system.

"Working with composites is extremely time-consuming and tedious," says Tim Bates, general manager of Kaman Helicopters' Blade Center of Excellence and Subcontract Product Group. "By adopting FiberSIM, we expect to be able to automate non-value added tasks to achieve significant productivity gains, improve overall part quality and repeatability and increase our throughput."

Kaman Helicopters, a division of Kaman Aerospace Corporation (NASDAQ-GS: KAMN), is using FiberSIM within its Siemens NX computer-aided-design (CAD) system.