Plyable world-first for engineers with AI-powered automated mould design

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  • New automation of mould design reduces process to minutes
  • AI-powered solution delivers unmatched accuracy and precision at speed
  • Automated design is integrated into an instant quotation system and the world’s largest mould manufacturing network to provide seamless design, quote and fulfilment
  • Plyable’s automated mould design and 44% faster delivery of resulting tooling is revolutionising costly and labour-intensive processes for aerospace, automotive and marine customers

28 February Oxford, UK. Plyable, the company revolutionising composite tooling for engineers today announced the world’s first fully automated mould design process, reducing the labour-intensive step between component design and manufacturing to mere minutes.

This AI-powered processing of tooling design and the accurate quoting of mould manufacturing costs is the first of its kind in the world. The approach applies advanced technology to quickly calculate tooling prices based on designs, a task that currently requires engineering expertise. Days and hours of work can be compressed into minutes, releasing engineers to focus on value-add design work.

Plyable customer, Sam Pellows, the Managing Director at SR Structures who manufacture composite components for applications from grand prix sailing yachts to naval vessels explained, “Plyable’s innovations in automated mould design mark a significant milestone in manufacturing efficiency. By reducing lead times and engineering hours, they are transforming the way we, as a business, approach production.”

The new automated mould design process works from any .STEP file and allows design, quotation and fulfilment of precision mould manufacturing to be managed in one seamless process from plyable.com.

This latest innovation supplements Plyable’s ground-breaking global network that allows engineers to access manufacturing in 20 countries across 1,500 3 and 5-axis machines to ensure every job is matched to the best supplier to meet the engineering challenge, material, tolerance, size or lead time. This global network of quality-assured partners means precision moulds can be expedited and delivered in a far quicker and more competitive way than the traditional reliance on a small handful of local suppliers.

Martin Oughton, Plyable’s CEO said, “Plyable was founded on the objective to shift engineering in high performance areas from passenger aircraft and submarines to Formula 1 cars away from a very slow and analogue reliance on traditional mould manufacturing. We’ve achieved that by building an international network of high-calibre tooling manufacturers accessible from plyable.com to deliver speed, precision and cost-effectiveness. Today we’re announcing the next step in this journey by embracing AI to rid design engineers of another bottleneck in their workflows – the mould design process. By delivering all of this in one end-to-end system, we’ve taken the process of mould design, quotation and manufacturing fulfilment towards total automation.”

Plyable’s service is live and available to customers at plyable.com; company representatives will be demonstrating the solution next week at the JEC World composites show in Paris from 5th – 7th of March.

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JEC World Press Call

For a first hand demonstration of the Plyable system at JEC World on Tuesday March 5, Wednesday March 6 or Thursday March 7, please book an explainer session here

Backgrounder

Traditional manufacturing mould design has, until now, been a manual and time-consuming process. Engineers would need to meticulously design all the intricate details necessary for machine creation involving the import of designs into CAD software and extruding edges and refining details.

Plyable developed a proprietary method to automate this process by combining computer vision, machine learning and generative design techniques to generate a .STEP file of a mould using only the component as an input.

Lily Penrose, Plyable’s Research Software Engineer identified that engineers designing tooling encountered the same limitations in CAD software for each job. “So we designed tools that could reliably handle these challenging tasks like extending edges smoothly and repairing surfaces. Together with existing Plyable capabilities of automatic mould solution and pull direction finding, we have automated the entire process of tool design,” she explains.

Plyable is tackling common tasks which arise in parametric design (a design method that uses algorithms to shape components) through computer simulation and automation. These problems include manual handling requirements, the backing structure framework for the mould and laser targeting (which is essential for achieving high precision in complex moulds, especially when components need to meet high specifications such as aerospace tolerances).

The impact of Plyable’s automated mould design is most profound in the reduction of lead times. What was once a labour-intensive, time-consuming process is now accelerated to the point where a mould can be uploaded, evaluated, and sent to a supplier in a matter of minutes.

The automation of the design process allied to Plyable’s verified distributed manufacturing partners that constitute the largest tooling network in the world, powered by unique supply chain technology which assigns jobs to suppliers and speeds up the procurement process, results in a reduction in lead times and enables manufacturers to respond swiftly to changing demands, reduce costs, shorten production cycles and ultimately enhance the operational efficiency of drawing and procurement offices.


About Us

Plyable’s mission is to transform composite tooling for design engineers. With the largest global network of composite mould manufacturers accessed through a simple AI-powered quoting and design website, we’re enabling aerospace, automotive and marine customers to work faster at lower costs

For more information, please visit https://www.plyable.com/

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