Increase success rates through optimized concepts and proposals, and know how to deliver it.
The pressure is on and it’s coming from every angle. The Aerospace & Defense industry faces growth in space, a huge backlog of commercial orders and increased spending in defense. Original Equipment Manufacturers and large suppliers demand greater efficiency from their suppliers. New competition in the form of manufacturers in emerging BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) economies – made more agile by the latest technological innovations – wait hungrily in the wings, ready to replace those who fail to deliver.
In short, to thrive the industry must deliver more advanced aircraft, defense systems and space vehicles, in less time and at lower cost than ever before.
And yet, according to the paper, ‘Improve program execution with integrated simulation' by Lifecycle Insights, a Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) analyst study states that only 18% of all Aerospace & Defense programs and projects are delivered on time without disruptive shifts in resources. The study shows that increased failures during prototype testing result in a decreased likelihood of launching programs on time. The conclusion: better insight into product and systems performance is “desperately needed earlier in the program cycle”.
So, how do companies improve program execution and first-time quality without compromising on quality and requirements? The answer is found in an enterprise digital 'makeover' that unites the many specialized disciplines needed to convert an idea into a 3D model. This model can be simulated, tested, refined and experienced, all in a virtual environment. Having a digital makeover provides the potential to balance all three critical legs of the quality, cost and time ‘stool’.
Applying simulation throughout the lifecycle
The Lifecycle Insights paper proposes an optimal combination: “The right mix of specialist and integrated simulation technologies can make a powerful difference… In concept design, these tools help define feasible bounds of performance. In contract bidding, they enable better-informed teams to bid more accurately, thus protecting profits. In detailed design, they provide engineers guidance on daily decisions, so that designs are more likely to pass prototyping and testing the first time. Even in prototyping and testing, simulation allows teams to understand secondary and tertiary failure modes… Simulation Intelligence systems provide insight across all types of analysis results plotted against different item configurations. Simulation data management tracks it all, managing files and configurations.”
This holistic approach to simulation – recognizing its huge value in verification and validation – and applying it throughout the entire lifecycle of the program, is where forward-thinking companies are heading.
Harnessing the power of collaboration
Simulation isn’t the only digital application offering major potential for an enterprise digital makeover. Platform-driven digital collaboration applications make it possible for teams across an enterprise or their extended enterprise to optimize designs and streamline processes while keeping a firm eye on costs.
Witness the success story of the Airbus A350 XWB program.
Airbus programs suffered from duplication and lack of visibility because each location maintained its own digital mock-up and worked separately. This lack of communication extended design time and introduced errors that drove up costs.
Once Airbus put its development platforms under the single Dassault Systèmes ENOVIA application, its employees and extended enterprise accessed all relevant data and information in real-time, thereby reducing engineering change orders and keeping the A350 XWB program on course.
In addition to ENOVIA, Airbus uses a range of Dassault Systèmes’ apps for design, simulation and manufacturing on the 3DEXPERIENCE® platform. The platform became the core enabler for the A350 XWB program credited by the company for meeting the maiden flight date.
“We had many challenges including a very aggressive development schedule and the need to ramp up production quickly to satisfy our delivery commitments,” explained Didier Evrard, Executive VP and Head of the A350 XWB Program.
“With 3DEXPERIENCE ®, our design quality and efficiency have considerably improved… We used CATIA to design the aircraft’s structure, the installation systems, the tubing, the composites parts, and the electrical systems completely in 3D,” added Evrard.
“With SIMULIA, we transitioned from an approximate, linear analysis approach to a more accurate, non-linear analysis, which gives us a deeper understanding of how the structure really performs in a given situation."
“Making the A350 XWB possible presented tremendous technical, technological and organizational challenges due to the complexity of the program and the number of outsourced stakeholders. But with Dassault Systèmes’ solutions, we introduced harmony in our processes, methods and tools, and saved precious time that we spent, instead, on innovation.