[PART 1] DELMIA Helps the Aerospace Industry Meet the Challenges of Composite Manufacturing

By Christian

Hi, I’m Christian Chaplais, Senior Manager of R&D DELMIA Operations Intelligence Applications. This blog is the first of a two-part series on how  Operational Intelligence is helping the Aerospace & Defense Industry.

The Growing Footprint of Composite Materials in the Aerospace and Defense Industry

It’s an interesting concept when one thinks of composite materials. By now, you’re most likely somewhat familiar with—and may have heard about– the benefits that these combined materials, such as carbon fibers, can result in. Composite materials have become wide-spread in civil aircrafts after being used for years in the defense industry. And why not? The benefits are huge. Composite materials allow producing lightweight structures which in turn reduce fuel bills and emissions.

According to a 2014 report, Aerospace & Defense applications are now the largest consumers of carbon fiber (30% of demand) and generate 50% of global carbon fiber revenues.

Industry analysts expect an annual growth of between 8 and 13% for carbon composites revenue in the passenger aircraft segment and between 6 and 12% in the defense segment.

Development of carbon composite revenues in US$ million in A&D

View source. Amounts in US $ millions.

New Processes, New Issues

There is a variety of processes used to manufacture composite materials:

CRP market share in US$ million by manufaturing process (2013)

View source. 2013 figures.

Prepregs, which account for 37%, are reinforcement materials that are pre-impregnated (hence the term “prepreg”) with a resin. The prepregs are laid up by hand or machine onto a mold surface, vacuum bagged and then heated to typically 120-180°C /248-356°F.

Autoclaves and materials have a high cost, but because of the quality and lightness of the material obtained, prepeg layup with autoclave has been until now the primary choice for the Aerospace and Defense industry.

However, new materials bring new challenges. And one major challenge is the unexpected occurrence of defects during the manufacturing of these costly composite parts.

The prepregs require storage at a controlled temperature and present certain inherent problems (variability of the raw material, variability of the processing methods used for the prepreg rolls, sensitivity of the raw material to the prevailing temperature and humidity rate in the production environment…)

As a result, up to 20% of the parts may exhibit defects such as porosity and delamination which, albeit invisible to the naked eye, are nonetheless present in the mass. These faults weaken the resistance of a part, and when there are too many such faults, the part is discarded.

delamination

Zoom on a delamination issue at a leading edge of a wing

DELMIA Operations Intelligence offers a way round the complexity of composite manufacturing.
Find out how in my next blog post, Part 2 of “The Growing Footprint of Composite Materials in the Aerospace and Defense Industry.”

If you would like to continue the technical conversation on Operations Intelligence, go where all the experts are. Join the conversation at the DELMIA Enterprise Intelligence Community here: https://swym.3ds.com/#community:453

A View from the Ground at the Paris Air Show

By Ellen

The 51st Paris Air Show

The first two days of the Paris Air Show gave participants aerial demonstrations from the AIRBUS A350, A380 and A400M; Dassault Aviation Rafale and Falcon 8X; the Boeing 787 Dreamliner and the Patrouille de France. Also launched at the Paris Air Show, Dassault Systèmes announced Build to Operate, a new Industry Solution Experience for aerospace and defense companies that aims to maximize manufacturing operations.

Paris Air Show sign at Le Bourget

Global Manufacturing Efficiency

How does Build to Operate help manufacturers? For the past decade or so, large aviation OEMs have put a lot of effort in the design of increasingly composite aircraft. Given the growth in commercial aviation, aerospace manufacturers seek to implement more lean practices to improve program performance and equip global operations. One major way to improve performance is find a way to free data trapped in silos across the multitude of IT systems across the enterprise. Striving for lean manufacturing means having immediate access to information, removing labor intensive manual processes, and lower the risk to data integrity by eliminating the need to collect data over time and store it.

True manufacturing efficiency requires real-time data from across the enterprise. Essential to efficient and reactive manufacturing capability is the ability for all participants to work in unison, like a virtual symphony. Manufacturers must unite their global factories as one performing organization. This requires a platform that can integrate with other enterprise systems to ensure that all critical systems receive relevant shop-floor production information and support and synchronize global operations.

Build to Operate Provides Global Visibility and Control

Build to Operate helps both aerospace Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) and large suppliers increase program efficiency and quality. Based on DELMIA Apriso, the solution offers Manufacturing Operations Management (MOM) capabilities to monitor, control and validate all aspects of manufacturing. This frees up manufacturers to focus on more strategic operations.

Manufacturing Operations Management includes a wide range of functions, but one major advantage is that it allows manufacturers to make fully informed decisions because they enjoy a full view of operations. A lack of visibility can have serious impact to manufacturing operations, so Control Center for complete oversight – especially across the extended enterprise. Because if you are unable to see where you are headed, the likelihood of making a decision that can adversely impact global support and synchronization is a real consideration, with real-world consequences.
Instant visibility on all levels of productivity—plant, line, station, cell and individual— is a critical enabler for continuous improvement. ‘Build to Operate’ brings this capability to existing production lines and accelerates the ramp-up of new lines to reach optimal rate. By receiving all required data, plant managers can view, control and execute automated manufacturing operations through sensors in real time.

The Build to Operate solution offers the ability to monitor, control and validate all aspects of global manufacturing operations – all with digital precision. These capabilities range from replicable processes and production sequences, to the flow of deliverables throughout their supply chain.

Having these competencies allows manufacturers to manage global material supplies, logistics execution and production operations in one site and then execute across all global sites. Visibility into operations (both within a single plant and across all plants) results in better alignment with business performance targets, including WIP and Labor.

Enable the Future Factory Today

Build to Operate increases the efficiency of manufacturers’ existing lines and accelerates the production ramp up of new ones to enable future factory innovations, today. Michel Tellier, Vice President, Aerospace & Defense Industry, Dassault Systèmes explains,

Aerospace companies implementing this ‘factory of the future’ today can expect benefits that include as much as a 25 percent reduction in errors, 20 percent less waste and up to a 15 percent improvement in first-time quality.”

factory Scene_01_cropAnother announcement at the Paris Air Show was Air Bus Helicopter sharing its objective for the solution.

“We adopted Dassault Systèmes’ Build to Operate industry solution experience to improve manufacturing execution for our existing and future helicopters programs,” said Jean-Luc Sturlèse, Vice President, Production Flows Management, Airbus Helicopters. “By tightly unifying engineering with our change management process, and by implementing lean processes like just-in-time processing and paperless manufacturing, we aim to improve quality and accelerate production while lowering program costs.”

Read more about Build to Operate for aerospace and defense companies: http://www.3ds.com/industries/aerospace-defense/build-to-operate/

Ellen MondroEllen Mondro

Married to aerospace & defense, I write about and develop go to market strategy for @3dsaerospace solutions. It’s an honor to work in this industry and with companies that use technology to create advancements in space, aviation and security. In my precious free time you’ll find me enjoying warm weather, watching my kids’ baseball games and spending time with family and friends.

Improve Part Search and Reuse in Aerospace & Defense Programs: The Path to Significant Productivity and Quality Improvements

By Ellen

According to industry analysts Aberdeen Group, the annual carrying costs of introducing a new part number range between $4,500 and $23,000 per item. When a designer or engineer decides to create a new part instead of searching to see whether it already exists, significant expenses can be incurred. In product development alone, new part designs have to be analyzed, validated, and prototyped, steps that can consume valuable R&D resources and delay time-to-market. Moreover, by making something new instead of utilizing tried-and-tested designs, new part development can increase the risk of problems related to quality and manufacturability.

Reusing existing parts instead of creating new is not a new problem. Most companies have put in place a system for doing so. But do companies realize the value of carrying over even small, high-volume standard parts? Carrying these parts can be astoundingly costly. For example, a large aerospace supplier discovered that 10% of the brackets required for a plane’s nose cone were identical. Reusing these parts led to 10,000 hours saved and reallocated to more high-value projects. Other savings were realized by avoiding testing, administration, sourcing, storage and other expenses. They saved about €500,000 in engineering capacity in only 2 months!

Clearly, by leveraging existing designs, every aspect of a manufacturing enterprise and extended supply chain—including product design, engineering, documentation, procurement, purchasing, manufacturing, inventory, distribution, service, sales, marketing, and management—will become more efficient, improving quality while accelerating time-to-market, which can lead to more satisfied and loyal customers.

But what’s the best way to carry over? There are a number of search applications on the market. Those based solely on shape have shortcomings, which limit their ability to meet the search needs of today’s manufacturing enterprises. Shape search packages typically support geometry searches from within the specific CAD, PLM, or software application, and fail to tap into an organization’s extended data trove of product information. Finding the CAD file is not enough, as it’s not possible to know whether that part was actually produced, or maybe only created by a student during a training period at the organization.

What’s really needed is a solution structured to search and capture information. A key aspect of Engineered to Fly, an industry solution experience for small and medium-sized aerospace companies, EXALEAD OnePart, provides the structure for users to search and capture all the relevant information to reuse parts. The powerful search capability finds the CAD file and gathers all existing part-related information no matter the format. The rich search capabilities add similarity, metadata, and semantic-linked documents and related information—through an integrated search experience that mirrors the manner in which popular Internet search engines and user-friendly ecommerce applications operate. Users throughout the organization, whether savvy with CAD technology or not, are able to quickly discover if a part exists by simply shortlisting the possible designs, comparing them, checking their similarity, navigating parent/child relationships, and assembling related documents to revitalize the product development enterprise.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

How Does OnePart Help Engineering?

Aberdeen estimates that 44% of an engineer’s time is spent searching for or recreating parts. With OnePart, designers and engineers will be more productive devoting more time to innovative new projects, delivering them faster. These productivity improvements will extend beyond product development while alleviating the informational demands on designers and engineers. Because colleagues in other departments do not need a CAD system to access data related to a part. they simply use their Web browser to quickly find any information they need to support other business functions. Users save time because it’s not necessary to contact product development for the information they need.

How does OnePart Help Manufacturing?

Incorporating an existing part that has already passed quality reviews into a new product is a “known quantity” for the manufacturing team. Personnel and manufacturing time are saved, as are time and costs incurred by tooling. These resources can be used to increase the volume of existing products or reallocated to other projects.

How does OnePart Help Procurement?

A less obvious beneficiary of reducing duplicate parts is the purchasing department. Purchasing personnel are able to search the ERP and associate its contents with documentation found in other systems. Reusing parts decreases stocking costs, leading to savings without damaging important relations with suppliers.

Engineered to Fly with EXALEAD OnePart Benefits

• Increased part reuse to speed program completion and part standardization
• Lower costs resulting from avoidance of duplicate part creation and release risk
• Higher engineering capacity to drive new innovation
• Enhanced performance to production and budget targets
• Increased quality and reduce time-to-market

Attending the Paris International Air Show? See EXALEAD OnePart featured as part the Engineered to Fly industry solution experience demonstrations.

Find out why the path to significant productivity and quality improvements starts with OnePart and Engineered to Fly. Based on the 3DEXPERIENCE platform, Engineered to Fly ensures repeatability and reusability, allowing companies to reduce the time spent on tactical proposal management and freeing them to respond to more Requests for Quotes (RFQ) and Requests for Proposals (RFP) with improved accuracy on areas such as schedule and cost.
What kind of ROI is possible with Exalead OnePart? See the savings an aerospace company might achieve in this infographic.

Click to find out more information on Dassault Systèmes involvement at the International Paris Air Show in Le Bourget.



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