The Aerospace & Defense industry performs an exceedingly delicate balancing act between production and demand. Excess capacity lowers margins while insufficient capacity can cost millions in lost revenue. As a result, manufacturers focus on dynamically matching their production rates with market pressures – simultaneously striving to improve first time quality, lower costs and ensure on-time delivery.

How should Aerospace and Defense companies optimize their manufacturing planning and execution to match market demand and enhance production agility?

Embracing digital technologies

Thanks to the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), new technologies can combine the physical, digital and biological worlds. This changes the way A&D companies conceive, design and build products. It is possible to share 3D models across your enterprise and supply chain and communicate in real-time with no language barriers. Embracing this awesome new technological power can positively change a company’s future. Read more about the future factory.

The manufacturing landscape faces dramatic change. Creating and capturing value in this new environment requires aerospace companies to not just understand what’s driving these changes, but also grasp just how consequential a role digital transformation will play in determining their future.

Anthony C. Velocci, Jr. > Dassault Systèmes
Anthony C. Velocci, Jr.
former Editor in Chief, Aviation Week & Space Technology

Moving to the future

“Manufacturing traditionally has been thought of as a process that turns raw materials into physical products, and the factory as the structure where manufacturing happens,” Velocci adds. “Today the pervasive expansion of sensors and the Internet of Things (IoT), not to mention ever more demanding customers, are driving the transformation… Layered on top of this shift is the convergence of robotics, materials science and additive manufacturing, which are revolutionizing what can be manufactured and how.”

Wireless sensors in manufacturing equipment, processes and products provide real-time shop floor information – fueling predictive analysis for those few remaining humans required to oversee the product lifecycle.

This new digital infrastructure encompasses old analog tasks and machine operations, while shifting the manufacturing process from isolated silos to integrated systems that work right across domains, hierarchical boundaries and lifecycle phases. Breaking down information silos fosters cross-functional cooperation, so everybody involved in a project can immediately access and use information as it becomes available. This reduces wasted resources from not having the right data at the right time – therefore leading to productivity gains.

Implementing the future factory

Advancement in the areas of robotics, technology, automation and artificial intelligence are defining the new manufacturing era. 

Your production system should provide a foundation to collaboratively model, simulate, operate and optimize your manufacturing. In addition, your company needs to ensure that its systems possess the automated means to secure sensitive product data and processes that underpin your market offering, as well as protect customer data. Those systems will also need to manage the flow of regulated data that meets, for example, the United States International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) and other export regulations.

The 3DEXPERIENCE® platform connects the dots to enable an agile production rate with quality goals. It connects planning to the shop floor through a “virtual twin” to anticipate issues, and take proactive actions. It offers the traceability of all engineering requirements and manufacturing specifications so they are included in manufacturing planning.

By founding your own ‘Future Factory’, you are able to:

  • Improve decision-making – staying on budget and on time through 360 degree planning, simulation and instant insights.
  • Enhance manufacturing quality and planning – meeting budget targets and contract deadlines.
  • Integrate your suppliers with full traceability and track quality issues in real-time.
  • Continue to strengthen your manufacturing prowess with unified change management, simplified certification and much more.

FUTURE FACTORY - A Transformation Imperative

The manufacturing landscape faces dramatic change. Creating and capturing value requires aerospace companies to understand what’s driving these changes and the role digital transformation plays in determining the future.

The 3DEXPERIENCE platform provides us with a unique platform with data references for design, delivery and maintenance. This digital continuity ties all our sites together so that everyone is working with the same and most up-to-date product information with real-time accessibility.

Pascal Tavernier
Pascal Tavernier
MEDS Project Manager

Real-world success stories in Aerospace & Defense

Some companies have taken the lead and fully embraced the digital revolution with great success.

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