During the last decade, aircraft manufacturers have been in a race for mass production, often delaying the adoption of smart digital technologies. Nowadays, the pandemic has forced them to take a step back, allowed time to prepare for the necessary structural transformations and to expand digital capabilities in order to prepare manufacturing operations for the re-start: gain agility to launch new programs faster than ever before, to reach greater levels of industrial efficiency, and to emerge from the crisis with greener and leaner processes – less scrap, more throughput, more profitability.
Investing into 4.0 technologies to extend existing digital capabilities may look like an extra financial stretch at the first glance, yet, this is mission-critical to anticipate for business recovery, for both manufacturers and suppliers. Stand-alone CAD and CAE designs using empirical and historical safety margins and traditional test-and-learn protocols relying on physical testing will be abandoned for an end-to-end digital thread that seamlessly connects product design, manufacturing, and in-service operations across. This is what we, at ESI, call Virtual Prototyping.
Virtual Prototypes empower engineers to digitally validate a design’s performance in terms of product quality, production capacity utilization, safety, and security, or in terms of operations and maintenance costs. It brings confidence about manufacturability and the most efficient manufacturing process in early development stages. Supplemented with Hybrid Twin technologies, engineers are equipped with the ability to experiment virtually with real data and real physics, simultaneously. This is the extra degree of freedom and early confidence engineers need to design, manufacture, and assemble right the first time - without real tests or prototypes, before cutting a single piece of metal, and with zero downtime during final operations.
Can ESI help me secure tolerances and margins?
Our shared mission is to decrease scrap rates and increase productivity by getting products right the first time for various manufacturing processes, including casting, sheet metal forming, composites, and additive manufacturing. Virtual Manufacturing enables a ‘quicker than ever’ investigation and development of new manufacturing and assembly processes, spreading innovation across the entire supply chain. This is a key success factor in beating the ramp-up challenge and keeping pace with the surge of orders. We did this with Rolls-Royce.
Can ESI help me accelerate the deployment of advanced manufacturing capabilities?
The physics of materials makes all this possible, and it is our unique expertise we have developed since our inception in 1973. From heat transfer and fluid flow phase changes to residual stress modeling and more, combine your in-house competencies with ESI's expertise in metallurgy and process performance to find new designs and keep the most strategic parts in your hands.
Can ESI help me speed up my journey towards Factory 4.0?
As factories become increasingly smart, manufacturers ensure that assembly sequences are proficiently performed by debugging design errors and process inefficiencies right from the product development stage. In addition, an immersive virtual manufacturing world provides you with a full-scale experience to validate and optimize new interactions in production scenarios and to simulate manufacturing operations before any physical prototype is built. We did this with Safran.
Can ESI help me maximize the productivity of my fleet?
Blending the virtual world and the real world is the purpose of ESI's Hybrid Twin™. It collects smart sensor data from real-life fleet operations and is artificially intelligent to predict any maintenance needs based on the current fleet condition. It will advise you on how to adjust single operations (e.g. range) in order to prevent you from any unexpected downtime. And it will make sure all real-life performance-related data will be fed back into the development of your next-generation machines. This is the mission-critical backbone of the digital threat in your enterprise.
Cabin and Cockpit of the Future: Make the Right Decisions Early
Enhancing the overall passenger experience is critical to ensure that your aircraft interior and seat design meet the proper quality, comfort, and acoustic requirement without hindering on-time certification, safety, and production targets. The challenge is difficult for engineers, as seat and cabin components are prone to regular innovation. Driven by a necessity to ensure precertification, both OEMs and seat manufacturers must deliver innovative designs within a specific budget and without hindering comfort, safety, and production. Virtual Prototyping empowers seat engineers to evaluate the performance and comfort in the early design phases by fully exploring, testing, improving, and pre-certifying the seats & cabin virtually, therefore, removing the need for physical prototypes before production.
Experience Your Products & Processes Like You Would the Real Thing
As design sets the stage for manufacturing and service, engineering teams must recognize people's interactions with their intended products and processes to ensure ease of production and maintenance. Using Virtual Reality during the design and industrialization review process to conduct humancentric assembly and maintenance validations significantly reduce risks to operator safety, improves on-time delivery, delivers repeatable quality, and ultimately improves product profitability.
Ensure High Precision, High Quality Parts at the Lowest Cost
Virtual Prototyping is one of the most innovative ways to minimize cost overruns, prove manufacturability, and process consistency. For airframes and aero-engine components, Virtual Manufacturing accelerates the development and validation of key manufacturing processes to fabricate complex and lightweight quality components. By applying standard development and production processes, smart manufacturers virtually streamline manufacturing capabilities, secure novel production techniques such as additive manufacturing, and develop & validate composite designs. With casting simulation, foundry professionals understand each process parameter's impact on the final part quality and fine-tune the entire casting manufacturing process.
Virtual Prototyping Solutions to Fulfill on Time Delivery for Twice as Many Planes
Just like in the highly innovative automotive industry, aerospace manufacturers and suppliers have extracted the greatest possible gains from incremental improvements. Now, they must radically embrace virtual prototyping and Hybrid Twin™ to deliver on the new aero mobility expectations in terms of quantity, quality, and technological advancement. Fortified with specific and unique expertise in material science, our cross-functional teams of aircraft and space engineers, manufacturing experts, and data architects enable you to pivot and create incomparable next-generation aircraft technologies.
Read on to find out more about the main value propositions that we offer in the fields of pre-certification, pre-experience, smart manufacturing, and man-machine-interaction (Human-centric).
Integrate and Build Your Next Aircraft 100% as Planned in a Human-Centric Way
In the early design stages and through the eyes of the operators: visualize new concepts before they even exist; deliver better safety & ergonomics for factory operations and increase ROI by getting your products and processes right the first time.
Smart Manufacturing: Confidently Select the Right Production Process Early
Increase productivity and performance in manufacturing processes, ramp up production rates, and move towards innovative methodologies and materials that help you achieve your sustainability targets.
Pre-Experience a New Aircraft’s Performance and Validate Business Models Early
Move towards selling hours of flight instead of engines! Virtually prototype and test new concept designs with confidence and predict the behavior and performance of aircraft technology, in-service, upfront in the development cycle.
Get Pre-certification of New Materials & Structures Right the First Time, Because Agility Matters
Today, it’s possible to launch an ultra-lightweight seat that was developed and tested completely virtually, fulfills all passenger demands, and is certified right the first time – creating ultimate business value in record time.
Virtual Prototyping in Aeronautics is Trusted By
All over the world, suppliers, manufacturers, and engineering partners use ESI’s Virtual Prototyping Solutions to design and optimize future mobility in the air, e.g. Airbus, Alcoa, Avic, Boeing, Bombardier, Dassault Aviation, ESA, General Dynamics, Honeywell, Lockheed Martin, MSI-DFAT, NASA, Northrop Grumman, PCC, Rolls Royce, Safran, Textron Aviation, Thales, United Technologies and many more.