Africa Aerospace & Defence 2016

Pushing the boundaries [AAD16D1]

14 September 2016

Top technology trends have always characterised the aerospace and defence industry, but Dassault Systèmes (the 3D Experience Company) is taking this phenomenon forward much more rapidly.

Dassault Systèmes (Hangar 1, Stand W6) is placing much focus on improving production rates, especially for commercial aircraft, while pursuing the efficient delivery of historically large orders. Michel Tellier, vice president Aerospace & Defence, said: “Today we are more aggressively adopting technologies from other industries that produce at high rates, such as automotive, and adapting these technologies for aerospace.”

According to Tellier, a key example is using a much higher level of production automation, and thus pushing the boundary on how to make this automation technology flexible and precise enough for the aerospace industry.

He pointed out that flexible production at high rates also requires digitising both the factory and the production processes all the way back to engineering, and that the aerospace industry is a core contributor to this transformation.

“Another technology taking centre stage is the adoption of additive layer manufacturing, or what is commonly referred to as 3D printing.” Here he pointed out that there are two major opportunities presented by additive layer manufacturing, one being that it is largely tool-less, and the other that it allows for unique part topologies that are not possible to produce using traditional manufacturing methods.

Tellier said he believed the key to applying these technologies is driving the rigour in their adoption to establish the processes, norms and standards to make them robust enough for common application in aerospace. Dassault Systèmes has partnered with the National Institute for Aviation Research (NIAR) in the USA to open a 3DEXPERIENCE Center at the Wichita State University (WSU) to advance the use of new technologies such as additive layer manufacturing.

“The centre covers topics such as the development of newly engineered materials, the simulation and optimisation of those materials, additive manufacturing processes and systems, and multi-robotic advanced manufacturing, all using our 3DEXPERIENCE platform,” Tellier concluded.

(327 words)