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Helping collaboration drives innovation in engineering

From aerospace to electronics, modern engineering design is so complex that the difficulty of getting teams of designers and engineers to work together effectively has itself become a constraint on innovation. Issues such as geographical remoteness, mutual incomprehension between different disciplines, the use of incompatible software, and even intellectual property protection, can inhibit the close working that is the only way to reach an optimum design.

By happy coincidence, two separate software packages have been released this week that can help overcome some of these barriers to cooperation. Dassault Systèmes, the 3DExperience Company, and Ansys, a provider of engineering simulation software, have announced platforms for collaboration, each aimed at a different area of engineering.

Dassault has teamed up with Boost Aerospace, a digital hub created by Airbus, Dassault Aviation, EADS, Safran and Thales, to standardise tool development, to develop ‘AirDesign’ the European aerospace and defence industry’s collaboration platform.

At the same time, Ansys has announced several updates to its SCADE system, a systems design and modelling tool for embedded software simulation and code production.

The Altair European Technology Conference, held in Munich in June, highlighted several projects which clearly displayed the benefits of engineering collaboration. One such integrated software into HyperWorks to aid the design of the ESA Solar Orbiter. Similarly collaboration between Airbus and Altair led to new tools for HyperWorks users.

In aerospace, AirDesign is a scalable collaboration platform available as a service on a high-security, private cloud or distributed to users. Designed in partnership between BoostAerospace and Dassault Systèmes, it consists of a neutral workspace for advanced OEM and partner PLM collaboration, design and manufacturing.

AirDesign is designed to reduce operational costs for all partners through a single infrastructure, common exchange methods, open standards and easy access, all without adversely impacting existing information systems.

‘The very complex problems of orchestrating aerospace and defence PLM systems between multiple partners have been solved with AirDesign,’ said Jean Ferlus, CEO of BoostAerospace. ‘Its ability to handle and synchronise the exchange of highly secured PLM data has a positive effect on the quality, efficiency and productivity of the European aerospace industry. It gives the industry a strong application to support development.’

‘AirDesign provides an environment for aerospace and defence industry partners to accelerate and sustain collaborative innovation,’ said Michel Tellier, Vice President, Aerospace & Defence Industry, Dassault Systèmes. ‘It opens a large number of opportunities for suppliers of all sizes, as they will join an on-the-cloud mutualised infrastructure, spending the money and resources normally needed for an IT infrastructure on developing their business with more customers.’

In contrast, streamlining the approach to designing complex embedded systems is the focus of the newly released SCADE System 15.2 from ANSYS. ‘Lack of internal collaboration has been a major impediment in product development,’ said Eric Bantegnie, ANSYS vice president. ‘This latest release of SCADE System helps to remove this barrier by enabling teams to share data effortlessly – furthering our vision for Simulation Driven Product Development.’

The new release extends the SCADE System solution through unlimited component reuse as well as comprehensive data management for exchanging data with third-party databases and propagating this data within the systems architecture design.

SCADE now enables systems engineers to manage the entire hierarchy of instances in a user-friendly environment, automatically preserving the consistency of the replicated data. Data sharing and reuse is another feature highlighted by Ansys; systems engineers can save time by importing and exporting data dictionaries, allocating data to the architecture and propagating them along the communication paths. Model-based ICDs can be defined at all levels within the system architecture, including functions, architecture item and equipment.

Finally the SCADE System includes new automated configuration technology, enabling tools and methods teams to easily customise the solution for customer-specific domains, as well as standard domains such as IMA and AUTOSAR.


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