Managing Aircraft Engines and the Global Supply Chain

Aircraft engine design and management throughout the entire product lifecycle

Aircraft engine OEMs are receiving fewer new design contracts in today’s aerospace and defense business climate. They must also respond more effectively to changing production schedules, which is made more challenging because they participate in global supply chains, including diverse vendors and partners. In addition, prime contractors and engine manufacturers often compete on newer programs that require them to accept lifecycle performance agreements, which place a premium on total enterprise productivity. Add to this the challenge of adopting new and innovative materials, structures and systems in order to achieve higher efficiency, higher performance and quieter engines, and it is easy to see that aircraft engine manufacturers need to be nimble and flexible to compete successfully.

Taken together, these challenges renew the aircraft engine manufacturer’s need to focus on:

  • Managing complex programs
  • Synchronizing global design and development with virtual environments
  • Aligning the supply chain to meet dynamic production schedules
  • Compressing development cycles
  • Deploying faster and more efficient manufacturing and assembly processes
  • Minimizing physical models, assembly errors and design rework with virtual prototyping
  • Reducing cycle times for maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO)
  • Using composites to reduce weight, improve performance and – in the case of ceramic matrix composites (which are typically used in the hot turbine section of the engine for parts such as guiding vanes, turbine blades and shrouds) – increase in-service temperatures and reduce cooling requirements

You must be able to adapt to these challenges in order to realize sustainable profit and growth. Business success will be determined by your ability to transform legacy IT investments into dynamic, secure and seamless digital environments that can integrate your aircraft engine company operations into a highly functional, global value chain.

An integrated development environment (IDE) helps you focus on affordability, asset visibility and supply chain efficiency. Program leaders can share company, industry and government best practices and facilitate partnerships. Ultimately, this aircraft engine program management system is conducive to seamlessly providing supply chain partners with the parts and equipment to deliver aircraft engines efficiently and with superior results.

As a technology partner, Siemens PLM Software creates a seamless, collaborative business environment that allows you to:

  • Enable all users to access and utilize product data from a single source throughout the lifecycle
  • Ensure timely and accurate configuration control
  • Ensure observance of security processes and procedures
  • Have a method for delivering contract data requirements lists (CDRLs) and subcontractor data requirements lists (SDRLs)
  • Guarantee adherence to government infrastructure and data standards
  • Support the entire design-to-manufacturing process for composite engine components
  • Minimize the costs and risks of using advanced materials like carbon fiber composites

Siemens PLM Software provides a complete portfolio of solutions to help you engineer innovative engines and components, and improve your development processes. Our solutions address aircraft engine structural and mechanical engineering, systems engineering, and testing and verification.

Making engine components out of composites can deliver great benefits, but it is critical to have tools that enable you to meet a variety of challenges for designing these parts, including the complex geometry of aircraft engine parts, the intricate definition of laminates, a variety of ply shapes and materials, and the large number of plies and ply stacks that generate enormous amounts of data. The tools need to generate a precise producibility simulation of the CAD model, thus reducing the need for prototypes and streamlining ply splicing, darting and flattening.

Siemens PLM Software tailors its product lifecycle management (PLM) capabilities to deliver a full range of IDE capabilities that enable aircraft engine manufacturers to comply with systems requirements and delivery, and maximize global supply chain effectiveness. Our unified product suite allows you to seamlessly manage an aircraft engine program from concept to disposal, using a single source of knowledge. Ultimately, all of these capabilities enable engine suppliers to transform their IT investments to create sustainable business value.

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