IBM, Dassault Systemes take buyers inside their completion

 - May 8, 2008, 5:42 AM

For years one of the most difficult aspects of creating a business aircraft interior has been providing a realistic representation of the finished product to the client. This is the first stage of the completion process, and it is critical to the on-time delivery of the finished airplane, within budget and meeting or exceeding the client’s expectations.

With this in mind, IBM Lifecycle Management and Dassault Systemes have introduced an integrated module component focused on the current Catia design platform and the Enovia management system platform linking companies, customers and suppliers. This component, said IBM, “will enable aircraft interior completion activities to offer better interior quality, streamline the design process, improve adherence to industry standards, and by more accurately presenting to the client a more realistic, 3-D interior view of the proposed interior, costly order changes can be minimized.”

According to IBM, the steady increase in sales of new and used business aircraft has created a demand for aircraft interior activities to evolve quickly to meet customer demands for on-time and on-spec deliveries.

The 3-D process from IBM is already an active tool in the Catia 3 D engineering process, substantially reducing time and cost. The key advantage, according to IBM, is that addition of the new integrated module to what is being called Catia V5, is a real-time rendering of the cabin that allows engineers to experiment with a variety of interior elements– paneling, metals, textile materials and leathers, including original pattern designs and colors.

According to Didier Martre, aerospace general manager at Dassault Systemes, digital mockup functions and Enovia portal facilities will eventually be used by most aircraft interior shops to enable collaboration between aircraft builders, manfacturers of interior components and outside vendors. “This makes building physical models obsolete, saving time and cost. As well, ergonomic or new standards compliance aspects can be discussed with manufacturing teams and certification details can be checked with authorities.”

And he added, “In all cases, design changes can be made with a simple mouse click.” That “click” may not only change the visual aspect by shifting from a forward placement to aft placement of a galley, but it automatically figures in the weight properties for mass analysis and determines any shift in the aircraft’s center of gravity.

The module will also allow remote vendors to link with the customer, and use Catia designs and component databases with the Enovia portal to comply with standards of aircraft manufacturers. “A major advantage,” said Martre, is that “interior chief designers and their partners can now conduct remote virtual reviews and thus increase efficiency and reduce design and completion time.”

Catia is among the leaders in computer-aided design, manufacturing and engineering (CAD/CAM/ CAE) software. Enovia VPM is part of Enovia Solutions, which provides collaborative product lifecycle management capabilities to create an open environment, linking companies, customers and suppliers. Dassault Systemes of Paris develops Enovia VPM and Catia, as well as IBM’s Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) business unit, and IBM Business Partners worldwide and provides marketing, sales and support.