GE Aviation's New Partnership Will Revolutionize Its Manufacturing Process

There's a reason why General Electric has become one of the largest companies in the world. Since its formation a hundred plus years ago, it has diversified from an electric company to a global corporation that has a finger in pretty much every business pie going - from mortgages to motion pictures.

Sure, the company's growth is partially due to its acquisition of other businesses. But it's also the result of its constant search for improvement - to reimagine and innovate - in whichever field it finds itself.

The latest evolution sees GE subsidiary GE Aviation strike up a partnership with Dassault Systemes, a European software company which specializes in 3D design, 3D digital mock-ups, and product lifecycle management software. The partnership will enable GE Aviation to drive innovation and efficiency in designing and developing aerostructures through the implementation of Dassault Systemes' 3DEXPERIENCE platform.

"Weight, performance and cost continue to dominate the competitiveness of developing and fabricating sophisticated and complex aerostructures for the latest generation of aircraft" explains Dassault Systemes Vice President, Aerospace & Defense Industry David Ziegler. "As a global leader in this field, GE Aviation is constantly innovating and has recognized how the 3DEXPERIENCE platform provides critical technology for this approach. We are very proud to be their partners in this transformation."

What Is the 3DEXPERIENCE Platform?

The 3DEXPERIENCE platform provides various intuitive 3D applications for product design, analysis, manufacturing and data management in a digital environment. It is a single collaborative platform which can be used at every stage of the design and manufacturing process, offering the opportunity to maximize improvement within the business through digital continuity.

There are three key benefits of the platform. The first is the reduction of cycle times resulting from the increase of collaboration between the engineering and supply chain function. The common user interface helps guarantee both a unified experience for each stakeholder and a shared digital reference, ensuring everyone involved is working form the correct information, in the most relevant context.

Second, through the use of the platform's business intelligence applications, interrogation of real-time information helps to create improved visibility and optimization of response times to the latest customer requests.

Finally, the platform creates an increase in productivity through its data-centric rationale and intuitive search capabilities, which help to simplify data management and the promotion of efficient information sharing without boundaries.

"For GE Aviation Hamble, the implementation of the 3DEXPERIENCE platform supports our ongoing focus on developing innovative aerostructures for the Aerospace industry," explains Executive Engineering Leader of GE Aviation's Hamble UK facility, Paulo Mancilla. "This enables us to use techniques like digital 3D modelling from design through manufacturing and qualification to create high performance aerostructures for the aviation industry."

What Does This Mean for GE Aviation?

The 3DEXPERIENCE platform means a complete streamlining of GE Aviation's manufacturing process. It cuts out needless commutes to production meetings and check-ins, allowing everybody to communicate with one another no matter the department or geographic locale. Instead of long deliberative processes, departments can make real-time decisions and implement them there and then.

It means that projects can be completed in a much quicker timeframe because stakeholders can communicate directly to each other, discuss and implement changes to the current project immediately, see the effect these changes have on a project, and adjust accordingly as they go.

It's the ultimate digital brainstorming session.

Imagine, if you will, a company that wanted to reinvent the wheel. A group of designers would come up with numerous ideas - singularly, or as a group - and then present their concepts. After a decision is made about which design to go with, the winning concept would be turned into a prototype and tested before reaching the conclusion that square wheels just won't work. The boardroom discusses a new approach, and soon, triangle wheels are being tested.

With the variety of applications available through the 3DEXPERIENCE, this hypothetical scenario can be done in a fraction of the time. The decision makers can be there at the brainstorming stage and see the practicality of those ideas unfold before them - taking a process that could take a week and doing it in a day.

Initially, the 3DEXPERIENCE platform will be used at GE Aviation's Hamble site in the UK, so it will be interesting to see if it will be rolled out throughout the GE subsidiary, and possibly further afield, as well.

You can catch GE Aviation's Vice President of Global Manufacturing Jack Fish speaking at Connected Manufacturing Forum 2019 taking place 29-30 July at Hilton Austin, Austin, TX.

Download the agenda for more information and insights.

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