Value Improvement through a Virtual Aeronautical Collaborative Enterprise (VIVACE)
The main result of Vivace project is an innovative aeronautical collaborative design environment and associated processes, models, and methods, which strongly reduces the development costs of new aircraft and engines. This virtual environment, which has been validated through real industrial use cases, supports the design of an aircraft and its engines by providing all the required functionalities and components for the design phases of the aeronautics product life cycle. More specifically, the achievements of each technical sub-project are as follows: 1) Virtual aircraft sub-project A first achievement has been the development of the virtual aircraft for systems that allows aeronautical collaborative enterprises to: - simulate the integration, verification and validation of aircraft systems as early as possible; - develop simulations efficiently and effectively which are fully integrated into the development process of aircraft systems; - share and re-use simulation components in an extended enterprise context for cost-effective operations. The main operational benefits are: - reduced cycle time for complex simulations due to automation in the solution design; - reduced set up costs due to re-using simulation components; - increased simulation quality due to the systematic exploration of the complete solution range; - reduced operation cost due to the sharing of simulation components. Other achievements relate to the improvement of the design and development process of specific aircraft systems (however, all integrated in the virtual aircraft): - improvement of the hydraulic system design by using new or improved simulation models; - improvement of electrical modelling methods and standardisation of electrical behaviour modelling for data coming from other systems; - improvement of the Aircraft data communication network (ADCN) design and validation by developing an ADCN performance model; - replacement of tests for flaps carried out on the high lift test bed with simulations. 2) Virtual engine sub-project The main achievements reached are: - development of models and tools for the assessment of the virtual engine business environment and the impact that potential events could have on the model, as well as for understanding the behaviour of the aero engine value chain; - development of a life cycle cost modelling that permits to greatly reduce the time currently required to perform this process due to different standard and life cycle cost models used by the collaborating companies; - development of the virtual engine concept, which permits to define the geometry of the engine model including all the boundary conditions, constraints, and thermo-mechanic duty, and incorporates whole engine air system and thermal models; - development of the simulation tool 'Proosis' (Propulsion object-oriented simulation software), which is a comprehensive, multi-disciplinary, object-oriented simulation environment for the integration of all European gas turbine simulation technologies into a single framework providing shared standards and methodologies for European universities, research institutes and companies; - creation of new concepts to develop products considering logistical aspects and to design and model the manufacturing workflow in the company and the supply chain, which reduce development lead-time and costs. 3) Advanced capabilities sub-project The main achievement is the development of a toolbox that enables the creation of the right 'aeronautical collaborative design environment' required to support the collaboration between teams in a virtual/extended enterprise context, depending on the specific needs of a collaboration (need to share knowledge, need to organise and trace the exchanged data, need to set-up multidisciplinary processes, and so on). The tool consists of the following integrated advanced capabilities: - Knowledge-enabled engineering. The main aspect addressed by the project has been the development and exploitation of advanced software methods and guidelines to improve the engineering process by leveraging past design experience and capturing how knowledge is used. - Multi-disciplinary design and optimisation (MDO). The technical results accomplished by the project focus on generic MDO technology and consist in a generic framework, which comprises concepts, methods and tools. The concepts include the integrated design model, which consists of a consistent set of all data required by every discipline involved in the specific MDO. Another generic concept is the use of a pareto front to visually support the multi-disciplinary design team in assessing the trade-off between multiple conflicting objectives, a situation common in aeronautical MDO. - Design to decision objectives. It provides a seamless approach and a set of methods and means to support complex multi-disciplinary design decision management for the extended enterprise business. - Engineering data management (EDM). The EDM framework developed by the project is an efficient way to reduce lead-time and costs in a collaborative product development environment. It helps to deliver the right information, at the right time, to the right actor, in the right format, within the right activity or process; it permits to easily update, exchange data and design contexts; it reduces iterations and early design phase duration. - Distributed information system infrastructure (DISI). DISI is an infrastructure composed of software and hardware that proposes a different information system environment, and it enables users to test and validate capabilities and scenarios within the extended or virtual enterprise. Within the framework of the Vivace project, DISI has contributed to rating test and validation results at TRL4 or TRL5 (TRL stands for technology readiness level). - Virtual enterprise collaboration hub for heterogeneous enterprises (Vec-hub). The concept of the developed Vec-hub forms a foundation for the operational environment of the virtual enterprise. This gives everyone, within the heterogeneous IT environment of the partners, the ability to securely and traceably find, consolidate and publish information and collaborate in a common context.