Aerospace - Industry Edge - Vol. 19

Aerospace Edition, Issue 19, Fall 2013

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Aerospace Edition processes. IT organizations need to renew the capabilities and offerings made to their customers through innovative projects that allow product development processes to refocus on actual development work and not on providing technical support to development. This transformation of IT to an innovation center enhances the product development process, instead of merely serving as a cost center to support it. The free flow of information enabled by a global, consolidated PLM system is critical to fostering collaboration and innovation. Moreover, information must be readily available, easy to digest, accurate, and of significant importance and relevance to the user. Consolidated PLM is critical for today's aerospace environment There are several factors—technical and organizational—that demand a fully consolidated PLM system rather than linking regional or vendor PLM systems together at a high level. To harvest and take advantage of the massive data generated and consumed across the product lifecycle, aerospace companies require sophisticated information management capabilities on top of a traditional PLM system. First of all, mobility is a major trend in aerospace, as in other areas of manufacturing. 43 Specific expertise is often not physically colocated at any particular plant or link in the value chain. But the growing influx of bring your own device (BYOD) policies and tablet computers into aircraft manufacturing helps create virtual co-location to improve access to data and expertise. This more fluid design environment avoids inflicting unnecessary and expensive travel demands on employees, while still allowing them to rapidly and easily check on the project's progress from anywhere without dramatically impacting their personal lives. With improvements in mobility—as well as innovations such as engineering Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (eVDI)—employees can now maintain a connection to their work environment without having to build a complete home office or having work intrude too much into their personal environment. The increased connectivity demands less time for checking on work activities and allows greater time for work-life balance. However, the size of data sets used by advanced high-performance compute (HPC) and modeling tools are growing beyond the bounds of current network infrastructure. They require a truly integrated engineering ecosystem that allows information to flow freely. This is leading many companies down the path to a consolidated and centralized PLM, eVDI, and HPC set of systems. Further, data security and intellectual property protection are key in the highly collaborative aerospace industry engineering process, especially when working in the defense sector. A globally consolidated PLM environment and

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