Aerospace & defenseJuly 13, 2018

Technology Trend Setters and Innovators in Aerospace: What Do They Have in Common?

As the growth of the aerospace and defense industry continues, the number…
Avatar Casey Hutnyan

As the growth of the aerospace and defense industry continues, the number of non-traditional players also seems to be growing. Legacy and newcomers alike see innovation as the means to get ahead. These companies realize that innovation is needed to keep pace with the change in markets, technologies, and corporate structures. Products are becoming more complex.  Change seems constant as new product categories emerge.

In addition to traditional commercial and business aircraft, there is a group of trend setters developing environmentally friendly light, electric aircraft and sophisticated drones / Unmanned Ariel Systems (UAS).  As industry veteran, Tony Velocci writes in his blog, The Next Aviation Disruption, “A market for urban air transportation is emerging—effectively airborne versions of Uber and Lyft—and it is probably closer than most people realize.” As dozens of companies like Aurora Flight Services, acquired by Boeing, or start up, Joby Aviation go after this market it is fascinating to watch the changes unfold.

Another trend setter, SpaceX has disrupted this typically predictable part of the industry. SpaceX has shot ahead of traditional space companies through its development of booster rockets. Regardless of size, every one of these innovators shares a common trait: the ability to think outside the box while seeking new methods and ways of working.

New Ways of Working at Innovation Centers

Innovation campuses and centers, popping up around the globe, offer a new way of working for industry. Innovation centers provide a space for academia, industry researchers, and experts to put their time, information, and minds together. The synergy that this environment creates, coupled with the latest technology, accelerates aerospace companies’ ability to innovate. Read the story of the 3DEXPERIENCE Center.

The 3DEXPERIENCE Center at Wichita State University

The National Institute for Aviation Week (NIAR) at Wichita State University (WSU) partnered with Dassault Systèmes to create the 3DEXPERIENCE Center as part of its newly created Innovation Campus. The first project stemming from this partnership sought to compress the development of a system of work for an Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) down to 90 days. The project benefited students of WSU by providing a hands on, in-depth experience through the use of real-life industry tools.

Dassault Systèmes 3DEXPERIENCE Center Wichita provides the ideal environment for aerospace companies to accelerate innovation while creating a prepared workforce of the future. Students are given the opportunity to work with real companies on real projects to learn valuable knowledge and skills that they will apply in their future careers. The 3DEXPERIENCE Center Wichita facilitates the training of future employees by allowing them to participate in many different programs and projects.  Students engage in the development and support of products, gain experience with different manufacturing tools, and learn the process behind the scenes. Through this training, students are essentially trained to do exactly what the industry needs them to do by experiencing the work in real time.

in Hamburg, Germany is a partnership with ZAL, Hamburg’s Center of Applied Aeronautical Research. This partnership brings together people and technology on a global 3DEXPERIENCE platform to transform ideas and products into a reality through the use of Industry 4.0 concepts. It supports OEMs, entrepreneurs, partners, aviation authorities as well as universities. Roland Gerhards, the Managing Director and CEO of the Center for Applied Aviation Research in Hamburg states, “Imagine this technology center as a sandbox where all of the partners can play together.” With continued change in the industry, including the demand for light aircraft and multi-mission drones increasing, innovation centers provide the perfect place for creativity to fly.

The trend of these innovation centers propels the aerospace industry into an entire new realm of possibility. Tony Velocci, former Editor-in-Chief of Aviation Week & Space Technology magazine, believes the future of Aerospace is “a future in which innovation centers play a central role in an industrial renewal that propels aerospace to new heights.” Read Velocci’s full article here.

developed at the 3DEXPERIENCE Center Wichita The Maturity of 3D Printing for Aerospace

Airbus partnered with Dassault Systèmes at the 3DEXPERIENCE Center Wichita to meet an objective to accelerate the time it takes to deliver a design – which normally takes over a year. Airbus leveraged the 3DEXPERIENCE platform to transform their process.  See the scaled physical model and the virtual model and discover how they accelerated development of the Thrust Reverser Unit (TRU) prototype.

Not limited to 3DEXPERIENCE Centers, innovation from companies will be featured at Farnborough in our technology playground, Additive Manufacturing Showcase. E-mail us if you’d like to book a meeting to see Morf3D, and Ecco Shoes’ innovative progress in 3D printing and certification or join Renishaw from noon – 2:00pm at our Executive Roundtable on Manufacturing Agility on Thursday, July 19.

Morf3D,  a 3D printing tier-1 supplier focused on aerospace and defense applications,  has been producing 3D-printed aluminum and titanium components for Boeing satellites and helicopters since it was founded in 2015. Boeing HorizonX Ventures was a co-leading investor in May. Morf3D focuses on taking full advantage of all the potential of additive manufacturing.

Ecco Shoes, an innovator in retail manufacturing, perfected the delivery of mass personalization, or production of one, with a process for individualized, 3D-printed mid-soles. 3D printing also has the opportunity to completely change the footwear industry by making completely personalized shoes an option. This technology applied to the aerospace and defense industry would support a much easier process to make customized parts.

Renishaw, an Additive Manufacturer focused on accelerating the adoption of additive manufacturing for aerospace and more, creates metal additive manufactured parts that are used in the aerospace industry as functional parts, including engine turbine blades, fuel systems, and guide vanes. Renishaw joins our Executive Roundtable on Manufacturing Agility on Thursday, July 19. Renishaw provides additive manufacturing solutions throughout many application areas in the industry.

Request an invitation to visit us at Farnborough and view these innovations and others that help companies drive out costs, develop new business and increase manufacturing rates. Where will today’s innovators take u? New technology resources, coupled with a focus on accelerating innovation, creates endless possibilities for the Aerospace and Defense industry.

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