Improving Coordination Between Aircraft Development Processes Through Process Mapping and Simulation

Paper #:
  • 2013-01-2091

  • 2013-09-17
Hisarciklilar, O., Sheikh, O., Yadav, H., and Thomson, V., "Improving Coordination Between Aircraft Development Processes Through Process Mapping and Simulation," SAE Int. J. Aerosp. 6(1):87-93, 2013,
Aircraft development projects at Bombardier Aerospace involve a large number of tasks executed by a network of professionals from various disciplines. As the complexity of products and the development process increases, it becomes more difficult to manage the interactions among tasks and people. In fact, it may be impossible to even predict the impact of a single design decision across the development process. At Bombardier, investigation has shown that there was a lack of communication between design processes when dealing with aeroelasticity information. This resulted in duplicated design effort, reduced quality, and increased time to complete tasks when small design changes from one task induced delays in other tasks. Processes that deal with aeroelasticity work integrate system inertial, aerodynamics and structural information to make aircraft models and perform analyses. These processes have been creating similar models to perform aeroelasticity analyses. A study was started to determine the effect of using a single aeroelastic model to reduce overall design effort. Due to the complexity of the engineering design processes, they were mapped and analyzed in order to gain insight into the structure of the aircraft development process. The work involved in aeroelasticity analyses was mapped using an activity-based approach where processes were decomposed into a series of individual tasks, then the pieces of information that were exchanged between pairs of tasks were mapped to determine information flows. Processes were then analyzed using several techniques, including structural analysis, critical input analysis, simulation, and resource requirements. The aircraft development process was improved by reducing the amount of aircraft model generation effort. This was done by sharing a single aeroelasticity model between the Dynamic and Loads processes. Results indicated that this would reduce development effort by 900 hours per aircraft development program.
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