Industries

Aerospace design – Part 1: Establishing a single source of truth

By Claire Cole

Aerospace and defense products and programs are becoming increasingly complex. To stay relevant, companies need to rethink their product development processes. The challenges the industry is facing can’t be effectively addressed by design teams working in organizational silos. Rather, teams need to work more efficiently and collaboratively. Adopting a multidisciplinary design and optimization approach can help companies streamline product development processes, enhance collaboration among teams, validate manufacturability and optimize designs overall.  

This three-part series will walk through the three key pillars of this approach to aerospace design:  

  • Establishing a single source of truth 
  • Leveraging a comprehensive multidisciplinary digital twin 
  • Using powerful simulation and optimization tools to elevate designs 

This post will address the first pillar: Establishing an authoritative source of truth.  

How to enhance aerospace design collaboration 

Operating in organizational silos is increasingly untenable with the growing complexity of modern aircraft and spacecraft. Products are more integrated than ever and contain more and more electronic and electrical content. Failing to break down these silos can result in poor communication, slower decision-making and higher costs. Plus, it risks creating program delays and missed opportunities for innovation. 

To boost efficiency, design teams must work collaboratively in a single environment. A transparent, authoritative source of truth should connect teams across various disciplines such as mechanical, electrical and software. It ensures that everyone has visibility into the design, facilitating more effective communication and decision-making early in the design process. 

According to Tech-Clarity, 37% of aerospace engineers report a loss of productivity due to not being able to find or use information. Establishing a single source of truth is key to solving problems like this. It stores all necessary data and enables the creation of a digital twin. In this single environment, everyone can collaborate and work from the same up-to-date information.  

How can I establish a single source of truth in my aerospace design processes? 

To establish a single source of truth, companies must connect the various design disciplines, including electrical, mechanical and software design. Defining and managing a multidomain engineering bill of materials enables the creation of a holistic digital twin, which is critical throughout the design process. 

This first pillar of a multidisciplinary approach to aerospace design is about building trust and fostering collaboration. The Siemens Xcelerator software portfolio can help aerospace and defense companies establish a single source of truth, enabling them to:  

  • Design in a multidisciplinary design BOM 
  • Manage a single source of truth in a multidisciplinary engineering BOM 
  • Leverage low-code application development 
  • Integrate enterprise systems 

Up next in this aerospace design blog series 

Stay tuned for the second part of this blog series, where we’ll discuss the second pillar of a multidisciplinary approach to aerospace design: Leveraging a configuration-driven, multidisciplinary digital twin.  

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This article first appeared on the Siemens Digital Industries Software blog at https://blogs.sw.siemens.com/aerospace-defense/2024/07/02/aerospace-design-part-1-establishing-a-single-source-of-truth/