Digital journeys and shared challenges at the Aerospace Capital Technical Forum 2022

By Sarah Bartash

The Aerospace Capital Technical Forum (CTF) was a two-day meeting of top users of Capital software solutions for aerospace which recently took place in Chicago at the MxD (Manufacturing x Digital) innovation center. The schedule was filled with with not only interactive presentations from both Siemens and customer representatives but also included time for round table discussions, question and answers, demos, problem solving and more. This was the first time the CTF was held in person since 2019, and it was wonderful to connect and share best practices with colleagues both old and new.

Some of the key issues that came up again and again included items involved in the adoption of new processes and procedures. Roadblocks such as the divide between older and younger employees, intrenched methodologies (old technology and old equipment), and finding the time to learn and troubleshoot new approaches while continuing to tackle the day-to-day job duties were faced by teams at all levels.

Time after time, speakers shared ways to push through the sometimes painful process of change to reach the full potential of the latest Capital releases.

On Day 1, Anthony Nicoli, Siemens Director of Aerospace and Defense, shared the State of the Union for Aerospace.

Anthony Nicoli at the Aerospace Capital Technical Forum

Capital can help tackle some of the key challenges facing the aerospace and defense industry including:

  • The pressure to reduce program cost and schedule. Commercial, business and defense customers all demand innovative capabilities more frequently, on a reliable schedule, and at a cost they can afford.​
  • In addition, customers expect that modern platforms satisfy the demands of increasingly complex missions. ​
  • Consequently, aerospace & defense platform OEMs are turning to new approaches to add the capabilities needed to satisfy these missions. These include increased platform electrification and a global network of suppliers and partners.​
  • The result has been increased complexity in program development, platform integration and platform certification.​

Customer presentations included Norman Rivera, Lead Aerospace Design Engineer at Firefly Aerospace, who discussed Digital Tools and the Final Frontier. He shared the exciting voyage Firefly has been on with Capital. Digital tools vastly improved the company’s wire harness processes, ultimately helping them achieve first flight – a huge milestone in space transportation – and set them up for a midnight launch attempt later this month.

>> Watch Firefly’s story here.

Boeing brought forward ideas on how Capital has helped in the past and pathways for the future. L3Harris discussed Technical Data Transformation with a few power point slides and loads of conversation.

The second day brought more customer engagement, with Keith Drittler from Gulfstream sharing how that company re-thought the process of tech pub wiring diagrams manual authoring and distribution. He discussed how process changes resulted in a 94% time savings vs. time estimated.

Keith Drittler Gulfstream

Textron Aviation shared their formboard design process optimization, which has reached 90% with Capital. Northrup Grumman Implementation of Capital has provided for EE systems design development across abstractions (example: block diagrams, logical subsystems, wiring designs, harness designs, etc.) while providing integrated design verification to to ensure the requirements for design have been satisfier with optimal quality.

Siemens’ approach to aircraft electrification and E/E systems is to cohesively integrate requirements and systems models into a comprehensive electrical-electronics architecture that drives the development of software architecture, network communication architecture, integration, verification and visualization, while ensuring proper electrical distribution drives electrical harness design, manufacturing, and service-publications. Digitalizing electrical systems engineering enables OEMs that design, build, and maintain platforms, and their wire harness suppliers, to reduce program risk, increase productivity and gain competitive advantage. 

CTF brought this concept to reality, and helped customers drive home the need for continued adoption and integration with Siemens Xcelerator Platform to further expand the aerospace horizon for success.

You might be interested in:

>> Capital’s Role in Siemens Xcelerator Platform

>> How to minimize risk and address complexity in aerospace electrical programs today

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This article first appeared on the Siemens Digital Industries Software blog at