Lockheed Martin’s Digital Thread and PLM Approach

At our analyst event last month, Amy Gowder of Lockheed Martin presented on her company’s PLM Approach. The title of her presentation: “Unprecedented Affordability, Productivity, Confidence and Fleet Availability.” I interviewed Amy after her presentation so you could hear a bit more about Lockheed’s use of a common digital thread and management of that thread through an initiative they call AeroSource.

I am always amazed at the scale of some of our customers products and the data they must manage. Amy had shared a slide that noted on a weekly basis, they manage 75 gigabyte of data and 70,000 ITAR exports. They collaborate with 140 sites and 6,500 users and manage 25,000 parts per BOM. Additionally they manage 108 workflows and manage 24,000 changes in a given year.

Amy’s organization focuses on collaboration across all enterprise functions including ERP and PLM. Here is our interview:

If you want to read more about Lockheed’s “digital thread” approach, see this article in Aerospace Manufacturing and Design: The digital thread – key to F-35 JSF Affordability. In it, Don Kinard, technical deputy, F-35 Global Production Operations at Lockheed, notes:

“The F-35 Lightning II design takes clear advantage of a common digital thread technology that has allowed unprecedented engineering and manufacturing connections, facilitating dramatically expanded automation for military fighter manufacturing and assembly. Digital thread implies that 3D exact solid models from engineering design are used directly by manufacturing for NC programming, CMM inspections and tooling.”

You can also read more about Lockheed Martin’s use of Siemens PLM technology in this case study: Global F-35 aircraft coaltion builds unique collaboration network.


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This article first appeared on the Siemens Digital Industries Software blog at https://blogs.sw.siemens.com/news/lockheed-martins-digital-thread-and-plm-approach/