Effectively and efficiently managing the huge quantities of digital data that companies generate has become a monumental challenge. Companies that have successfully dealt with that challenge have a significant business advantage. For the critical information embedded in this data to retain its value, it is essential that it be stored such that it is easily searchable, retrievable and reusable.
Aerospace manufacturers have an additional challenge. Because many aerospace products have long development and service lives, with some vehicles still in service after 50 years or more, there is a need for long-term archiving and retrieval of the data. A mechanism by which the data is preserved in a reusable form for 10, 20, 30 or more years (including adapting to changes in computing technology) is necessary.
Through the LOTAR International consortium, Aerospace and Defense manufacturers have combined efforts to create and promote standards for long-term archiving and retrieval of digital product data, based on standardized approaches and solutions.
LOTAR International is co-lead by American and European aerospace manufacturers and consists of various work groups dedicated to specific domains; the initial efforts were directed towards developing standards for long-term archiving and retrieval of Computer Aided Design (CAD) 3D (mechanical, composite, electrical harness) and Product Data Management (PDM) information.
Recently the scope of LOTAR International was expanded. At the end of 2014, a new work group was created; Engineering Analysis and Simulation (EAS). The group is not only focusing on models, simulations, and results, but recognizes that Simulation Process and Data Management (SPDM) information must also be captured in the archive in order to maintain context and data relationships.
Joe Draper is a Structural Analysis Engineer in the Finite Element Analysis Technical Excellence Center (FEATEC). Since joining Boeing Commercial Airplanes (BCA) in 1988 he has worked in aircraft structural analysis mostly in support of vehicle level FEA as part of the “internal loads” organization for many Boeing transport aircraft (cargo, passenger and/or military variants of 747-200/300/400, 757-200/300, 767-200/300/400, 777-200/300, and 787-8/9). He also trained over 400 engineers to use CATIA-FEM and ELFINI in the early 90’s during the 777 airplane development program. From 2004-2014 he served as Boeing’s engineering focal in support of MSC Software (Nastran, Patran, etc.).
Before joining BCA, he worked in Boeing Military Aircraft as part of the internal loads group for the B-2 bomber. Before coming to the Pacific Northwest, Joe worked at E-Systems (MC-130 Combat Talon II, Greenville, TX), Gulfstream (Peregrine 1500 jet, Bethany, OK), Tinker AFB (Tinker, OK), and Detroit Tool & Engineering (tool & die, special machinery, Lebanon, MO) since receiving his Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering in 1981 from the Missouri University of Science and Technology (Rolla, MO).