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Applications of SPDM in Aircraft Structural Analysis at Embraer

This paper was produced for the 2019 NAFEMS World Congress in Quebec Canada

Resource Abstract

Aircraft structural analysis is a process that involves several engineers working concurrently to analyze in detail all structural elements of an airframe, as well as the behavior of the aircraft structure as a whole. The airframe has to be decomposed in its major components such as fuselage sections, wings and control surfaces to allow the distribution of the analyses among the engineers. Finite element models (FEM) are created for each major component and used in the analyses. The major components, such as the wing, are even further decomposed into its constituent parts such as the spars, ribs, and stringers, which are modeled in detail using higher fidelity FEMs. It's a great challenge to manage the evolution of the structural modifications that happen during the course of these analyses. Design changes due to the results obtained using the higher fidelity FEMs have to be transferred to the lower fidelity FEMs and an assembly of the whole airframe FEM needs to be created and analyzed, using the correct versions of all the FEMs of the major parts.

The objective of this paper is to present the results of the solution implemented by Embraer to overcome these challenges, by using the Simulation Process and Data Management (SPDM) technology. Embraer embarked on the SPDM journey eight years ago and during past years has matured various aspects of their SPDM implementation. The focus of the paper is on explaining applications of the SPDM system in the area of structural analysis at Embraer with a couple of representative business processes as examples, including the rapid generation and evaluation of aircraft assemblies and the consolidation and standardization of various simulation methods across the organization, by making those available over the SPDM platform. Key enablers for increasing simulation throughput and data traceability at Embraer are described. In addition, the approach that Embraer took for ongoing additions of new business processes to the SPDM system is presented.

The results of the SPDM implementation at Embraer are encouraging, showing qualitative and quantitative gains of productivity and management of engineering data. The standardization and automation of engineering processes and the management of data generated by these processes are becoming an integral part of any competitive engineering department nowadays.

Document Details

AuthorBritto Maria. R
Date 18th June 2019


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