OEM : Aerospace
Boeing is the world’s largest aerospace company and leading manufacturer of commercial jetliners, defense, space and security systems, and service provider of aftermarket support. As America’s biggest manufacturing exporter, the company supports airlines and U.S. and allied government customers in more than 150 countries. Boeing products and tailored services include commercial and military aircraft, satellites, weapons, electronic and defense systems, launch systems, advanced information and communication systems, and performance-based logistics and training.
✈️ Boeing takes flight in sustainability battle with carbon data cruncher
US aerospace giant Boeing has released a data modeling tool designed to reveal the effects of a range of technologies that the industry hopes will reduce aviation’s carbon emissions.
In an effort to better understand the impact of proposed solutions, the Seattle-based manufacturer has released the Boeing Cascade Climate Impact Model for public use. The data modeling tool identifies the effects of a range of sustainability solutions to reduce aviation’s carbon emissions and can be found at Boeing’s new Sustainable Aerospace Together hub.
The company promises that Cascade crunches the numbers on the full life cycle of alternate energy sources for aviation, including production and distribution of fuels, through to their usage. Data modeling also measures airplane fleet renewal, operational efficiency, renewable energy sources, future aircraft, and market-based measures as pathways to decarbonization.
Meet the organization helping aviation companies harness digital twins
NIAR works with government agencies, eVTOL manufacturers, and commercial aircraft OEMs like Boeing to test parts for compliance with FAA regulations, and with the FAA itself on certification by analysis methodologies for airframe crashworthiness and ditching, according to Gerardo Olivares, senior research scientist and director at NIAR. The industry has outsourced parts of these processes to organizations like NIAR in an effort to lower costs.
Olivares told Emerging Tech Brew that NIAR uses digital twins for flight testing, design, and test safety in devices like pilot seats, and to assist in FAA certification. He said its digital twin tech is developed with the help of Altair, a tech company that specializes in simulation software, among other things.
How Boeing Uses Cloud Native
“Being able to leverage the best technologists out there in the rest of the world is of great value to us strategically,” Torres, chief engineer of open source and cloud native for Boeing, said. This strategy allows Boeing to “differentiate on what we do as our core business rather than having to reinvent the wheel all the time on all of the technology.”
Like many other large companies, Boeing has created an open source office to better work with the open source community. Although Boeing is primarily a consumer of open source software, it still wants to work with the community. “We want to make sure that we have a strategy around how we contribute back to the open source community, and then leverage those learnings for inner sourcing,” he said.
Mitsubishi Automates Boeing 777 Fuselage Production
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. (MHI) assembles 777 fuselage panels in Hiroshima, Japan, and ships them to Boeing’s wide-body aircraft factory in Everett, WA. To improve productivity and boost quality, the airframer recently installed an automated fastening system supplied by Broetje-Automation GmbH.
Two state-of-the-art production lines include nine major fastening systems that improve flexibility and throughput. The goal of the multi year project was to create an automated assembly system that can quickly adapt to production fluctuations and cost reductions. A flow line concept enables MHI to assemble multiple types of panels in different sizes and shapes on the same line, while significantly improving throughput and quality.
Traditionally, the aerospace industry has been slow to automate. “[That’s because manufacturers demand extremely accurate levels] of precision and quality,” says Wermter. “Commercial aircraft are large, complex products. “The total number of planes produced annually is also significantly low compared to other manufacturing sectors, such as automotive or consumer goods,” explains Wermter. “Only a small part of the entire production process is automated. “Due to complex processes [and tight tolerances], it’s often necessary to combine automatic and manual work in one workstation,” says Wermter. “Automation of entire lines is [rare] in the aerospace sector. However, new digital technologies, human-machine collaboration and Industry 4.0 [tools] are changing that scenario.”
Reality Show: X-ray Vision Can See Through Metal
A typical aircraft maintenance inspection involves maintenance technicians and engineers walking around an aircraft recording new defects and damage with a pencil in a notebook. Locations are often described in language like ‘3 inches from the left side of the window.’ The inspection can often take hours or days. But what if you could hold a digital device and see locations of all previous damage and repairs highlighted in 3D?
Metaverse could accelerate manufacturing as well as social ills
For companies playing with virtual reality as disparate as plane-maker Boeing Co (BA.N) and online-gaming platform Roblox Corp (RBLX.N), forays into the so-called “metaverse” have come with equal parts promise and peril.
The U.S. aviation giant is looking to digital technology to accelerate production of new aircraft, said Susan Doniz, Boeing’s chief information officer, at the Reuters Momentum conference in Austin on Tuesday. She cited how Boeing cut the development time of the T-7 trainer jet by 80% to three years as an example of what might be possible for commercial airplanes.
How Boeing overcame their on-premises implementation challenges with data & AI
From Boeing Starliner to Goodyear tire, 3-D printing is becoming manufacturing reality
By 2030, Goodyear aims to bring maintenance-free and airless tires to market, and 3-D printing is part of that effort for the Akron-based tire-making leader founded in 1898 and named after innovator Charles Goodyear. Currently, about 2% of its production is through additive manufacturing and more integration into the mix is in sight.
Humtown Products, a 63-year-old, family-owned foundry near Youngstown, Ohio, adopted 3-D printing in 2014 as an efficient way to make industrial cores and molds. Today, its additive manufacturing division accounts for 55% of overall revenue and is growing by 50% annually. Pivoting to 3-D printing was the company’s “Kodak moment,” said owner and president Mark Lamoncha. “If you are not in the next space, you are out of business,” Lamoncha said. “This industry is at a tipping point to commercialization and in many disciplines it is the equivalent of driving a race car,” he said.
“For industry, it’s most definitely a competitive advantage because you can design in ways that you can’t with traditional production,” said Melissa Orme, has been vice president of additive manufacturing since 2019, a role that cuts across Boeing’s three business units making commercial airplanes, satellites and defense systems. She works with a team of 100 engineers, researchers and other specialists in advancing the technology’s development. Orme cited advantages in reduced lead times for production by a factor of ten, streamlined design into one large piece for assembly, and increased durability.
Blackhorn Ventures Leads Datch's Series A with $10 Million Investment
In just a few years, we have rapidly expanded, introducing our technology into Fortune 500 and other industry-leading enterprises, and now work with a range of sectors: utilities, energy, manufacturing, mining, and aviation. Continuing with this momentum, we are proud to announce our latest funding round of $10 million. Blackhorn Ventures, an Industry 4.0 fund investing in software companies redefining the industrial sector, led the capital raise, which was also supported by Blue Bear Capital, Boeing HorizonX, Park Partners, Lorimer Ventures, and others.
The funding will be used to expand Datch’s platform capabilities, introduce new integration tools, and scale our enterprise operations and support. Our goal is to provide our customers with the toolkit to map their unique processes and connect Datch to their systems-of-record with ease.
Boeing backed AI Build scoops $3.2M to revolutionise large scale 3D printing industry
The AI SaaS company Ai Build has just recently announced closing a $3.2M funding round. Its platform assists manufacturers in employing the additive manufacturing process to maximise their efficiency. The funding was led by ACT Venture Partners and existing investor SuperSeed. The intelligent software platform makes use of advanced geometrical analysis, real-world data analytics and physics simulations to automatically adapt and optimise the production of parts across different machines in large enterprises.
Boeing Bionics Allow Teammates to Suit up for Safety
In Boeing’s commercial division, the exoskeleton vest is in use or planned for use as personal protective equipment in the 737, 767, 777 and 787 Dreamliner programs. Teams at a number of Boeing sites have tested the vest since 2018. It is rolling out as an innovative enterprise standard tool designed to lessen the pressure mechanics bear as they work repetitive jobs at chest level and above.
“When you activate the vest, it’s somewhere between 5 to 18 pounds (2 to 8 kilograms) offloaded from the wearer,” said Dr. Christopher Reid, a Boeing engineer and Associate Technical Fellow who specializes in ergonomics and wearable technology. “It reduces the stress on the shoulders and ultimately reduces injuries.”
Digital twins improve real-life manufacturing
Real-world data paired with digital simulations of products—digital twins—are providing valuable insights that are helping companies identify and resolve problems before prototypes go into production and manage products in the field, says Alberto Ferrari, senior director of the Model-Based Digital Thread Process Capability Center at Raytheon.
The concept has started to take off, with the market for digital-twin technology and tools growing by 58% annually to reach $48 billion by 2026, up from $3.1 billion in 2020. Using the technology to create digital prototypes saves resources, money, and time. Yet the technology is also being used to simulate far more, from urban populations to energy systems to the deployment of new services.
Boeing wants to build its next airplane in the metaverse
In Boeing Co’s factory of the future, immersive 3-D engineering designs will be twinned with robots that speak to each other, while mechanics around the world will be linked by $3,500 HoloLens headsets made by Microsoft.
Boeing’s holy grail for its next new aircraft is to build and link virtual three-dimensional “digital twin” replicas of the jet and the production system able to run simulations. The digital mockups are backed by a “digital thread” that stitches together every piece of information about the aircraft from its infancy - from airline requirements, to millions of parts, to thousands of pages of certification documents - extending deep into the supply chain. Overhauling antiquated paper-based practices could bring powerful change. More than 70% of quality issues at Boeing trace back to some kind of design issue, Hyslop said. Boeing believes such tools will be central to bringing a new aircraft from inception to market in as little as four or five years.
Aerospace, Defense and Industry 4.0
“Designing for manufacturability, modeling the production environment, and then producing our products with a minimum of duplicated effort—this can give us the breakthroughs in speed and affordability that the A&D environment needs in a time of limited budgets and rapidly changing threats,” explains Daughters. “These technologies are an essential component to our ‘digital thread’ across the product life cycle. They give us the ability to simulate tradeoffs between capability, manufacturability, complexity, materials and cost before transitioning to the physical world.”
“In a nutshell, I4.0 involves leveraging technology to better serve the world,” says Matt Medley, industry director for A&D manufacturing at IFS, a multinational enterprise software company. “More than just collecting and processing mounds of data via sensors and the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), I4.0 is turning data into actionable intelligence to not only drive efficiency and grow profits, but to also help companies be good stewards of our natural resources and local communities. Aerospace and defense companies whose enterprise software can keep pace with developments like additive manufacturing, AI, digital twins, and virtual and augmented reality (V/AR) are the ones that will thrive in an increasingly digital 4.0 era.”
3D Printing Technologies in Aerospace and Defense Industries
Currently, AI is an integral part of the design process for AM in aerospace. In designing parts for aircraft, achieving the optimal weight-to-strength ratio is a primary objective, since reducing weight is an important factor in air-frame structures design. Today’s PLM solutions offer function-driven generative design using AI-based algorithms to capture the functional specifications and generate and validate conceptual shapes best suited for AM fabrication. Using this generative functional design method produces the optimal lightweight design within the functional specifications.
GE to advance competitiveness of wind energy with 3D printed turbine blades
The project will initially produce a full-size 3D printed blade tip for structural testing, in addition to three blade tips to be installed on a wind turbine, with the hope of reducing manufacturing cost and increasing supply chain flexibility for the components.
“We are excited to partner with the DoE Advanced Manufacturing Office, as well as with our world class partners to produce a highly innovative advanced manufacturing and additive process to completely revolutionize the state of the art of wind blade manufacturing,” said Matteo Bellucci, GE Renewable Energy’s Advanced Manufacturing Leader.
SparkCognition and SkyGrid Deploy First AI-Powered Cybersecurity System on Drones
SparkCognition, the world’s leading industrial artificial intelligence (AI) company, and SkyGrid, a Boeing, SparkCognition Company, today announced a new collaboration to deploy AI-powered cybersecurity directly on drones, protecting them from zero-day attacks during flight. Equipped with SparkCognition’s DeepArmor® cybersecurity product, SkyGrid is the first airspace management system to enable drone protection powered by AI. This approach provides more advanced airspace security than traditional anti-malware reliant on signatures of known threats.
Boeing Tests Augmented Reality in the Factory
Installing electrical wiring on an aircraft is a complex task that leaves zero room for error. That’s why Boeing is testing augmented reality as a possible solution to give technicians real-time, hands-free, interactive 3D wiring diagrams - right before their eyes.
“Our theory studies have shown a 90 percent improvement in first-time quality when compared to using two-dimensional information on the airplane, along with a 30 percent reduction in time spent doing a job.”
Boeing HorizonX Invests in Artificial Intelligence Leader SparkCognition
Boeing announced it is investing in SparkCognition, an Austin, Texas-based company focused on artificial intelligence and machine learning in the fields of information technology security and industrial operations. It is the latest investment by the Boeing HorizonX venture arm established earlier this year SparkCognition has established itself as a machine learning technology leader, developing a cognitive, data-driven analytics platform for the safety, security and reliability of data technology for customers in energy, oil and gas, manufacturing, finance, aerospace, defense, telecommunications and security.
“SparkCognition is at the forefront of a technological shift in machine learning and artificial intelligence that will revolutionize every aspect of industry. They are leaders in AI, and they are pursuing the types of technologies that are critical to our future products and services,” said Greg Hyslop, Boeing chief technology officer and senior vice president, Engineering, Test & Technology.
Boeing is joining a group of strategic investors led by Verizon Ventures as SparkCognition closes its initial $32 million funding round.