Future Engineering Systems (FES) project involves developing and demonstrating a prototype system that integrates complex engineering data within the process lifecycle management (PLM) tool chain. FES is a collaborative project with a value of £4.22m, led by The Centre for Modelling & Simulation (CFMS), involving eQ-Technologic, Leeds University Socio-Technical Centre, Rolls-Royce, Sheffield University, Siemens, and Sysemia. FES began on 1st April 2016 and will run for three years. The project is supported by the joint industry and government aerospace R&D funding programme, delivered as a partnership between the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS), the Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI) and Innovate UK.
The creation of complex, high-value products and components is underpinned by PLM systems within industry. These systems enable the management of the entire lifecycle of a product efficiently and cost effectively, from idea, design and manufacture, through to service, maintenance and disposal. Industry ambition to optimise the design process and reduce time to market can be realised through the capture of rich concurrent engineering data within this tool chain. To date, the high volume and complex formatting of such raw engineering data sources has made it difficult to handle within PLM. This presents an opportunity to actively manage transient data; correlation of related data sources and uncertainty in those data sources from within a unified platform is lost.
FES integrates multidisciplinary modelling and analysis techniques, using model-based design techniques with PLM-based systems engineering and synthetic design environments, and provides uncertainty quantification (robustness) to the engineering data flow via the PLM interface. FES demonstrates the integration of raw data from activities such as Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) and Fault Effects Analysis to PLM, with uncertainty quantification and management (UQ&M) functions and automated agent-based quality control. This will then be exercised against real industrial use cases and demonstrated within the prototype system at CFMS.
By utilising this technology across streamlined engineering design functions, economic benefits will be generated through the increased productivity of aerospace primes in the UK. PLM systems will be enhanced, such that higher value and more current data sources can be included and shared. Societal benefits will result from improved aerospace transport systems, due to enhancements in design systems, and quality and uncertainty control in components. Environmental benefits follow from improved propulsion system efficiencies, and from a reduction in the wastage of raw materials in producing unnecessary physical prototypes. The technology developed is applicable across multiple sectors, with direct benefit to those in aerospace, automotive, construction and energy production.