Brazil-based Embraer recently opened its first North American facility in Florida, a development that highlights the international nature of the aerospace industry. In years past, Boeing planes were built in Seattle, and Airbus planes were built at a few facilities across Europe. Now, the industry has an international supply base much like the automotive industry. Suppliers who were captive to one OEM are now providing parts to other OEMs, with the supply base supporting Boeing, Airbus, Bombardier, Embraer, and Comac. But what does this shift mean for the industry?
Competition will encourage innovation and drive down costs by raising efficiency, which will benefit both the industry and the flying public. However, a global supply chain does create challenges in communication, logistics, planning, scheduling and other areas. We’ve seen those challenges manifest themselves in many high-profile schedule
delays on new programs.
Critical areas on the communication front are data management and collaboration tools. Altair recently launched CAE data management tools directly in HyperWorks that can be used on any scale appropriate to the organization, from a single user to the enterprise. Altair specifically structured its data management offering to coincide with our “open systems” philosophy. This philosophy is based on the premise that organizations need flexibility in the software tools they use and therefore should not be forced to rely on proprietary data formats. Our HyperWorks suite supports many 3rd party CAD and CAE formats used throughout the industry, and likewise our data management system will integrate with the popular PLM systems in use today.
Just as competition is healthy in building airplanes, competition is also healthy in developing software. Providing a flexible tool for managing CAE data that allows you to work with many types of data coming from many different sources will provide value to the emerging aerospace global supply network.
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