Virtual validation shortens dry-run phase by 30 percent

at Airbus Atlantic

Airbus Atlantic is a driving force for the sustainable future of the aerospace industry – not surprisingly, because the French company is a global champion within the industry and maintains 13,500 employees on three continents.

Business volume reached approx. € 4.6 billion in 2023, and Airbus Atlantic’s management is determined to pursue its path to industrial manufacturing excellence. A milestone on this journey: The introduction of FASTSUITE Edition 2.

About the customer

Airbus Atlantic

Airbus Atlantic is a leading global industry corporation, an important division of Airbus and a preferred partner of customers worldwide. Airbus Atlantic’s innovations are fueled by highly qualified teams and an irrepressible business spirit. They set new benchmarks for industrial excellence and lay the foundations for the competitive and sustainable aerospace industry of the future.

To the customer website

Business challenge

Cost Reductions

Robot-based production suffers from frequent downtimes and collision damage, causing financial losses.    

Process Efficiency

Production planning has not been fully digitalized, resulting in high expenditures of time and cost. 

Minimizing Risk

There is as yet no instrument for identifying potential problems in production, which would prevent errors from the outset.

Innovation

Market leadership is a product of superior technology. Manufacturing must reflect this this view.

Customer goals

Best-possible digital simulation of reality

  • The previously deployed software would sometimes lead to imprecise robot programming and validation
  • Airbus Atlantic sought a solution able to virtually replicate real processes in production environments with maximum precision 

Target: Minimize errors and improve production quality thanks to precise simulation and validation

 

Streamlined testing and validation processes

  • Extensive physical performance testing and validation caused production downtimes
  • In future, virtual control validation should streamline testing and validation processes
  • Ideally, this would also optimize production planning and permit faster rollout to production

Airbus Atlantic’s goal: Maximum productivity and operational efficiency

Fewer rejects, fewer mistakes and lower costs

  • Costs caused by production errors must be reduced
  • This requires better robot programming and simulation
  • Both goals were attained by introducing a new solution for virtual control validation

Target: Reduced reject rates and reworking costs and thereby optimized resource use.

 

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Company-wide benefits of virtual control validation at Airbus Atlantic

How can challenges in manufacturing be overcome so as to boost operating efficiency? In our client project with Airbus Atlantic, we developed a cross-board strategy to achieve just that.

Following project kickoff, we conducted an in-depth review of legacy processes and identified weaknesses that had to be eliminated. The core issues proved to be production errors and cost-intensive dry runs. Additionally, there was no tool for precise virtual replication of real processes in robot programming and validation. Together with the client, we reviewed available software solutions with a view to their ability to satisfy the specific requirements of the Airbus Atlantic manufacturing environment.

The decision came to FASTSUITE Edition 2, a 3D simulation suite developed by CENIT. A clear argument in favor of this software was its ability to generate highly precise virtual reproductions of production facilities. Also, the application was able to streamline validation processes and improve overall production quality.

Primarily, FASTSUITE Edition 2 had been selected for virtual control validation. But Airbus Atlantic also plans to work with digital twin technology in future and therefore wanted to task the CENIT software with introducing digital twinning as well.

During implementation, we adapted FASTSUITE Edition 2 to Airbus Atlantic’s workflows and seamlessly integrated the solution with the deployed systems. We configured the simulation parameters and created digital twins of the production facilities. At all times, our team ensured full compatibility with the existing system infrastructure.

Drawing on the results of pilot tests, we fine-tuned the solution and iteratively optimized its performance. Following successful validation, Airbus Atlantic fully introduced FASTSUITE Edition 2 at its production sites. The solution was integrated with standard project procedures for the introduction of new machinery and production resources. Thus, all the benefits of virtual control validation and digital twinning are now available throughout the enterprise.

We conducted training courses to ensure that Airbus Atlantic’s users were sufficiently familiar with how FASTSUITE Edition 2 works. Our instructions covered all relevant tasks related to offline programming, virtual control validation and digital twinning. A key prerequisite of project success was the close collaboration between Airbus Atlantic, CENIT and all involved stakeholders.

Airbus Atlantic attained all its objectives: Greater operative excellence, higher product quality and development of innovative manufacturing processes.

In a nutshell:

  • FASTSUITE Edition 2 deployed as digital factory software for simulation and offline programming
  • Virtual validation for manufacturing processes in the aerospace industry
  • Synergy between offline programming and digital twin simulation minimizes errors and inaccuracies during the production process

Do you have further questions or are you interested in a consultancy? Please feel free to contact us directly. Make a request

Results and conclusion

Greater quality in production

Reduced production costs, yet higher quality and overall operational efficiency. 

Shorter dry-run and calibration times

Dry-run and calibration times were reduced by 30 percent, freeing up resources for improved production planning and maximum productivity.

Parameter-based security

Airbus Atlantic as introduced clearly defined processes and improved parameter-based security in robot programming and validation.

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