Game-changing digital solutions for Airbus
Zenotech is proud to have participated in an exciting project using its EPIC product to address a digital technology challenge from Airbus. We worked with CFMS, the University of Liverpool, and Sogeti to create engineering workflows in the cloud, supported by Amazon AWS and IBM Hyperledger. Together, we succeeded in our aim to bid, deliver, and present a working solution for Airbus within one year.
The project was formed at DiPart in 2016 (the annual Airbus Flight Physics conference at CFMS in the UK) where the Head of Flight Physics in Airbus, Marc Fischer outlined his vision for better mobilisation of digital technologies, including using cloud technology for future aircraft development. To meet their ambitions, the aeronautical engineering sector needs to harness the power of cloud computing, data sciences, and the Internet of Things.
Our team and partners took up Marc Fischer’s challenge to establish advanced ICT and digital services for the aerospace engineering sector, and vowed to present the results one year later at DiPart 2017.
We investigated distributed computing and cloud-based workflows for Airbus, and one of our products, EPIC (Elastic, Private, Interactive, Cloud) was included as a demonstrator for on-demand use of HPC resources. As EPIC offers secure and flexible access to a range of global cloud HPC, it was used to provide solutions around workflow management, managing hardware and software requirements, data security, and licensing against a dynamic cloud HPC market.
For this project, a workflow from Amazon AWS was chosen, and from this we created a more complex demonstrator to show how they could choose resources, and optimise the workflow and price performance. The data is accessible and contextualised for the end-user with Airbus Structures receiving a different simulation than Airbus Flight Physics. Another strand of this project was all about proving the applicability of commodity tools, such as blockchain to secure data whilst it is being used by cloud resources.
The results of this project will have a huge impact for Airbus as well as their digital supply chain partners with less expensive engineering processes, quicker design iterations, and higher aircraft performance. Indeed, Vincent Malmedy, managing consultant at Sogeti referred to the project as “a game-changer” as it will change the way that people do their daily jobs.
Michael Augello, Head of Policy, Development and Integration at Airbus said:
“New digital services will be a major enabler for us at Airbus to open up a better support to our customers but also to give new services that they haven’t dreamed of yet and to steer our supply chain and engineering efforts.”
Zenotech’s co-director, David Standingford said:
“We are proud to have demonstrated the impact of our EPIC platform by responding directly and agilely to the needs of Airbus. These digital solutions will help to optimise workflows, future-proofing Airbus and the UK aerospace engineering sector more broadly.”
A British and Bristol approach
This project represents the advantages of the British approach to delivery compared to other European countries with national research labs whose projects can be too drawn out for the needs of industry. The UK can be much more dynamic with its strong digital supply chain, offering serious industrial traction.
It is also important that this project stemmed from Zenotech’s hometown of Bristol, which has a growing international reputation as a digital hub. With the high value manufacturing companies based in the area, it is vital that there is the technological innovation available to help them.
Watch this short video to find out more about our Airbus project:
We are proud of this collaboration with our partners, and for the support from the Aerospace Technology Institute and Innovate UK.
For more information about this project and how we could help your business, get in touch.