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Digital Twin Technology for Aerospace Industry

Digital Twin Technology for Aerospace Industry

The aerospace industry requires enormous time and financial resources to manufacture and maintain its assets. Whether an organisation is building aeroplanes for commercial purposes or military use, it requires extra care. This is because any tiny malfunction could potentially lead the aircraft to stop functioning while flying. The number of advanced technologies incorporated into aircraft, including sensors and digital avionic systems, have significantly increased protection. However, since the collateral damage resulting from an accident in the aerospace industry is wide-ranging, incorporating emerging technology that shows greater promise would be an asset. In this regard, digital twins, a simulation technology, can monitor the aircraft’s health remotely while simultaneously implementing contingency or quality control measures to withstand all disasters. 

Digital twins in the aerospace industry are not entirely new. It has already been used to track air travel. NASA has incorporated the concept of digital twins into its operations since the 1960s. They use it to craft foolproof blueprints and roadmaps and test the efficiency of newly built aeroplanes. Previously, engineers had to rely on probability-based techniques to determine when an engine might need maintenance or repair. By incorporating digital twins, however, a virtual copy of a real-world aeroplane engine will be created. Any data the physical copy picks up is relayed to the digital twin in real-time. In other words, in various situations, engineers can see how the physical asset operates via the virtual copy. Advanced data analytics are also used to predict risks more accurately than physical engine tests were previously able to. 

This article will explore how digital twin technology is utilised in the aerospace industry and what can be gained.

How Is Digital Twin Infused into the Aerospace Industry?

While digital twins are mainly used to reduce overall manufacturing, maintenance and repair costs, there are other ways in which this powerful technology can help practitioners in the industry. Here are four main advantages:

Monitor Energy Emissions

With the increasing need to take measures against climate change, aviation has been at the forefront of reducing emissions in the transportation industry. Flying is traditionally seen as an unsustainable form of transportation as it supposedly increases one’s carbon footprint. However, halting the aerospace industry is not a reality that will be seen soon. Many people and other sectors depend on this industry to operate efficiently for faster travelling or shipments. Therefore, managers and engineers must take innovative measures to fight climate change instead. Utilising digital twins can help the aerospace industry reduce emissions to an absolute minimum. Energy, for instance, is significantly reduced based on the weight of the material. This means designers or engineers must strike the right balance of lightness and strength in the raw material used to reduce overall energy levels. Having digital twins in this regard helps them to carry out multiple tests to assure that each phase of the manufacturing process meets quality and sustainability standards. Incorporating digital twins, moreover, means that managers can actively monitor and take responsibility for the energy produced and take steps to reduce it.

Prepare For Worst Case Scenarios

Every transportation asset requires a contingency plan to be in place in case of emergencies. While such emergencies may be out of control and cannot be prevented, it does not mean that the asset cannot be prepared to withstand such events. Weather conditions have been one significant contributor to emergency landings, requiring engineers to implement robust infrastructures into the plane. With digital twins, engineers can actively monitor how certain parts of the aeroplane will react in such situations. Whether in terms of design or the type of raw material used, engineers, designers, and manufacturers can test out multiple situations and make a foolproof plan to execute a safe and durable aeroplane.

Know When It Is The Right Time To Repair Your Asset

As enormous financial investments are made to make a compact aeroplane, an engineer’s sole aim is to ensure that the plane stays healthy for a long time. This means a plane’s condition cannot be assessed by its ability to fly but by whether it can perform at its highest at all times. In other words, while an aeroplane will get old, it is expected to uphold its quality over the years. Quality can only be assured through repairs and maintenance. There used to be a time when managers randomly scheduled maintenance at a set period for all aeroplanes. In other words, no consideration was made to decide whether the asset required maintenance at that point. Instead, the presumption held by many was that as long as repairs and maintenance were made, due care was taken. This stance could not be further from the truth. In actuality, each aeroplane is different from the others, even if they were made on the same day, with the same processes and raw materials. For unknown reasons, two assets will not always function the same way. The advanced technology of digital twins understands this fact completely. Hence, it takes time to analyse each asset thoroughly and can predict the best time suitable for repairs. What is great about this is that managers can schedule repairs without having to halt their operations and can reliably assure consumers that the aeroplane is safe.

Improve Fleet Level Health Management

The number of parts inside an aeroplane is numerous. As a result, if any of it fails to perform, it can drastically affect the asset’s health. Incorporating digital twins gives complete visibility to all these minute processes. Not only does it let managers monitor the fleet’s health in real-time, but it can also guarantee that quality mechanisms are in place. One of the reasons why aviation is expensive is because of the quality of the parts used. This is not a field that can afford to compromise on quality; therefore, infusing the most standardised products from the beginning is an advantage. As the production processes of an aeroplane are streamlined, it is integral to overlook all operations, ensuring that mistakes relating to quality are not made. With digital twins, such a slip-up will not occur when its highly visualised dashboards instantly warn managers if the quality of raw material used, for instance, will affect the overall production of the plane.

Powering the Aviation Industry With Cerexio’s Digital Twin Solution

Cerexio’s Digital Twin infuses the latest simulation technology to carry out sophisticated operations consistently. In a field like aerospace, a digital twin is not a luxury but a necessity for the safety of pilots, passengers and civilians. Physically manipulate real-time occurrences by responding to any threats in advance and accurately. Take charge of administrative efforts without difficulty, as Cerexio provides vast visualisation tools to stay on top of everything. Use the detailed reports that include valuable insights and make smarter decisions to reduce overall waste, costs and resources. The best part is that you will not have to sacrifice or leverage your quality standards despite the energy and finances you will save with our solution. 

Connect with us and discover other industry 4.0 technologies Cerexio offers, which the aerospace industry can easily integrate. 

Abridge Your Physical World With Its Digital Counterpart

How great is it to visually assess the way the inside of an aeroplane operates in different situations? With the help of Cerexio, you can make that dream a reality by incorporating its digital twin technology solutions. Simply connect your physical object to a virtual counterpart and monitor the asset. You can test the robust nature of your aircraft by putting it through hypothetical situations. Whether it is testing out the safety of your aeroplane when flying in extreme weather conditions or making a sudden landing, you can go through trial and error digitally whilst not harming anyone or anything in the process.

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