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News

ESI Group integrates RTM simulation in the CATIA V5 working environment for Airbus

ESI Group : 01 September, 2006  (New Product)
ESI Group and Airbus announce their first collaboration in the field of virtual manufacturing. Based upon Airbus specifications, ESI Group has developed in CATIA V5 a simulation application for composite parts manufactured using the liquid composite molding processes.
Airbus in its new advanced aircraft programs is utilizing composite materials on a large scale. The use of modern materials and processes is the way to decrease the weight which is the main objective in aeronautics. However, making thicker, larger and more elaborate composite parts generates new technological challenges. With these new materials and processes it is no longer possible to rely only on traditional methodologies to design and manufacture these components. Due to the size of the parts, the traditional trial and error approach of tooling manufacturing would lead to unacceptable tooling costs as well as long development lead times and expensive material waste. Simulation based design is seen as a way to address these challenges in an economical way.

RTM simulation has been used for more than 10 years by EADS, the major share holder of Airbus, for simulating the injection of parts with resin fibrous reinforcements (Resin Transfer Molding process). These last years, EADS CCR (Centre Commun de Recherches, Suresnes, France) and ESI Group have collaborated to adapt the capabilities of PAM-RTM to the emerging needs of new aircraft programs. PAM-RTM can be used to design and develop new tooling and processes for composite materials. It checks the mold design and the process parameters in order to make sure that the parts are injected correctly first time.

PAM-RTM for CATIA V5 is the result of the first implementation of PAM-RTM capabilities in CATIA V5 during a two year joint project with Airbus. The software takes full benefit of the seamless integration of simulation algorithms within CATIA V5 performed on the native geometry. This fully integrated application dramatically reduces the simulation cycle time allowing direct associativity between mold design and simulation results. It also allows the user to perform injection analysis directly on the CAD model, which ensures a consistent geometric dataflow in an iterative continuous improvement process, resulting in significant time savings and costs.

In the past, such analysis could only be done in an external simulation environment, forcing the user to export the geometric data and leave the CAD environment. Since the simulation process has now been fully integrated using CAA V5 architecture and components, PAM-RTM for CATIA V5 presents a common user interface to the designer. Key advantages are no loss of information due to geometry conversion and transfer and the dynamic communication between design and simulation results.

“The PAM-RTM for PLM version we developed for Airbus, is the starting point of ESI Group's collaboration with Airbus to bring virtual manufacturing within the PLM. Our objective is to support Airbus current increased use of composite materials through the delivery of physics based simulation tools, available within the Airbus PLM working environment ’” said Vincent Chaillou, President Product Operations and Chief Operating Officer ESI Group.

‘With this application, Airbus is introducing the numerical simulation of manufacturing liquid composite molding processes. It is seen as a major breakthrough that will help us to remain at the cutting edge of the technology in the composite material field’ adds Gilles Debril, Airbus Concurrent Engineering, Composite Project Manager.
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