Transformative Roles Of Global Engineering Partners


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Transformative Roles Of Global Engineering Partners

  1. 1. Transformative Roles of Global Engineering Partners in the A&D Supply Chain – A look into the aircraft certification process Abstract The main objective of this paper is to highlight the role of Global Engineering Partners (GEPs) in the globalized Aerospace & Defense (A&D) supply chain with an emphasis on the certification process. The complexities involved in aircraft certification due to transforming roles of the stakeholders are highlighted. The paper presents a detailed approach for airworthiness and type certification for a developmental aircraft, various standards that are applicable and types of certification. A case study based approach is followed to demonstrate how the capabilities of GEPs could be leveraged by the A&D industry to address design for quality and the support for certification in various aircraft related areas. The paper clearly articulates the challenges faced by the A&D industry and explains how GEPs can positively impact the A&D value chain by reducing lead time, cost and risk to create sustainable supply chain surplus. The paper concludes that global networks encompassing the A&D players and the right GEPs would be a key success factor for the A&D industry in the future as these GEPs give the A&D industry access to global talent pool to foster innovation in the supply chain Keywords: Certification, Global Engineering Partner (GEP), Aerospace & Defense (A&D), Compliance, Supply Chain 1. Introduction The OEMs of the A&D industry are evolving into a new role of super-integrators. These emerging super-integrators are driving outsourcing of development and manufacturing to strategic partners and suppliers worldwide to meet the challenging business imperatives in terms of cost, time, risk and innovation. Industry consolidation and compressed time-to-market are driving the A&D industry. This is forcing the A&D companies to increase productivity and efficiency at all stages of the product lifecycle. The mission criticality characteristic associated with the aerospace and defense products places towering importance on the Certification process in the product life cycle. The paper highlights globalized scenario of the A&D industry and explains the aircraft Certification process in such a scenario. Also, this paper explains the philosophy of type Certification for a developmental aircraft, different types of Certifications and applicable Certification standards. Further it deals with the role of Global Engineering Partners (GEPs) in the Certification process in the globalized scenario with the aid of a few cases. The cases are used to explain how GEPs could significantly contribute to the fulfillment of the business objectives of the A&D companies. 2. Globalized scenario and its implications on the Certification process The global Aerospace & Defense (A&D) industry is undergoing major transformations (Refer Fig 1). The big push over in the past few years is to drive suppliers to add more value in terms of System Engineering, Integration, Testing & Certification, while the OEMs assemble larger Sub- Assemblies together. The OEM’s focus is on core competencies, i.e, Final Integration, Technology Advancements, Testing & overall Certification, while suppliers work either as System Design and Manufacturing specialists. The result is, Sixty to eighty percent of production costs, risk and lead times reside across the supply chain. Boeing’s 787 program
  2. 2. supply chain being a case in point. The entire wing of 787 is outsourced to Japan1. Most A&D OEMs are driving value to the supply base; there has been an increased emphasis on supplier partnership programs. These partnerships have caused OEMs to invest in supplier development teams. They work with the suppliers on their design & production systems to facilitate design & Certification activities and develop production capacities to meet demand, cost targets and the regulatory compliance. Lean and Six Sigma are the leading tool sets preferred by the A&D OEMs. Embraer’s initiatives in these lines are notable. The number of suppliers involved in ERJ 170/190, in comparison to the ERJ-145, was reduced from 400 to 40; 16 of them being risk sharing partners2. The decrease was a strategic decision to better manage them, minimize costs and improve product quality through collaboration with the best companies in the sector. Fig-1 In the current globalized context the Tier1 suppliers are faced with a three pronged challenging scenario (Refer Fig 2) owing to the paradigm shift in the roles & responsibilities of the A&D supply chain: 1. Intra system relationships – Responsibility of the complete package (system/subsystem) 2. Inter system relationships – Understanding the connectivity to other packages (system/subsystem) which are owned by other suppliers. 3. Overall aircraft level relationships – Understanding the interactions of major systems at the aircraft level 1 David Pritchard and Alan MacPherson, 2005 2 Paulo Figueired, Gutenberg Silveira and Roberto Sbragia, 2008
  3. 3. Fig-2 The Tier1 should possess necessary competencies and capabilities to own the complete package with due regard to the above mentioned three challenges. This implies that the Tier1 should have knowledge of the complete aircraft life cycle including but not limited to Design, Development, Production, Testing, Certification and After Market support. The complex Certification process involved in the life cycle is what differentiates the A&D industry from other industries. Airworthiness clearance is an important phase in the aircraft development life cycle which ensures safe operation of aircraft. Also, the requirements for airworthiness are precisely defined for various classes of airborne vehicles. Airworthiness Certification is applicable at different stages of the Aircraft life cycle • Design & Development Phase - Design Certifications leading to Initial Operational Clearance (IOC) and Final Operational Clearance (FOC) • Production Phase – Deviation assessment, failure analyses and acceptance of modifications • After Market – Clearance on Mods, Repairs, etc., The process of Certification becomes much more complex in the current transforming A&D supply chain. With increasing pressures to reduce the lead time and cost across the supply chain, the stakeholders are promoting concurrent practices and low cost country sourcing. But any compromise with regard to quality and airworthiness requirements is totally unacceptable. In this background, Global Engineering Partners (GEPs) play a key role with their proven capabilities in the aerospace domain, global outsourcing practices and sustainable quality focused delivery capabilities. The GEPs help the Tier1/OEM to achieve their business objectives in terms of shortened lead times, reduced costs across the supply chain and uncompromised quality. The GEPs provide value to Tier1/OEMs by their significant contributions in the process of Aircraft Certification across the life cycle. 3. Aircraft Certification, Types and Applicable Standards Aircraft Certification refers to the ability of an aircraft / airborne equipment/ system to operate without significant hazard to aircrew/pilots, ground crew, passengers (where relevant)
  4. 4. or to the general public over which such airborne systems are flown. Certification addresses Safety of Operators, Safety of Passengers and Public. Aircraft Certification also refers to assurance from the Certification agencies concerned that the product/component/LRU meets the specifications set out by the design including both functional and operational performance requirements. The identified Certification agencies for the civilian & commercial aircraft are: 1. Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) for US 2. European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) for Europe 3. Director General for Civil Aviation (DGCA) for India. Similarly, Military aircraft also have respective Certification agencies (Departments of Defense) in US & Europe. In India the Certifying agency is Centre for Military Airworthiness (CEMILAC). There are different types of Certification that are involved with aircraft namely - Type Certification (TC) • Type Certification refers to Certification of any structural component (Primary/Secondary), system / sub system / LRU and overall aircraft Certification - Supplementary Type Certification (STC) • Whenever a type certified aircraft undergoes any modifications, it requires Certification from the respective Certification agency • Two types of STC namely “One only” and “Multiple” Different standards are applicable depending upon the type of airborne vehicle ( i.e., large civil transport, helicopters, business jets, very light jets, Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, Military aircraft) and the Maximum Take Off weight Criteria. The following are the different Certification standards applicable based on the above criteria. • For Large Civil Transport Aircraft (Regional Jets, Single Aisle Aircraft, Twin Aisle/Wide Body Aircraft based on the MTOW Criteria, i.e., more than 5700 Kg MTOW class or 9 passenger seats or more), FAA FAR Part 25 or EASA JAR-25 • Helicopters for Civilian use, FAA FAR Part 27, JAR-27 for small Rotorcraft, JAR-29 for large Rotorcraft • For Light Aircraft (Business Jets, Very Light Jets, Ultra Light Jets, Executive Jets based on the MTOW Criteria, i.e., less than 5700 Kg MTOW class or less than 9 passenger seats), FAA FAR Part 23 or EASA JAR-23 • For Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, FAA FAR Part 21 or EASA JAR-21 • For Military Aircraft (Both Fighters and Military Transport), Relevant/Applicable Military Standards For any developmental aircraft, a detailed Certification route will be prepared and concurrence obtained from the respective Certification agencies. The approach for the same is explained below. 4. Approach for Certification Aircraft Certification approach broadly involves following important stages (Ref Fig 3). The hardware & software integration and interfaces also are an inherent part of the certification process. The same also needs to be certified.
  5. 5. 1. Aircraft Technical Specification, Environmental Map and Certification Standard are provided by the OEM / designer. These inputs form the basis for the drill down activity of lower level requirements of subsequent phases. This stage involves definition of the following technical specifications for the aircraft: a. Three View Information (including Overall Length, Wing Span and Overall Height) b. Load Capacity including Passenger & Cargo/Cargo capacity in case of Freighter c. Maximum Speed d. Altitude of Operation e. Range f. Take Off Roll g. Landing Roll h. Power Plant details (like SFC, Fuel capacity, Maximum Thrust) i. Special Equipment carried onboard j. Maximum Take Off Weight (MTOW) k. Empty Weight (without Fuel) l. Life (in number of flying hours) m. Configuration (For Civilian – Number of seats and arrangement, For Military – Armament like payloads) n. Maintenance requirement o. Standards to which the aircraft needs to be certified (Certification standards like FAA FAR Part 25, etc)
  6. 6. 2. Aerodynamics & Configuration Clearance: Scaled models of the finalized configuration are fabricated and detailed wind tunnel tests are carried out as per the aircraft operating requirements. From these wind tunnel tests, the aero data set are generated. Followings steps are involved in the aerodynamics & configuration clearance: a. Verification of Aero data b. Performance, Stability and Control Aspects c. Engine-Airframe Integration Issues d. Handling Qualities e. Definition of Loads for critical points in the flight envelope 3. Structural Clearance Following steps are involved in this stage: a. Structural Design b. Stress analysis and safety margins c. Static strength tests d. Fatigue tests e. Flutter Margins f. Test Results g. Certificate of Design (CoD) h. Structural Clearance 4. LRU/Sub-System Clearance: This stage involves the following: a. Acceptance of LRU specification b. Clearance through Analogy/ Ab-initio Development c. Qualification testing( Environmental Map) d. Documentation e. Clearance 5. System Clearance: This stage involves the following: a. Acceptance of System Specification b. Adequacy of system to meet normal and failure modes c. Simulation/analysis d. Failure Mode Effective Analysis/Failure Mode Effective Criticality Analysis e. Hazard Analysis f. Rig Specification adequacy g. System Level Testing(Test plans And Procedures)- Rig And on-Aircraft h. Test Results i. Certificate of Design(CoD) j. System Clearance 6. Aircraft Level Clearance: This stage involves following activities:
  7. 7. a. Aircraft Technical Specification b. Environmental Map c. Weight and CG d. Aircraft risk and Hazard analysis e. Simulation studies f. Aircraft level Ground tests including EMI/EMC tests g. Flight Clearance 7. Type Certification: This stage involves the following top level documentation for obtaining Type Certification: a. LRU, System and aircraft specifications b. Configuration, structural and system designs c. Analyses/simulation studies d. Standard of preparation of aircraft/Drawings e. Test plans/procedures/Test results f. Flight clearance note (For development trials) g. Flight test results consolidation h. Compliance against the standards for certification i. Type certification 5. GEP’s role in the globalized scenario GEPs play a critical role in the current globalised A&D supply chain by addressing the major challenges faced by the A&D players through effective partnering in the certification process. By addressing these challenges the GEPs are able to create sustainable business value. This section indentifies the major challenges for OEM/ Tier1 companies and describes through few case examples how GEPs create value by directly impacting these major areas of concern. 1. Regulatory Compliance: Regulatory and environmental compliance issues have become increasingly challenging in recent years. The role of most aerospace products requires that they comply with a range of standards, specifications and regulatory bodies. Rigorous process controls and requirement based management procedures must be followed throughout the lifecycle to ensure that no action or change will undermine the airworthiness, safety and integrity of these critical systems and platforms. The Certification process is influenced by significant parameters (Refer Fig 4) like the regulatory standards to be complied to, the increasing role of OEM/Tier1 in different stages of the product life cycle and deriving /defining equivalent standards.
  8. 8. TCS has partnered with many civil aircraft OEMs in the certification process at all levels, viz: the component/Subsystem/LRU level, System level and the Aircraft level. In these scenarios, the OEMs owned the responsibility of the overall certification and TCS enabled the certification process by extending support in terms of identifying the qualification tests, preparation of acceptance test plans and procedures, extensive documentation for software IV&V and preparation of acceptance test reports. This has helped TCS develop an in depth understanding of the complex interconnections between the sub-systems, systems and the aircraft. Such an experience has enabled TCS as a GEP to deliver value in obtaining certification for global A&D players in their certification activities which are spread across the supply chain. On the after market front TCS has partnered with an engine OEM to carry out value engineering on an engine component to improve its manufacturability and maintainability. In this regard, analysis documents were also provided to aid the certification process. While on the defense front, TCS has partnered with an Indian defense establishment in a UAV program in the areas of structural design and manufacturing. TCS enabled the defense establishment to obtain the certification of design. This project was successfully carried out by executing the preliminary and detail design phases and thereby generating design and analysis documentation confirming to the MIL 8591 standards specified by the establishment. GEPs can thus contribute significantly in Certification process by leveraging their aircraft program experiences and their presence across geographies. 2. Reduced Time-to-Market: Compressed time-to-market pressures are forcing the A&D companies to increase productivity and efficiency at all stages of the product life cycle. A&D companies have to focus on programs with an emphasis on interoperability and connectivity. TCS has partnered with a Tier1 to generate stress reports for an aircraft structural component which is critical for obtaining design certification for the component. TCS carried out the Finite Element Analysis (FEA) and also performed hand calculations using the classical mechanics approach to generate the stress as well as the hand calculation reports. The FEA and the hand calculations were carried in parallel and the project team was supporting the Tier1 in the design process concurrently as an extended arm of the Tier1.
  9. 9. Another case example is wherein TCS has also built capabilities in modularity based software product life cycle engineering in the areas of avionics with an objective to shorten the lead time by substantial reduction of software development, testing & Certification efforts. The A&D companies have to put in concurrent engineering to great use and practice the spiral development model. The ability to collaborate seamlessly with strategic partners is crucial to winning new programs. Well established GEPs play a vital role in reducing the cycle time for the A&D players. 3. Increasing Value Chain Complexities: The sheer size and complexity of aerospace and defense products cannot be overemphasized. It is no longer practical for one corporation to design, manufacture, assemble, test and maintain a major aerospace and defense platform or system. Indeed, most A&D companies have created virtual enterprises. In this paradigm, virtual design teams across globally distributed operating sites must be able to function in a highly disciplined, integrated and synchronized fashion. TCS has partnered with an US based OEM on a major single aisle aircraft program in supporting the Certification process for major systems/subsystems at the aircraft level. At the same time TCS was also engaged with one of the Tier1 suppliers of the OEM to facilitate the Tier1 in obtaining the certification of design. The experience gained by GEPs at different levels of the value chain would prove to be of great use to simplify the operations in the complex value chain. The goal for OEMs is to strategically share work with their partner networks involving Tier1 players and GEPs as much as possible while concentrating on system integration and long-term strategies. The goal for these partners, on the other hand, is to optimize internal processes and continuously implement new processes to effectively & efficiently manage upstream and downstream activities. The GEPs would enable the A&D players to strategically share the development, certification and manufacturing globally. With the aid of robust IT infrastructure and process driven world class quality assurance, GEPs ensure effective and secure value chain collaboration when partnering with globally dispersed teams. 4. Product and Process Innovation: In order to succeed, companies in all segments of the aerospace and defense industry must strengthen their ability to increase productivity to meet customer demands as well as economic and regulatory requirements. This is extremely challenging for an industry that is characterized by low volumes, highly complex and long product lifecycles, extended customer relationships, increased competition and global partnerships. It is of great importance for A&D companies to select partners who are capable of bringing in product and process innovation. Partners to mature to that level have to make significant investments to build capabilities that would produce transformative solutions. TCS was selected by a European business jet manufacturer as their engineering partner. TCS executed a project to convert the metallic center fuselage into composite. The capabilities built with a strategic vision enabled TCS to add value to the new design by focusing on design for manufacture & assembly and also considering the detailed roadmap for the certification that was prepared. This resulted in reduction of the number of subassemblies & fasteners which led to significant savings in weight and cost. Aerospace and Defense companies have to thus collaborate with partners who have been building capabilities with a strategic intent. Such partners would focus on initiatives that would support the A&D companies’ growth plans and long-term productivity.
  10. 10. 5. Resource Utilization for Innovation: The resources to build and maintain aerospace systems for 30 to 50 years can be expensive. Designing optimized processes can considerably reduce cycle time, enhance quality & performance, greatly improve overall productivity and reduce total costs. Now, this optimization must include also partners as corporations strive to create a Global Network that extends to all points of their market. Global Networks enable companies to match their global demand for innovation with worldwide sources of talent and intellectual capital. TCS has made significant investments to enable global players leverage its R&D capabilities to facilitate high value interactions across the A&D supply chain. The TATA arm Computational Research Laboratories (CRL) in collaboration with a US based Aircraft OEM is using the fourth fastest super computer EKA System to run the High Lift Computational Fluid Dynamics program that will model high lift aerodynamic simulations in three dimensions for the OEM. This collaboration plays a critical role in the design and development process. To add on, with its world class R&D capabilities, the Tata Research Development and Design Centre (TRDDC), a division of TCS provides solutions for major clients in the areas of Software Engineering and Process Engineering. TCS has also launched the Co-Innovation Network (COIN) which is synchronized with TCS Global Network Delivery Model (GNDM TM) that has set a new standard for collaboration in R&D. To effectively meet growing innovation demand, firms must create a network model with GEPs that co-invent processes and products with the network partners. GEPs would enable A&D players with innovations by leveraging global talent pool and intellectual capital in the knowledge driven economy. 6. Conclusion The transformations in the A&D supply chain and its implications on the Certification process for OEM/Tier1 have been dealt with. Also, highlighted is the detailed approach for certification for a developmental aircraft along with types of certification and applicable standards. The paper states that GEPs with extensive knowledge and experience built across the aircraft life cycle play a significant role in the current and future A&D value chain. The role of GEPs to address the challenges faced by A&D players are emphasized by categorizing the challenges into five aspects. The case examples used articulates the contributions made by a GEP primarily in the areas relating to certification to create business value in the globalized set-up and also states how GEPs can impact the A&D value chain. The paper would conclude that A&D players have to create a seamlessly collaborative network of partners and suppliers to address all complex processes including certification by significantly improving lead time and costs. Such global networks with the right GEPs would be a key success factor for the A&D industry in the future as these GEPs give the A&D industry access to global talent pool to foster innovation in the supply chain. 7. References [1] David Pritchard and Alan MacPherson, “Boeing’s Diffusion of Commercial Aircraft Design and Manufacturing Technology to Japan: Surrendering the US Aircraft Industry for Foreign Financial Support,” Canada – United States trade center occasional paper no. 30, March 2005 [2] Paulo Figueired, Gutenberg Silveira and Roberto Sbragia, “Risk Sharing Partnerships with Suppliers: The Case of Embraer,” Journal of Technology Management & Innovation, 2008, Volume3, Issue 1 [3] Neil Hampson, Mathew Alabaster and Andrew MoOrosson, “Flying High – a review of M&A activity and key trends within the global Aerospace and Defence (A&D) sector,” PricewaterhouseCoopers Transaction Services, 2007
  11. 11. [4] Michael Burkett, “Aerospace and Defense Value Chains: A Reader's Guide to Help You Through 2008,” AMR Research alert article, January 08, 2008 [5] Jane Barrett and Stephen Hochman, “Multi-Enterprise Collaboration: Are you creating collaborative relationships or developing collaborative practices?” AMR Research, December 2007 [6] “Strategic initiatives build Global Innovation Networks in aerospace and defense industries,” a UGS white paper [7] Michael Burkett, “Modern Aerospace Programs Require a Value Chain Transformation,” AMR Research alert article, August 22, 2007 [8] Ron Rubbico and Hoyt Lougee, “Drive Top-Line Growth in the Consolidating Aerospace Market,” Foliage White Paper, 2006 [9] Michael Burkett, “The Future of the A&D Value Chain,” AMR Research alert article, November 08, 2007 [10] Colin Masson, “Case Study in Lean Thinking: Aligning People, Processes, and Technology at Lockheed Martin,” AMR Research alert article, May 24, 2007 [11] Michael Burkett, “Lessons from the Boeing 787: Trials from the Front Lines of Value Network Transformation,” AMR Research alert article, December 14, 2007 [12] Lora Cecere, “How do I drive value through a value network,” AMR Research, November 2007 [13] Michael Burkett, “Aerospace Value Chains Start with Nurturing Supplier Relationships,” AMR Research alert article, October 09, 2007 8. About the Authors Viswanath H N is a senior consultant with Tata Consultancy Services’ Aerospace Vertical since 2006. He has over 20 years of experience with ISRO and ADA in the areas of cryogenic rocket propulsion, aircraft engine airframe integration, aircraft system design and development and lightning-aircraft interaction for composite fighter aircraft. His interest areas lie in propulsion, certification and systems. He has about four international papers to his credit. Viswanath is a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering. He can be reached at Shijith Kumar P M is a Business Analyst at Tata Consultancy Services’ Aerospace Vertical since 2007. He has a year’s experience in the discrete manufacturing industry. His interest areas lie in the areas of Operations & Supply Chain Management, ERP and Theory of Constraints (TOC). He has authored papers at both international and national levels. Shijith is a MBA in Operations Management and Bachelor of Industrial Engineering & Management. He is a member of APICS – The Association of Operations Management, USA. He is also an APICS certified CPIM. He can be reached at Kiran Sathyanarayana is a program manager for Tata Consultancy Services’ Aerospace Vertical since 2002. His experience of 14 years spans across mechanical design, engineering IT and project management. He is also a part of the pre-sales and marketing support team. Prior to joining TCS he was associated with Toyota and NAL. His interest lies in Air platforms and project management. Kiran is a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering and a
  12. 12. Master of Science in Technological Operations. He can be reached at Subbarao C V is heading the domain consulting group of the Aerospace Vertical for Tata Consultancy Services since 2003. He has over 17 years of experience with HAL in the areas of aircraft composite manufacturing and tooling. He has presented papers at various national level conferences. He is a bachelor of Production Engineering and a PGDIM. He can be reached at