Designing the Digital Engine

Pratt & Whitney Canada adds IBM, Dassault tools in move toward fully digital design of aircraft engines

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Tempe, AZ  October 23, 2002  Pratt & Whitney Canada is set to use a product lifecycle management solution (PLM) from IBM and Dassault Systemes to develop new engines using digital technology as part of an initiative to become the first aerospace company to go completely digital in its engine development program.

Longueuil, Quebec-based P&WC, a division of Hartford, Conn.'s United Technologies Corp., develops aviation engines for business and regional aircraft and helicopters, as well as engines for industrial applications.

P&WC will use an IBM solution based on CATIA V5, ENOVIAVPM and ENOVIA 3d com from Dassault Systemes. The agreement, financial details of which were not disclosed, calls for IBM and Dassault to deliver 200 CATIA V5 seats by the end of 2002, and up to 300 more in 2003.

The agreement also requires IBM to deliver Dassault Systemes' ENOVIAVPM and ENOVIA 3d com product data management solutions to enable e-collaboration throughout Pratt & Whitney's engineering and product support functions. IBM said the CATIA-ENOVIA Solution will ensure that Pratt & Whitney Canada customers, partners, suppliers and employees will be able to interact and collaborate in the 3D design process of its engines.

Through its Digital Engine initiative, Pratt & Whitney Canada's goal is to become the first company in the aerospace industry to develop engines using digital technology throughout the entire design and manufacturing process.

"We have partnered with IBM and Dassault Systemes for earlier versions of CATIA-based systems to design engines and simulate performance with great success," said Amal Girgis, chief information officer at Pratt & Whitney Canada. "Upgrading to the newest version of CATIA will certainly help us to reach the efficiency goals of the Digital Engine initiative much faster. The deployment is on schedule with more than 80 CATIA V5 seats installed and in use today."

Launched in 2001, the Digital Engine represents one of the major components of Pratt & Whitney Canada's broader Digital Enterprise program scheduled to last three to five years. The program aims to enable designers to work on engines concurrently in a virtual environment with other project stakeholders. Using PLM solutions from IBM and Dassault Systemes, the company is looking to link remaining components of the Digital Enterprise initiative, including enterprise resource planning (ERP), supply chain management (SCM) and customer relationship management (CRM).

Tom Kilkenny, vice president for IBM Product Lifecycle Management Americas, said, "With new cost pressures and speed-to-market taking on even greater importance within the aerospace industry, Pratt & Whitney Canada's drive to bring real-time access to information through the full product life cycle will further help to provide a competitive advantage moving forward."

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