Several years ago, all the major aircraft OEMs created a joint effort to compel the leading PLM providers to fix decades-old PLM product deficiencies.

In other words the world’s largest aerospace companies – Airbus, Boeing, Bombardier, Dassault Aviation, Embraer, GE Aviation, Gulfstream, Rolls-Royce, SAFRAN and others – have been “living with” inadequate PDM/PLM capabilities which the PLM vendors have refused to address for decades.

The situation has caused ongoing problems and endless manual work-arounds, particularly in engineering-to-manufacturing operations.

To drive real change these companies have organized an “Action Group” to focus on specific shortcomings and force the vendors to finally do something more than make promises. For more background, check out What’s the A&D PLM Action Group? And Why Should Anyone Care?

EBOM-to-MBOM and More

One particular area that’s gotten a lot of attention is the transition from Engineering to Manufacturing, specifically the Engineering Bill of Materials (EBOM) transformation to the Manufacturing Bill of Materials (MBOM) along with the routing, work instructions, material consumption and other key aspects – often referred to as the Manufacturing Process Plan (MPP).

EBOM-MBOM transformation with MPP definition is harder than it sounds, as noted in this presentation by GE Aviation. It’s a critical part of the Digital Thread and one that’s been an issue for a long time.

There are a myriad of different scenarios & interdependencies, and certainly more than one way to address these challenges as noted in the A&D PLM Action Group’s 35 page position paper with a 48 page use case appendix and 22 page glossary.

Pile on top of all that known complexity the fact that these processes are going through fundamental changes due to digital transformation for Industrie 4.0 scenarios, additive manufacturing, use of newer materials like carbon fiber and other composites, embedded software systems, and in the future generative design, AI/ML and other breakthroughs, and… “Houston, we have a problem.”

Multi-view BOM Benchmark

To find out what’s really possible today, the A&D PLM Action Group conducted a real world benchmark of the four strategic PLM providers to the aerospace industry: Aras, Dassault, PTC and Siemens.

Of course we/Aras went thru all their use cases and then some. Apparently, some of the other vendors either wouldn’t or couldn’t show software that actually worked to address the problem areas. You can see which vendors had the biggest problems.

Over the course of several days, we/Aras ran through a series of live demonstrations addressing a wide range of use cases. Have included below so you can get an idea of what we showed.

In addition to addressing everything the way they / A&D PLM Action Group wanted to see it, we/Aras felt compelled to show them additional, innovative approaches – breakthrough ways of doing things – that they hadn’t thought of which will be better suited for the future as new complexities are introduced by the digital transformation scenarios identified above… “Houston, we have an answer” 🙂

For more detail, you can get the full published results from the CIMdata website. We/Aras repeatedly requested that this Benchmark testing be conducted publicly and that ALL results be attributable to each PLM solution so you/anyone could see everything for yourself, however, that demand was refused.

My take is there was concern that some of the PLM vendors could “look bad” and might sue. Fear of liability over the truth, or something like that.

If you’re struggling with an outdated PDM/PLM system that causes problems in the transition from engineering to manufacturing, get in touch anytime. We’re always looking for new challenges to solve.