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Virtual Engineering for Robust Manufacturing with Design Integration


The VERDI project will contribute to winning global leadership for European aeronautics by developing a new generation of engineering technologies, which allows for complete virtual manufacturing of structural aero engine components, integrated into the design process and manufacturing. This enables robust manufacturing methods to be designed into the component, minimising cost and lead-time due to physical trials and long feedback times. The developed technology will trigger a quantum step in cost reduction for design or re-design of new or existing aero engine components.

Project objectives

  • Development of multi-scale process simulation tools for metal deposition, welding, heat treatment, surface strain hardening and machining.
  • Integration of process simulation tools.
  • Integration of process simulation and design.
  • Integration of process simulation and manufacturing.
  • Implementation of manufacturing simulation in Europe’s aero engine industry.

Description of the work

VERDI is a research project with strong focus on development and validation of the numerical framework that is the foundation of virtual fabrication. The project structure comprises six Work Packages, including one devoted to project management. VERDI is planned to follow both the logical order for the development of manufacturing process simulation tools and the structure for applying virtual manufacturing within an engine development project. The process modelling tools are built up from fundamental material modelling, manufacturing process modelling and integration of the individual models to enable complete virtual fabrication of a component.

Support from design and manufacturing is continually available during the entire project to ensure the desired integration. All models and tools will be validated at each appropriate level in order to ensure a robust development process with high quality input results to the next level.

Expected results

Two sub-components will be manufactured, based solely on virtual models. They will represent a ‘cold’ front engine fan/compressor structure in titanium and a ‘hot’ rear-engine turbine structure in a nickel-based alloy. The result will be evaluated and the concept of virtual fabrication will be validated against the manufactured hardware. VERDI will validate the methods and tools developed within a concurrent environment for design and manufacture of ‘right first time’ gas turbine structures, with 5% reduced cost and 25% lead-time for an aero engine development project.