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Value Improvement through a Virtual Aeronautical Collaborative Enterprise


The VIVACE integrated R&T project, coordinated by Airbus, was set up in the framework of AECMA, addressing the Vision 2020 objectives. It was launched in January 2004 and is planned to run for four years with an overall budget of around 75 million euros. The budget will be shared between 63 companies and institutions that are co-operating in the project, which includes eight SMEs.

VIVACE has originated from past experiences and results gained in concurrent engineering such as in the ENHANCE Fourth Framework Programme project.

Project objectives

VIVACE intends to achieve a 5% cost reduction in aircraft development and a 5% reduction in the development phase of a new aircraft design, combined with a contribution to a 30% reduction in the lead time and 50% reduction in development costs respectively for a new or derivative gas turbine. The results will be achieved through a re-engineering and optimisation of the entire design process by modelling and simulating in an advanced, concurrent engineering environment. VIVACE will deliver a virtual product design and validation platform, based on a distributed concurrent engineering methodology supporting the virtual enterprise.

To achieve this overall objective, the work in VIVACE is organised around Use Cases, i.e. real industrial simulations of a part of the aircraft, the engine or of a development process, reflecting both the virtual product and the virtual extended enterprise. Each of them includes on the one hand requirements for early product simulation and on the other, requirements for distributed working methods.

VIVACE Overall Structure
VIVACE Overall Structure

Description of the work

VIVACE has been designed around three technical sub-projects, two of them representing the aircraft and engine products, and the third one ensuring integration of component frameworks developed in sub-project 1 and 2 into a global framework - the VIVACE Collaborative Design Environment.

1.1. Virtual aircraft sub-project (leader: airbus france)

The Virtual Aircraft sub-project revolves around the main components that constitute an aircraft and has six integrated technical Work Packages: System Simulation, Components, Global Aircraft, Flight Physics Simulation, Complex Sub-systems, and Supportability Engineering. It is designed to cover the aircraft product throughout the development life cycle (design, modelling, interfacing and testing).

1.2. Virtual engine sub-project (leader: rolls-royce plc)

The Virtual Engine sub-project consists of five integrated, technical Work Packages performing fundamental research to provide capabilities for a competitive European jet engine industry working across extended enterprises: Extended Jet Engine Enterprise Scenario, Life Cycle Modelling within the Virtual Engine Enterprise, Whole Engine Development, European Cycle Programme, Supply Chain Manufacturing Workflow Simulation. It focuses on the different engine modules of the aircraft propulsion system and key areas of multi-disciplinary optimisation, knowledge management and collaborative enterprises.

1.3. Advanced capabilities sub-project (leader: crcf)

The Advanced Capabilities sub-project is a key integrating work area that develops common tools, methodologies and guidelines. It consists of a management Work Package and five integrated technical Work Packages that provide cohesion between the first two sub-projects through activities that are generic and common to both: Knowledge Enabled Engineering, Multi-Disciplinary Design and Optimisation, Design to Decision Objectives, Engineering Data Management, Distributed Information Systems Infrastructure for Large Enterprise, Collaboration Hub for Heterogeneous Enterprises.

Expected results

The main result of VIVACE will be an innovative Aeronautical Collaborative Design Environment and associated processes, models and methods. This environment, validated through concrete Use Cases, will help to design an aircraft and its engines, providing mode virtual products to the aeronautics supply chain operating in an extended enterprise, which has all the requested functionality and components for each phase of the product-engineering life cycle.

VIVACE will make its approach available to the aeronautics supply chain via existing networks, information dissemination, training and technology transfer actions.

The VIVACE system
The VIVACE system