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September 06, 2017
Fast, Accurate, Safe – on the Road and in the Air
In the automotive industry, the software solution CAVA Vision has already established itself as a standard. Developed by the software company TechniaTranscat in a joint project with German car manufacturers, CAVA facilitates the design process by providing international rules, norms, and standards. Now, after having succeeded on the road, CAVA Vision has set out to conquer the skies, too. Marshall Aerospace and Defense Group is the first to use the software for the customization of aircraft.
Marshall is a leading independent aerospace and defense company, trusted and respected worldwide for their extensive expertise in civil, military, and commercial aircraft and defense projects. A prime example of their ability to design, test, and certify fit-for-purpose solutions for aerospace is a current project which involves the positioning of antennas and sensors on the outer space of an aircraft for communication purposes and threat detection.
The challenge was to create multiple obscuration plots to ensure that no obstructions exist in fields of view when measured from sensors fitted to the aircraft. The creation of the required obscuration plots is an immensely time-consuming task with an average aircraft requiring at least 1000 individual reflect lines to outline the surface of the airplane. Changing the position or adding additional sensors requires the whole setup to be recreated. In addition, it also includes the possibility of human error, since a designer has to manually create such plots and even the slightest deviation could distort the results.
Dating back to its formation in 1912, Marshall constantly seeks to innovate, thereby supporting its customers with best-in-class working processes and performance. As a result, Marshall set about searching for a solution that would allow them to work faster with the highest possible levels of accuracy for the maximum customer benefit. Following an extensive investigation process, they came across TechniaTranscat and its product CAVA, supported in the UK by their partner Intrinsys.
Based on CATIA, CAVA was developed in a joint project with German car manufacturers to support and facilitate the whole design process with regard to legal compliance. The CAVA All bundle comprises a total of six applications, including CAVA Vision. This application in particular caught Marshall’s attention. Originally, it was developed to support the vehicle construction process with regard to the requirements of the driver’s direct and indirect vision. Even though it had a perceived automotive bias, Wayne Parker, CAE Group Manager at Marshall, was able to identify significant parallels to a potential software solution they were seeking. Parker correctly identified that the driver’s view in the automotive application of CAVA Vision was in part comparable to the sensors’ field of view they wanted to cover. As a result, Parker reached out to TechniaTranscat via Intrinsys to see whether a relevant solution could be found.
TechniaTranscat is an internationally operating company, located in Karlsruhe, Germany. It provides Product Lifecycle Management solutions to guarantee efficient product development and management. Having established CAVA as a standard solution for the automotive world, they were thrilled when Intrinsys informed them about the request from Marshall – and keen to accept the challenge. In one of the first conversations between the three future project partners, Wolfgang Klemm, Project Manager at TechniaTranscat, confessed that it would not be easy to apply CAVA Vision to this particular purpose. Yet, they were convinced it was possible: “Let’s find out whether we can make this work.” And so TechniaTranscat set to work and – after some analysis – devised a workflow how to adapt CAVA Vision to the specific requirements of aircraft modification.
Following extensive testing and collaboration, CAVA Vision was implemented at Marshall in March 2015 – and has been used successfully since. “In a recent project, we saved close on 1000 design hours versus traditional methodologies in the first year alone thanks to CAVA Vision,” Wayne Parker explains. “That is an immense amount of time saved which enabled us to better serve our customer. Design modifications which previously would have required us to recreate the whole exercise, now can be undertaken within 10 or 20 minutes. And this is not the only advantage: using the software also means that several people can work on the same obscuration plot and the level of accuracy is significantly higher than before. Since we have used CAVA, there are no longer variations in results and the factor of human error has become insignificant.”
“A challenge we share with all engineering companies is one of stringent deadlines”, Parker admits. “CAVA Vision has allowed us to be confident to meet such targets through increased efficiency. It goes without saying that saving time and being more cost efficient allows Marshall to become even more competitive. Thanks to the efforts of my team along with TechniaTranscat and Intrinsys, we now have a solution which does what we want it to do – and makes our working life a lot easier. CAVA helps us tremendously”, summarizes Parker.
Naturally, TechniaTransact is delighted by this positive feedback. “CAVA was a success story when we introduced it for the automotive industry. The fact that CAVA Vision is now effectively used at an aerospace company shows how versatile our software is – and that our expertise allows us to apply it to individual requirements,” states Klemm. Marshall was the first aerospace company to introduce CAVA Vision, but might not stay the only one. Even though modifications might have to be made for future customers, this project introduced CAVA to a whole new sector. “After having conquered the road, we are now setting out to conquer the skies,” Klemm says jokingly. And who knows – maybe the seas are next.