A major challenge in the transport sector is to make economic growth compatible with sustainability and environmental constraints, while remaining competitive and innovative. The development of aeronautical products is a complex multidisciplinary process with requirements and constraints on the air transport system as a whole, the aircraft, and all the individual components to be produced. A major challenge impeding an efficient and cost-effective design processes is the integration of the various levels of the aeronautical supply chain. Therefore, the aeronautical industry needs to connect all the people, skills and technologies involved in its collaborative, multi-national and cross organizational processes, by means of a digital representation of production systems, supply chains, and seamless operations across diverse disciplines, during the entire life-cycle of the product.
The high level objective of AGILE 4.0 is to bring significant reductions in aircraft development costs and time-to-market through the implementation of an integrated cyber-physical aeronautical supply chain, thereby increasing the competitiveness of the European aircraft industry, from integrators and high-tiers suppliers to SMEs, leading to innovative and more sustainable aircraft products.
AGILE 4.0 targets the digital transformation of main pillars of the aeronautical supply-chain: design, production and certification and manufacturing. The composition of the AGILE 4.0 consortium and capabilities available enable to address realistic development scenarios integrating multiple stakeholders and covering all the aspects of the development of complex aeronautical systems.
AGILE 4.0 will provide the aircraft industry with a way to model, assess, and optimize complex systems addressing the entire life cycle. The technologies developed will enable stake-holders and actors of the aeronautical supply chain to perform trade-off which have never been possible to model before.
AGILE 4.0 is structured into three integration Work-Packages (WP1,WP2,WP3) sequential in time, targeting aircraft collaborative development and optimization scenarios with increasing levels of complexity:
WP1 – Synchronization & Specification: reference state of the art AGILE collaborative MDO technologies are adopted to formulate the AGILE 4.0 reference use cases, and to identify the main requirements and needs to address the digitization of design, production, and certification aspects. This includes making use of pre-existing analysis codes, interfaces, frameworks, and optimization capabilities available in the consortium. The results of this phase are on one side to derive the specifications for the processes, models and tools to be developed, and on another side as reference to measure the success of the developed AGILE 4.0 technologies.
WP2 – Digitalization & Modelling: the reference use cases are enhanced by AGILE 4.0 enabling technologies addressing the requirements identified in the first phase. This WP is responsible to deliver the system engineering process, accounting for the requirements and specification identified in the previous phase. During this phase, technologies (models, platforms, methods) are continuously developed, tested, validated, and integrated in the AGILE 4.0 framework.
WP3 – Optimization & Validation: the use cases optimization problems are solved by making use of the full AGILE 4.0 framework. This phase is responsible to deliver the optimization process to solve the AGILE4.0 use cases. Large scale, multi-objectives, optimization problems are solved and validated.
The three integration phases are supported by an enabling technologies layer (WP4, WP5), in which the necessary technical solutions are developed. Within this layer, multiple design and optimization methodologies, and modelling platforms are developed and implemented.
A study cases layer (WP6, WP7, WP8) is running along the integration phases, addressing scenarios and applications representative of the complex aeronautical supply-chain.
From the study cases the requirements are continuously pulled during the Integration phases, and pushed into the enabling technologies layers. Therefore, all the developments are pulled and continuously integrated into the study cases. Agile methodologies are deployed to enable the progressive development of the AGILE 4.0 design system.
The overall AGILE 4.0 structure is organized in 10 Work-Packages (WP) representing the main activities.