NPL to develop digital testing for aerospace manufacturing
“NPL is delighted to be working at the heart of this critical project to increase the trust and confidence in data driven design and development. For over 120 years, NPL has been the last word on accurate measurements and understanding how things work, so that industry can have the confidence to accelerate innovation. It is now applying that expertise to helping industry make the best use of data as it moves from a world where only physical test and validation is accepted to one where cyber-physical information is the norm,” said Gareth Edwards, Strategy Lead for Industrial Digitalisation, NPL.
Details of the programme
Over the next three years, NPL will work with Airbus Operations Ltd, CFMS Services, GOM UK Ltd, Dassault Systemes UK Ltd and The University of Liverpool, to use existing physical test programmes to explore the use of new inspection techniques for predicting product performance and identify failures early.
The data collected will be used to develop the expertise, algorithms and frameworks required to replace physical testing with simulations and modelling.
“The opportunity this project presents is huge. It will be a real step-change in the way we approach an extremely costly and time-consuming part of a vital aspect of aircraft manufacturing,” said Steve Raynes, Head of R&T Business Development at Airbus.
“Simply put, we’re going digital across a number of aerospace testing and certification processes. When you consider that to date, a lot of this work has been done on huge physical test rigs which have to be built and maintained, you can easily see how having a digital representation in place of some physical testing can help save time and money. This part of the aerospace industry is extremely specialist and we’re delighted we’ve been able to put together the best team possible to deliver the project aims,” added Raynes.
A historic universal change
Believing that the industry is entering into “another period of historic universal change” driven by advances in communications and connectivity in additive manufacturing, artificial intelligence, and autonomous systems, NPL explains that the transition to an industrially digitised manufacturing landscape will change the volume of data used in manufacturing, as well as the reliance on data to inform decisions.
“For a long time, designers and manufacturers have relied on data-driven modelling and simulations for product design but there is now an increasing drive for businesses to use data-driven simulations to replace physical tests,” says NPL.
By harnessing these new methods, manufacturers can benefit from time and cost savings, increased pace when it comes to innovation and unlocking complexities, and increased competitiveness.
“The direct benefit of NPL’s work will be the creation and adoption of the technology, skills and understanding needed to innovate and compete within digitised product development supply chains. This will lead to the creation of new and higher skilled jobs that address the productivity challenge, a strengthening of supply chains within the UK and an increased competitiveness for businesses in the global market. We look forward to working with our partners to bring this to life,” added Edwards.
Siemens: Providing the First Industrial 5G Router
Across a number of industry sectors, there’s a growing need for both local wireless connectivity and remote access to machines and plants. In both of these cases, communication is, more often than not, over a long distance. Public wireless data networks can be used to enable this connectivity, both nationally and internationally, which makes the new 5G network mainframe an absolutely vital element of remote access and remote servicing solutions as we move into the interconnected age.
Siemens Enables 5G IIoT
The eagerly awaited Scalance MUM856-1, Siemens’ very first industrial 5G router, is officially available to organisations. The device has the ability to connect all local industrial applications to the public 5G, 4G (LTE), and 3G (UMTS) mobile wireless networks ─ allowing companies to embrace the long-awaited Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT).
The router can be used to remotely monitor and service plants, machines, as well as control elements and other industrial devices via a public 5G network ─ flexibly and with high data rates. Something that has been in incredibly high demand after being teased by the leading network providers for years.
Scalance MUM856-1 at a Glance
- Scalance MUM856-1 connects local industrial applications to public 5G, 4G, and 3G mobile wireless networks
- The router supports future-oriented applications such as remote access via public 5G networks or the connection of mobile devices such as automated guided vehicles in industry
- A robust version in IP65 housing for use outside the control cabinet
- Prototypes of Siemens 5G infrastructure for private networks already in use at several sites
“To ensure the powerful connection of Ethernet-based subnetworks and automation devices, the Scalance MUM856-1 supports Release 15 of the 5G standard. The device offers high bandwidths of up to 1000 Mbps for the downlink and up to 500 Mbps for the uplink – providing high data rates for data-intensive applications such as the remote implementation of firmware updates. Thanks to IPv6 support, the devices can also be implemented in modern communication networks.
Various security functions are included to monitor data traffic and protect against unauthorised access: for example, an integrated firewall and authentication of communication devices and encryption of data transmission via VPN. If there is no available 5G network, the device switches automatically to 4G or 3G networks. The first release version of the router has an EU radio license; other versions with different licenses are in preparation. With the Sinema Remote Connect management platform for VPN connections, users can access remote plants or machines easily and securely – even if they are integrated in other networks. The software also offers easy management and autoconfiguration of the devices,” Siemens said.
Preparing for a 5G-oriented Future
Siemens has announced that the new router can also be integrated into private 5G networks. This means that the Scalance MUM856-1 is, essentially, future-proofed when it comes to 5G adaptability; it supports future-oriented applications, including ‘mobile robots in manufacturing, autonomous vehicles in logistics or augmented reality applications for service technicians.’
And, for use on sites where conditions are a little harsher, Siemens has given the router robust IP65 housing ─ it’s “dust tight”, waterproof, and immersion-proofed.
The first release version of the router has an EU radio license; other versions with different licenses are in preparation. “With the Sinema Remote Connect management platform for VPN connections, users can access remote plants or machines easily and securely – even if they are integrated in other networks. The software also offers easy management and auto-configuration of the devices,” Siemens added.