Digital Thread • March 3, 2016

5 Digital Thread Insights from AeroDef 2016 Survey

Shawn Maguire Shawn Maguire

This year, iBase-t surveyed AeroDef attendees on the show floor to observe the connection between engineering and manufacturing within the Aerospace and Defense industry. Although the sample size was not large, we were able to survey various engineers and operations personnel in the aerospace and defense industry. With the increasing trend of adopting the Digital Thread model, we were curious to see if the gap between engineering and manufacturing departments is narrowing.

Here are 5 insights from the survey results:

  1. Only 25% stated that their ECN (Engineering Change Notice) is integrated within their MES (Manufacturing Execution System).  75% of the respondents either have no integration between ECN and MES, not sure if they are integrated, or they do not have an MES at all.AeroDef Survey 1
  2. Nearly a third (28%) of the respondents thinks that their collaboration with design engineering and manufacturing are below average. It is also interesting to see that although only 25% of the survey takers said their ECN is integrated with their MES, 72% answered that they feel that the collaboration with design engineering and manufacturing are satisfactory, good, or excellent. AeroDef Survey 2
  3. More than half (57%) stated that they expect their process planning to come from their engineering software. 29% stated that they do not expect their process planning to come from their engineering software. 14% of them are not sure. AeroDef Survey 3
  4. 47% said their Engineering Bills of Materials does not match their Manufacturing Bills of Materials. A third of them (29%) stated that they are somewhat close, 18% of them stated that engineering and manufacturing BOM are either not connected or connected but not close. AeroDef Survey 5
  5. A surprising 99% of the respondents think that the integration between quality and manufacturing can be improved.  46% stated that they are integrated well, but could improve more, 39% stated that they are somewhat integrated but need some improvements, and 11% stated that they are poorly integrated, and need drastic improvements. 4% of them stated that their quality and manufacturing are not integrated at all. AeroDef Survey 4

For an overview of the survey results, see the infographic here.

In conclusion, the data we collected certainly shows that there is still room for improvements in bringing engineering and manufacturing departments closer.  A closed loop Digital Thread can sew the gaps between engineering and manufacturing to better manage your complex manufacturing processes.