Techman-Head proves Inventor’s power on Airbus A380

Aircraft ground support specialist Techman-Head says that going for digital prototyping with Autodesk Inventor has significantly improved its design processes.

The company, which is using Inventor for development of its mechanical and hydraulic aircraft maintenance tools, says it has been able to design, simulate and visualise its designs before they are built.

"What we like most about Inventor is its ease of use. It is intuitive, and the learning curve was short," says Philippe Chirade, design office manager at Techman-Head.

"Inventor helps us rapidly design a range of maintenance tools, and the software's power makes it ideal for the development of our tool parts. It also offers a range of native converters that can read and write files from and to other CAD applications, and standard converters such as STEP," he adds.

Chirade explains that interoperability is a critical success factor during the product development cycle, as it seeks to reduce costs and improve collaboration with customers. Now, when producing tools for aircraft, Techman-Head reuses exact digital models provided by the plane maker within Inventor.

He gives the example of exchanging data between Inventor 2010 and Catia V5, the CAD system used by Airbus. Techman-Head's engineers need the flexibility, he says, to use the tools that best meet their needs, and routinely take advantage of the ability to read and write Catia files on products like the engine tripod jack they designed for the Airbus A350.

"With the A380, we really crossed a threshold. Airbus directors decided to develop the plane in five years, half the time previously required for a project of that size. So we chose Inventor to create a single 3D digital prototype for each of our products, and as a result have continually reduced design errors and saved time and money," concludes Chirade.

Author
Brian Tinham

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