March 01, 2011 08:15 ET

IBM Helps Dassault Aviation Preserve Critical 3D Design Data for the Falcon Aircraft

SAINT-CLOUD, FRANCE -- CEDEX 300--(Marketwire - March 1, 2011) -

IBM Helps Dassault Aviation Preserve Critical 3D Design Data for the Falcon Aircraft

Dassault Aviation is first aircraft manufacturer to receive both EASA and FAA approvals based solely on 3D data

Paris, France - March 1st, 2011 - IBM (NYSE: IBM) and Dassault Aviation today announced that an IBM solution was instrumental in earning Federal Aviation Administration and EASA approval for 3D data in the completions process of Falcon aircraft. IBM's content and archival management software allows Dassault Aviation to store, archive and preserve the integrity of the critical 3D design and data models of its aircraft for the entire lifecycle, which can be over 70 years. Being able to store and access these models is a critical requirement in aerospace and defence, among other industries.

Dassault Aviation is the first aircraft manufacturer to receive both EASA and FAA approval based solely on 3D data throughout the completions process of an aircraft. The approval applies to design work done in the U.S. and includes Dassault's Falcon 900 and 2000 series, as well as the 7X.

Aerospace companies must deal with exponential growth of data associated with designing and building aircraft and related regulation requirements. Not only must they proactively manage data, they are required to guarantee data integrity and provide access to it in its original state even though the software and design technology used can change tremendously during the lifetime of an aircraft.

To address that challenge, IBM built a solution based on industry expertise, methods developed in IBM Research, current technology and standards that allowed the preservation of data models over decades and met EASA and FAA requirements. The IBM DIAS PLM (Digital Information Archiving System for Product Life Cycle Management) solution combines processes, software and hardware to store and manage media, while ensuring long term viability and compliance with industry standards.

Dassault Aviation plans to archive the 3D data for the first aircraft later this year. Data will be stored in both the US and Europe where its aircraft are designed and will be preserved for over 70 years.

The approval process to validate the use of 3D data in completions activities was the result of nearly two years of collaboration between Dassault Aviation and the FAA, supported by IBM expertise. The approval required Dassault Aviation to develop detailed processes for the use, storage and long-term retention of 3D data, including disaster recovery plans. Additionally, the aircraft manufacturer developed an extensive training program for those involved in the process.

"FAA approval for Dassault's 3D data reflects the company's core strategy of utilizing the highest level of technology to increase quality. It also sets a new standard for how airworthiness authorities will accept and validate new aircraft designs going forward. The IBM DIAS PLM solution now plays a critical role in approval and long term data archiving for Dassault" said John Rosanvallon, President and CEO of Dassault Falcon.

The 7X was the first Falcon to be designed fully within the framework of Dassault's Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) philosophy. Key benefits include greater accuracy during the spec & design process, including the opportunity for the customer to visualize the final configuration of the aircraft. Definition of the aircraft specification in 3D also ensures compatibility of component placement with maintenance activities and a higher overall quality of the completions process.

"In aerospace and defence, it is mandatory to preserve and provide access to all of the design data associated with the aircraft throughout its lifecycle" said Tom Kilkenny, General Manager, Global Aerospace and Defense Industry, IBM. "The data that Dassault Aviation and others must retain is growing exponentially. It's not just a matter of archiving the data, you need to be able to access and analyze it quickly, no matter how rapidly technology and the formats we use change."

Long term design data archiving solutions are becoming a key element of business efficiency because they allow companies to optimize the cost of maintaining legacy PLM applications while still meeting the legal requirements associated with the design data of its products. Industries that are highly regulated such as the automotive industry, shipbuilding, nuclear plants and life sciences can also benefit from this type of application.

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Contact Information

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    Cédric Damour
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    Dassault Aviation (France)
    Vadim Feldzer
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    Stéphane Fort
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    Dassault Falcon (USA)
    Ralph Aceti
    Tel.: +1 201 541 45 85