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Developing Smart Tools for the Airbus Factory

Manufacturing and assembly of aircraft, which involves tens of thousands of steps that must be followed by the operators, and a single mistake in the process could cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to fix, makes the room for error very small.

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  • SUPPLIER
  • National Instruments
    NI provides powerful, flexible technology solutions that accelerate productivity and drive rapid innovation. From daily tasks to grand challenges, NI helps engineers and scientists overcome complexity to exceed even their own expectations. Customers in nearly every industry—from healthcare and automotive to consumer electronics and particle physics—use NI’s integrated hardware and software platform to improve our world.
  • INDUSTRIES
  • Transportation
  • FUNCTIONS
  • Product Development
  • CUSTOMER
  • Airbus is a division of Airbus Group SE that manufactures civil aircraft. It is based in Blagnac, France, a suburb of Toulouse, with production and manufacturing facilities mainly in France, Germany, Spain, China, United Kingdom and the United States. The company employs more than 70,000 people around the world.

  • CONNECTIVITY PROTOCOLS
  • Ethernet
    Other frequency
  • SOLUTION
  • Adding intelligence to the tools and shopfloor systems to help simplify the production process and improve production efficiency by managing and checking the tasks the operator is completing. Using the NI System on Module, we can quickly prototype these smart tools. Software Components - NI Linux Real-Time OS - LabVIEW FPGA Module

  • DATA COLLECTED
  • Operating Time, Operation Performance, Operator Compliance, Production Efficiency
  • SOLUTION TYPE
  • SOLUTION MATURITY
  • Mature (technology has been on the market for > 5 years)
  • OPERATIONAL IMPACT
  • Impact #1
    [Efficiency Improvement - R&D]
    NI CompactRIO controller (cRIO-9068) allowed Airbus to integrate IP from existing Airbus libraries and open-source algorithms to validate their concepts quickly.
    Impact #2
    [Efficiency Improvement - R&D]
    The NI Linux Real-Time OS offers a substantial level of abstraction for developing these tools.
    Impact #3
  • QUANTITATIVE BENEFIT
  • Benefit #1

    Airbus estimates that their time to deliver with the NI SOM is a tenth of the time using alternative approaches.

  • USE CASES
  • Factory Operations Visibility & Intelligence
    Visualizing factory operations data is a challenge for many manufacturers today. One of the IIoT initiatives some manufacturers are pursuing today is providing real-time visibility in factory operations and the health of machines. The goal is to improve manufacturing efficiency. The challenge is in combining and correlating diverse data sources that greatly vary in nature, origin, and life cycle. Factory Operations Visibility and Intelligence (FOVI) is designed to collect sensor data generated on the factory floor, production-equipment logs, production plans and statistics, operator information, and to integrate all this and other related information in the cloud. In this way, it can be used to bring visibility to production facilities, analyze and predict outcomes, and support better decisions for improvements.
  • HARDWARE
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