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MRO Division of Delta Air Lines Purchases FiberSIM

08 February 2002

The Delta Technical Operations Center division of Delta Air Lines to enable more efficient and cost-effective maintenance, repair, and overhaul of composite parts.

The FiberSIM suite of tools is tightly integrated into popular computer-aided design (CAD) systems to create a specialized environment for designing, analyzing, and manufacturing parts made of advanced composite materials. While FiberSIM is in widespread use throughout the commercial and military aerospace industries, this purchase of FiberSIM marks its first implementation by a maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) division for commercial aircraft. The software will enable Delta TOC (Atlanta, Ga.) to provide more efficient and cost-effective MRO of composite parts.

“The Component Maintenance Department at Delta TOC is responsible for the maintenance of over 150,000 components a year with third-party MRO volume doubling year over year,” says Keith Coleman, General Manager Component Maintenance.

“The FiberSIM purchase is part of our business strategy to automate and streamline operations at Delta TOC,” says Brian McNichols, senior engineer. “We expect that the software will pay for itself in the first six months of implementation and provide Delta an additional competitive advantage in the MRO of composite parts to other commercial airlines as well.”

Based at Hartsfield Atlanta International Airport in Georgia, Delta TOC is responsible for scheduled and nonroutine maintenance on Delta’s fleet of 588 planes. Aircraft models serviced include the Boeing 727, 737, 757, 767, and 777, as well as the MD-11, MD-88, and MD-90. Repair of high-performance composite parts, such as engine inlet cowlings and pylon fairings, is among the most expensive and time-consuming tasks in aircraft MRO.

Traditionally, the process of evaluating and repairing a composite part involves manually producing repair details, overhauling the part, testing it, and revising the overhaul procedure until the process is optimized. With FiberSIM, however, Delta TOC engineers can significantly shorten this costly manual process. Delta’s goal is for the software to accurately produce repair details that will restore a damaged part to its original design strength before beginning the process of physical repair. FiberSIM also generates accurate flat patterns for cutting the layers (plies) of composite material for the parts. A long-range goal at Delta TOC is to assemble a digital library of composites repair data for all the aircraft they service.

FiberSIM software has been instrumental in the design and production of composite parts at most of the major commercial and military aerospace manufacturers. FiberSIM tools automate the design process, assess the producibility of a part, and generate manufacturing information to interface with automated cutters, laser projectors, and fiber placement machines. The software enables users to drive all aspects of preliminary design, analysis, detailed design, and manufacturing from within a single CAD master model. FiberSIM incorporates XML tools to share design data with other applications throughout the enterprise, such as software for procurement, quality assurance and manufacturing.






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