The aerospace and defence manufacturer has tapped into expertise from PTC, an Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) platform specialist to help connect its facility.
PTC’s Thingworx and Kepware software harvest real time digestible data to help manage supplies, processes and maintenance activities in the 40,000ft2 factory, with the platform connecting, accessing and controlling industrial data from different robots, autonomous robots, machines and intelligent workstations inside the facility.
This powerful control of data allows operators to create and view live data screens that support workflow planning and real time decision-making.
Intelligent connectivity is helping BAE Systems drive Industry 4.0 into its manufacturing capability and clearly demonstrates how UK industry is working collaboratively to drive efficiency and reduce the costs associated with building future military aircraft.
Alex Griffiths, senior integration engineer at BAE Systems, said: “We have intelligent workstations that deliver tools to engineers by autonomous robot before operators even know they need them. Our challenge is to create the optimal production environment for aircraft manufacture, where we can switch from one short batch product to another - with minimal effort and cost in the process.
“This is crucial as we look to develop the next generation of manufacturing technology required for Tempest, the UK’s future combat air system, and to meet our commitments to deliver in half the time and at significantly less cost.”
He added: “It’s about changing the way we make things and moving away from traditional techniques, looking at how we can create production lines that can be adapted quickly to take on different products, whether that is a low volume unmanned vehicle requirement or a future fighter aircraft.”
He continued: “In order to achieve that vision, we had to ensure we had a connected, intelligent factory and this is where PTC brought real solutions to the shopfloor through the systems it provides.
“Adaptable software solutions creates live data that we can use in ways that made decisions faster, smarter and more cost effective.”
BAE Systems www.baesystems.com