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Global Aerospace industry wastes $20m annually through out-dated design techniques, claims Trace Technologies

Global aerospace businesses are wasting as much as $20m every year through the use of out-dated design techniques in the development and manufacture of fibre-optic avionics systems, according to St Asaph-based aerospace design technology pioneers Trace Technologies.  

According to the company, design engineers throughout the aerospace industry are still designing optical fibre harnesses using outmoded, manual 'trial & error' techniques, which are costly in terms of both time and wasted materials.  

Although the use of optical fibre-linked systems in preference to traditional copper wire-connected avionic systems offers significant advantages in terms of both weight and performance, the techniques currently used to design and develop these systems effectively remains based in the dark ages, according to Trace.  

"In many respects, optical fibre represents the future of networked systems within aircraft manufacturing and avionics companies," commented Trace Technologies Commercial Director, Geoff Andrews.  "But until now, there has been no fool-proof way of designing and testing optical fibre harness layouts without actually building costly prototypes – and given that a single harness can take up to 180 man-days to create, we are talking about an awful lot of time and effort to deliver what could now only take about half-a-day at the most," he continued.  

Trace Technologies' latest optical fibre harness design tool – PISD – offers manufacturers the opportunity to design complex, fully-functional optical fibre connectivity solutions around 99% quicker than using established, conventional methods.  Furthermore, the elements of guesswork and uncertainty can be completely removed from prototype solutions, leaving design teams with 100% accurate designs, which can be taken directly from plan to manufacture.  

While both commercial and military aerospace manufacturers are keen to embrace the benefits of fibre optic cabling, the harsh working environment demands a high standard of system design. Replacing traditional copper cabling with optical fibre can increase the variety and availability of in-flight services, while reducing aircraft weight, improving fuel economy and increasing aircraft range.  

"Trace is coming to the market at a time when there is a general acceptance that fibre-optic connectivity can provide real advantages in terms of performance and weight-saving for commercial aircraft – and the ability to plan, test and prove fibre-optic cable harness designs both quickly and cost effectively will mean manufacturers can roll out high-performance aircraft in a much shorter time than was previously possible," continued Andrews.

Press release issued by Trace Technologies Ltd on December 9, 2008


 Contact details from our directory:
Trace Technologies Ltd Computer-aided Design


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Design Software

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