Meet the Software That Helps Power Rolls-royce Engines
The most sophisticated aircraft in the world take flight with the help of Siemens advanced manufacturing solutions
On 1,000 acres 30 miles south of Richmond, Va., power systems company Rolls-royce has constructed its most advanced North American manufacturing facility—a 270,000-square-foot hub of precision engineering where the jet engine components that power the civil aerospace industry are created.
Here in the Crosspointe Rotatives Factory, heavy machining tools are automated by software that helps to digitalize every portion of the manufacturing process. And when your business is creating the fan discs that keep Boeing 787s and Airbus A350 XWBS running HIÀFLHQWO\ \RX QHHG WR KDYH TXDOLW\ DQG UHOLDELOLW\ LQ WKH VRIWZDUH that operates the machining processes.
An integral part of the Rolls-royce solution has been to employ Siemens Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) software, which allows every layer of production—from ideation and design to manufacture and service—to be connected via software. By weaving this end-to-end digital thread, Rolls-royce is equipped to be a fully optimized digital company that can nimbly initiate new innovations.
As an enterprise strategy, advanced manufacturing allows the whole RUJDQL]DWLRQ IURP WRS ÁRRU WR VKRS ÁRRU WR ZRUN DV D VLQJOH WHDP DOO while identifying best practices and empowering the business to make information-driven decisions. Extended to the sector as a whole, this digital networking of team members, objects and machines represents no less than the future of the U.S. manufacturing industry.
“We believe this is the fourth industrial revolution, which is synonymous with digitalization,” says Raj Batra, President, Siemens U.S. Digital Factory. “Everything you have seen in the consumer space is starting to happen in the industrial world. Factories are getting smarter, giving the people who work in them the chance to add new skills not seen in traditional manufacturing. They are bringing XQSUHFHGHQWHG VSHHG HIÀFLHQF\ DQG ÁH[LELOLW\ WR RSHUDWLRQV μ
Software has become the new standard, with the traditional VKRS ÁRRU HYROYLQJ LQWR D SODFH ZKHUH SHRSOH GUDZ LQWHOOLJHQFH from highly sophisticated machines. All told, 29 of the world’s top 30 automotive OEMS, as well as the top 20 aircraft engine manufacturers, use solutions from Siemens PLM software, which has helped to usher in an era of unprecedented customization.
´7KLV WHFKQRORJ\ LV KHOSLQJ ÀUPV ERRVW RXWSXW ZLWK HYHU LQFUHDVLQJ VSHHG DQG JLYLQJ FRPSDQLHV PRUH ÁH[LELOLW\ WR SURYLGH the variety of goods that their customers want,” says Batra, and the numbers bear this out. At Rolls-royce, PLM software is online at a majority of its manufacturing sites, and has already yielded a 5 percent improvement in manufacturing processes.
As factories grow to resemble tech companies, the manufacturing sector is well aware of the opportunities that lie ahead. From April 25–29, international leaders including Barack Obama (in the ÀUVW HYHU YLVLW IURP D VLWWLQJ 8 6 SUHVLGHQW FRQYHUJHG LQ *HUPDQ\ at Hannover Messe, the world’s largest industrial trade show, to discuss the impact this new industrial revolution will have on the global stage, from job creation to increased trade.
Stateside, the story of advanced manufacturing is one of a resurgent U.S. industrial sector that can produce high-quality goods at a competitive price, while also being faster to market. From Charleston, S.C., where Boeing automates the assembly of major 787 segments, to Baltimore, Md., where Marlin Steel Wire uses a welding robot that is run by highly trained workers, Siemens sits at the intersection where the physical and virtual worlds merge.