Investment in knowledge-based technology

Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology

ISSN: 0002-2667

Article publication date: 1 June 2000




(2000), "Investment in knowledge-based technology", Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology, Vol. 72 No. 3.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2000, MCB UP Limited

Investment in knowledge-based technology

Keywords BAe Systems, Software, Knowledge management

With a new contract valued at over $7million, BAe Systems, Airbus has increased its investment in knowledge-based technology from Knowledge Technologies International (KTI). BAe Systems recently revealed that, using the software - The KBO EnvironmentTM with "ICAD® built in" - in one example quoted, two people designed a set of wing ribs in just six weeks, a job which traditionally would have taken 20 people six months. In terms of man-hours and other resources that is an expenditure of around 2.5 per cent of the previous cost or an astonishing saving of 97.5 per cent.

BAe's innovative use of KTI technology has been formally recognized in its design of wings for the new Airbus A340-500/600. BAe engineers recently won the coveted knowledge-based organisation (KBO) award and the wings were awarded the Design Council's "Millennium product" status. For this application KTI's knowledge-based software allowed the company to capture its knowledge base along with best practice and performance, manufacturing and cost criteria into a virtual model. This has meant engineers can quickly and accurately explore and test multiple "what ifs" against all known constraints.

BAe Systems' newest investment in KTI technology includes an option to adopt its recently-launched knowledge-based process modellerTM (KPM) which now forms part of The KBO EnvironmentTM. If BAe exercises its option for KPM, it will help it to create its own corporate "central nervous system" - able to "know" what is required where and when, and able to deliver it at the speed of light. KPM can reach out from within an enterprise to initiate and control processes throughout the supply chain. Its capacity to comprehend, initiate, control and monitor dynamic processes, such as a complex design or manufacturing project, is technically boundless.

BAe Systems is already putting its investment in ICAD to work to optimise and accelerate preliminary work on the ASXX high capacity, double-decker passenger aircraft and the new military transport aircraft the A400M. BAe is also expanding its knowledge-based activities to empower innovation in areas such as composites and manufacturing.

Jeff Jupp, director technical at BAe Systems, Airbus, said: "We are very proud of our advanced use of ICAD, which has already brought us major gains in productivity, optimization and time to complete particular applications. Our significant new investment with KTI was easily justified given the outstanding results already achieved and allows us to achieve wider benefits throughout the design process. BAe Systems is now at the forefront in its industry for its use of knowledge-based technology."

Details available from: Knowledge Technologies Int'l. Tel: +1 781 676 2129.

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