PLM streamlines development of Boeing 7E7

Boeing is implementing one of the largest product lifecycle management projects yet undertaken. Its Global Collaboration...

Boeing is implementing one of the largest product lifecycle management projects yet undertaken. Its Global Collaboration Environment is a bid to streamline the development and manufacture of its 7E7 aircraft, which it plans to start producing in 2006.

Analyst firm Meta Group has defined PLM as a strategy to increase the speed of new products to market. It is based on implementing common services and applications across all parts of the production process, where each part of the process is analysed for its ongoing effect.

Boeing's Global Collaboration Environment is a digital toolset used to monitor activity across the enterprise, which Boeing hopes will improve the quality and speed of production of the aircraft it has in development.

Frank Statkus, vice president of advanced technology for the Boeing 7E7 programme, said, "The business benefits range from savings on the bottom line, eliminating the need for duplicated efforts and an improved ability to interact with global partners."

In February, Boeing selected IBM and French PLM software manufacturer Dassault SystŠmes to provide the PLM for the 7E7 in a multimillion-pound deal that industry watchers believe could be the biggest PLM contract ever signed.

Boeing had already used PLM through a variety of software tools, where each of which required individual input, tracking and maintenance to stay effective.

Statkus said PLM would enable Boeing to create a single set of data and a single database for development and production.

Statkus said all of Boeing's partners would be using the same digital tools and work off of the same database. "It will be the equivalent of engineers from different countries standing around a drafting table and discussing how their sections go together."

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