Aerospace Industry
How can collaboration be established among many competitors to benefit the whole ValueWeb™ network system?

In the early 90s, aerospace giants faced huge costs in the competitive bidding process—more than $500 million capital expenditure per test—and paralyzing test cycle times. The US domestic aircraft industry was losing market share to Airbus and Europe's multinational testing facilities because of both the cost and cycle time problems. At the center of the issue was Arnold Engineering Development Center (AEDC), the home of a unique, specialized, engine testing capability — which was threatened by lack of funding. How could they cut development and cycle time costs, meet FAA requirements, and help maintain critical government facilities?

In a DesignShop® event facilitated by MG Taylor, manufactures, testers, and customers collaborated to design a solution based on trust and shared resources. First, they designed a radical new approach to providing hardware for the test process — Pratt & Whitney, General Electric, and Rolls Royce would share the technology needed to outfit the test cells. In turn, they would allow AEDC to refine the test process and to improve critical facilities at no cost to the taxpayer. The goal was a radical reduction in time to mount the engines for tests—from six weeks to six days.

The collaborators had to design tests so superior that the FAA would accept the results, based on shared technology, with the government testing facility acting as "fair broker." The result: FAA Waives 2 Year Requirement for Domestic Aircraft Certification. Boeing's 777 was certified immediately to fly domestically, cutting two years from the intercontinental certification process. The 777 is now a viable competitor to France's Airbus, and has made an important contribution to the US economy.

"The list of benefits that have come out of DesignShop evnets goes on and on: radically reduced testing times; early approval of the 777 engine for intercontinental flight, based on setting a world record for running an engine in a wind tunnel continuously for 52 hours." —John Poparad, AEDC and DesignShop participant


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