New airplane engine test rig to help manufacturers reduce noise

By Control Engineering Staff April 12, 2006

Concord, Mass. — SolidWorks announced that Assystem U.K. is using SolidWorks 3D CAD software to develop airplane engine test rigs. These test rigs are a third of the size of large aircraft engines, but are much cheaper to build and operate, saving manufacturers tens of thousands of dollars as they seek to reduce civil aircraft noise.

SolidWorks Corp., a Dassault Systemes S.A. company, develops and markets software for design, analysis, and product data management. Assystem U.K. has been providing high technology engineering support to the aerospace, defense, and other industries for over 40 years.

Assystem U.K.,an engineering design consultancy with particular expertise in civil aerospace and defense industries , is part of the Silence R (Significantly Lower Community Exposure to Aircraft Noise) collaboration of 53 European companies, including aircraft engine companies Rolls Royce, Snecma, and MTU. The aim is to develop strategies to lower civil aircraft noise by six decibels by 2010, and cut it in half by 2020.

Assystem U.K. uses SolidWorks 3D CAD software to streamline new test rig development and reduce error s . “In order to progress a test in an efficient manner, it is important that mechanical build and instrumentation problems are avoided,” said Assystem U.K. Chief Engineer Bob Hemmings. “We’re designing smaller, more affordable test rigs that our clients can customize and deploy each time they need to conduct a practical test on a new engine design. Using SolidWorks helps us quickly custom design test rigs and to interface concurrently with the manufacturing supply chain for different clients and their engines.”

The large and complex test rigs are more than 1 meter in diameter and have 3,000 parts . SolidWorks’ support for large assembly modelling allows Assystem engineers to quickly and accurately design individual parts, sub-assemblies, and the entire test rig while ensuring smooth operation. Engineers use SolidWorks’ physical simulation capabilities to identify and fix part collisions before manufacturing begins. SolidWorks Routing enables engineers to accurately design the correct connections for more than 2,000 instrumentation tubes and wires throughout the test rig. In addition, many of Assystem’s customers and partners use SolidWorks, creating a common design language throughout the product development lifecycle.