50: Aeronautics :strong links with industry

When the UTC-Roberval Lab was created, back in 2000, by the merger of the LG2mS (Mechanical engineering and for Materials and Structures) and some other research units, it was placed under a joint hierarchy: UTC and the CNRS. So, what are key features of the Roberval research Lab? Firstly, we can cite the noteworthy, excellent reputation of the research scientists’ teams and the strong links they have built with a variety of industrial sectors.

50: Aeronautics :strong links with industry

Digital continuity

Senior lecturer-cum research scientist; Dr Alexandre Durupt is the science officer in charge of the LabCom DIMEXP at the UTC-Roberval Laboratory and co-supervisor, with Dr Julien Le Duigou, for a thesis presented by Émeric Ostermeyer on the project Lucid, with some noteworthy aeronautical partners.

The team made two observations. Remind us, please, what was the first? "We realized", explains Émeric Ostermeyer, "that fabrication processes generate enormous amounts of data. We decided, consequently that we should examine the question of how best to reuse, accumulate and build onto the knowledge encoded in the data". And your second observation? "The programmers, in this instance those who create parts machining programmes spend a lot of tile doing basic routine activities and thus less time on the higher added value work", he adds.

What is the guide-line idea behind the project? " It consists of analyzing all the data collected during the fabrication phases using data mining techniques, and what we call machine learning" processes so as to automate - wherever possible - the routine work in fabrication and to spend more time on the more complex issues", he insists .

Who are the partners to this LUCID FUI 21 Project, launched in 2016? There are 4 partners: Safran Group, Hexagon Group NCSimul (software editor), Ventana Taverny, who work mainly for aeronautical and aerospace and UF1, a more 'general scope' company. These aeronautical partners have expressed a very strong demand for "traceability in respect to the parts that structure an aircraft engine today, for example, the compressor fan assemblies or turbine blades. It is of utmost importance that we know which machine, which programme was used to fabricate every single engine part, with total compliancy in the digital continuity, as we say", recalls Alexandre Durupt. ""We use the expression "digital continuity" when we make an information transfer from software A to software B in an automated manner - the human operator only being there to ensure and certify correct transfer" details Émeric Ostermeyer.

Let us take the case of the Safran Group. "They have some 500 machine tools in operation. The vert organization of the machining programmes becomes very complex. A great many software packages are involved. Firstly, we have the fabrication packages which are computer-aided (CA) which prepare and edit the parts fabrication programme; then we have the software that transfers and converts the programme into executable machine language and lastly we have the programme test simulator which is run before fabrication is actually launched", concludes Alexandre Durupt.