Could it be that proliferation of more powerful software is resulting in a depleted workforce, allowing stuff that is typically triple checked to go unnoticed? Certainly the 3D mechanical tools have resulted in a dramatic increase in individual productivity.
Everything in a Jumbo is now obsolete, it was designed so long ago. A new aircraft series needs huge amounts of the design mass to be re-invented afresh. However, it's designed to sell for decades, so there is a way to get the investment back.
Roadmap-based design is fine when assembling a product from a set of pre-defined reference designs provided by vendors who also provide 'tiger teams' of FAEs to get you to market. That will work for TVs, small planes and even medical products. But in vertically integrated companies like Boeing, so much is new and radical in a new series that almost all the subcontractors have to be dragged up into the new paradigm, and very little is re-usable from before.
Compared to aero metalwork, trusted flight software has a vastly better chance of being re-used in huge chunks. There's a comforting thought, eh...
Completely paper less design! i can not imagine that!Seing in a small monitor screen or a large LCD screen is not sufficient. One needs to print it see it many times for corrections and go back to computers screens is the best way for quick success.Since child hood we are all practiced with paper and pen. All my designs when printed out and checked i could easily find out the slips i have made in the designs!I suggest to Boeing to go for paper verification also which will save lot of time and money
Interesting you should say that, the number of times I've read a document over on screen only to find glaring issues once it's printed :-) Someone should do a study as to this is, it would be good to understand it so we can go truly paperless (maybe)
Good article. It's easy for management to fool themselves and their investors that 3D CAD and other tools will make up for lack of engineering judgment and sufficient iteration and test time.
Let's diagnose the problem as too many engineers and lay off a few more.
Engineering Design is essentially human cognitive process. While CAE CAD helps productivity, Reliability has to be ensured as well.Everything caannot be tested to precipitatae every possible / probable failure mode. A solidly good blend of "amount of evidence and degree of confidence" is the hallmark of all superior design outputs.