A selection of case studies, webinar recordings, and comments from:
At a web seminar in January 2016, Denise Massa described an enterprise project to manage GM's materials information using GRANTA MI. GM have looked to support the company's materials information needs while rationalizing the dozens of tools currently involved in handling materials information. They have designed a system based around just two key tools—GRANTA MI, which will be used to manage materials information and 'author' it into the second key tool, their Teamcenter PLM system, from where it can be consumed by a diverse audience from engineers, to purchasing staff, to lawyers. GM now have a roadmap for building this new system and have begun the process by migrating information into GRANTA MI. Key goals are to reduce the time taken on material studies and to ensure consistency across the users of materials data: "We want them to all be using the same version of the steel so we have less rework, better products, no product recalls, and fewer warranty issues." Speaking on the justification for the materials information management project, she explained how a business case had been put together analyzing both direct business benefits that impact the bottom line and indirect benefits: "after we finish each project, we go back and check that we have met our metrics. So far, we are about 50% of the way through the project and have met all of our metrics."
Brett Rickett, Director of Material and Process Technology at Molex, spoke at a web seminar in January 2016, describing materials information management at the leading manufacturer of electrical and electronic connectors. Managing information materials has long been recognised as an important strategic topic, so that a system has been in place to support this activity for over 15 years. However, in recent years, the company recognized deficiencies in this system—it did not provide a "single source of the truth" ( specifications data and data for CAE were in disconnected databases) and, because it had been a custom development project, it was expensive and difficult to make changes. Molex selected GRANTA MI for their new system following an extensive vendor assessment and, at the time of the webinar, had successfully completed initial deployment to 200 engineers. Legacy data had been transferred and roll-out to the remaining 1,200 engineers was approaching. Access to the database is provided both via a web browser and (via the MI:Materials Gateway technology) from within Molex CAD and CAE software. Asked about how the business justification for the system had been made, Rickett pointed to a corporate initiative on cost and efficiency, where benefits come "by taking out a lot of inefficient work activities in the product engineering community through having Granta serve as the source of information that gets rolled up into our NX CAD system, and then into our PLM. Being able to take out all of the cost and effort there was a great way to be able to show Return on Investment."
PSA Peugeot Citroën selected the GRANTA MI software to support its materials information management requirements. PSA Peugeot Citroën is a leading European carmaker with international scope, bringing to market two automobile brands with innovative line-ups and clearly differentiated styles: Peugeot and Citroën. The decision to select GRANTA MI is part of a project to replace legacy systems for materials information at PSA Peugeot Citroën and to extend the benefits of managing this vital engineering data to more groups within the company. A key focus is on delivering reliable, traceable materials data for input to simulation and analysis.
“Granta demonstrated extensive experience of the practical implementation of materials databases for large engineering enterprises,” commented Louis DAVID, Materials Chief Expert at PSA Peugeot Citroën. “With a proven solution, plus the track-record and services to support a fast deployment, Granta was able to meet our short-term needs, especially for the data required for modelling. Granta also offers technology, tools, and an open approach that can support future extension of the project.”
Rolls-Royce have spoken at a number of seminars, Consortia meetings, and webinars about their use of the GRANTA MI system.
Amandeep Singh Mhay presented a case study of the materials information management project at Rolls-Royce at a web seminar in October 2014. His presentation included the assessment that the project was responsible for £6.9m ($10m) per annum of productivity savings due to factors such as reduced data loss, avoiding duplicate testing, legacy data capture, and cost avoidance. This example was also discussed during the panel session at the 2015 Granta North European Seminar and UGM.
Andy Clifton, Manager of Sustainable Development and Health and Safety in Design at Rolls-Royce, spoke of using data-driven assessment of materials supply and environmental risks to design-out problems at an open session of the EMIT Consortium in London. This has enabled them to develop approaches that deliver a “triple win scenario” benefiting customers, the environment, and suppliers/manufacturers.
Darren Green, Chief of Materials Design Services at Rolls-Royce, spoke at a Granta seminar in Birmingham about the drive towards continuous improvement in materials data quality in his organization. His talk discussed the challenges of moving from a situation where Rolls-Royce was able to re-use 60% of its materials data towards a 'zero data loss' policy by combining the right information technology with the right corporate policies.
Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control, are using GRANTA MI:Materials Gateway to ensure a company-wide preferred materials selection strategy. Integration of managed materials data with the CAD environment is key to their strategy.
At a web seminar hosted by NASA Tech Briefs, Renae Rippere, a Mechanical Engineer in the Materials and Process (M&P) Engineering Group, Lockheed Martin, Missiles and Fire Control, described the results of a recent materials data management program. The specific focus was on how designers choose an appropriate material and assign the associated materials property data to their product designs. Rippere explained how the use of GRANTA MI:Materials Gateway has delivered significant benefits, including consistent material usage, improved documentation, traceability, and considerable time savings. She also shared tips for other companies considering adopting such an approach.
Designworks, a BMW Group subsidiary, provides consultancy and design services to the automotive sector and a diverse range of other industries with a focus on mobility. The work of the team of materials scientists, automotive and product designers, engineering experts and sustainability consultants is geared towards innovation, with lightweight solutions being one of the key priorities.
Anne Farken, Associate Director Sustainability and Creative Consulting at Designworks, explains how it has implemented the GRANTA MI system to create a materials database to enhance the integration of its diverse disciplines at the earliest stage of product conception. This materials knowledge management frees up time that can be spent on its creative work.
RUAG Space is a leading independent supplier of products for the space industry in Europe, with a portfolio consisting of launcher structures and separation systems, satellite structures and instruments, digital electronics, and communication equipment. Lightweighting is one of the company’s main targets.
Ulrich Krähenbühl, Manager for Materials & Processes at RUAG Space, explains how it has implemented the GRANTA MI system and created a single, reliable source for all its materials data, capturing inspection data on the performance of materials from the production phase, along with proprietary data and external reference data, resulting in time savings and company-wide consistency.
Industria de Turbo Propulsores (ITP) is a leading company in the aerospace sector, providing high-tech products and services to the aerospace and industrial engines markets. Based in Bilbao, Spain, it was founded in 1989 as a technology partner of Rolls-Royce, but later became independent and began to develop its own technology.
Sergio Torregrosa, Materials Laboratory Manager at ITP, explains how it has implemented the GRANTA MI system and consolidated test data obtained both internally and externally, which is later used in the design and manufacturing of ITP’s engine components. This provided greater efficiency and full traceability, resulting in increased confidence in the data used, and reduced time and cost in design.
Cessna Aircraft Company applies materials information management based to ensure the “best possible data integrity, to manage numerous data formats, and a desire to ensure consistent data analysis techniques”. Speaking at a Granta Seminar in Wichita, KS, Don Snyder, Cessna’s M&P Engineering Specialist, explained that they wanted to maximize the traceability of materials information, moving data storage away from shared drives, Excel workbooks, Access databases, and internal reports, and were seeking a secure system with good accessibility features.
To meet these needs, Cessna adopted GRANTA MI. The initial project involved incorporating reference data, internal data, legacy data, and suppliers/customer data within a centralized database, making it straightforward to search and apply this information. Iinterfaced well with existing software was an important requirement, as was access control and permissions, ensuring that users can access any data for which they are authorized.
Sulzer's use of GRANTA MI has been described in a Granta Case Study and in by the Head of the Materials Group, Thomas Kraenzler, in a web seminar. Sulzer has a global reputation in providing reliable equipment for performance-critical applications in sectors from Oil & Gas to Power Generation. They have adopted GRANTA MI to improve reliability, save time, and extract more value from existing corporate knowledge. The aim was to maximize the use of many-years' worth of valuable materials information, and to combine this with high quality external reference data, thus supporting performance-critical applications. By importing proprietary data into GRANTA MI, and licensing additional external data, Sulzer met their initial goals of making materials data more reliable, traceable, and searchable. The software tools available with GRANTA MI allow them to put that information quickly into the hands of those who need it, and to make optimal materials decisions.
Honeywell Aerospace have been a long-standing member of the Material Data Management Consortium (MDMC), applying materials information technology to ensure: consistency in material property information across the organization; flexibility to provide, for example, design curves in the different formats required by different customers; the ability to handle diverse data ("we had to have the ability to store just about every property you can think of in just about any type of materials you can imagine."); security, especially for export control issues; and traceability, tracking where the data or model came from, and which model was active at a specific time.
Doug Hall, from the Life Methods group at Honeywell discussed how these requirements are met during a Granta webinar, and also during a seminar at the National Center for Aviation Training (NCAT) facility, Wichita in April 2014. He explained the time savings when extracting a mathematical model for design work: "it used to take a group 3 to 4 hours worth of work to assemble the necessary data, then another hour doing the curve fitting, running the spreadsheet, documenting the work. Now it takes about three or four minutes... cutting about 80% of the time it used to take to generate the new model that people can use."
At an earlier webinar, Dr. Michael Gorelik, project manager for Granta deployment at Honeywell, joined a web seminar with other MDMC members to share his insights from the deployment of a centralized material data system. In particular, he highlighted the need to store data in a configuration-controlled environment, accessible across multiple sites, providing effective interfaces both with commercial off-the-shelf and internal CAD/ CAE tools to meeting the varied needs (due to the diversity of their product line) of those using data from both internal and commercial sources.
At a Qmed-hosted web seminar, speakers from Ethicon Surgical Care provided insights into the strategic importance of materials information management to enhance product approval and delivery. Chris Johns, Manager of the Research and Development Laboratory explained how they realized that "managing materials and materials information will be critical to our future." In particular, in three areas: supply interruptions would mean they could not make their products; the explosion of materials regulation would mean they could not sell their products, and without the right choices materials customers would not buy their products. Having drawn together all of the materials subject experts into a single team, Ethicon Surgical Care worked with Granta to adopt a solution "that pools together the information the team needs into one place based on the Granta platform. This team has become so efficient that we handle about 60 materials related requests each month for many functional areas across the business." In concluding their presentation, Jackie Anim said "the benefits of this current practice are very obvious. It reduces redundancies, ...minimizes time-to-market by reducing our response time and promoting self-reliance, ...and reduces risks and mistakes as well as overall costs."
Granta announced an agreement with UTC in September 2012. The first UTC aerospace division to adopt the GRANTA MI materials information management system was the former Hamilton Sundstrand business, now part of UTC Aerospace Systems. It has started to apply tools that consolidate and control relevant materials data and information while enforcing the high level of traceability and security needed in the aerospace industry. As GRANTA MI is specifically designed to handle the complexities of evolving materials data, it allows engineers and designers to be confident that they are using the most accurate, up-to-date, and approved information. Another of UTC’s global businesses using Granta’s software is Carrier, part of UTC Climate, Controls & Security. Carrier has been an early adopter of GRANTA MI, focusing on global access to its materials data. This covers relevant properties and testing pertinent to its applications as well as the environment in which its products operate.
Mitigating restricted substance risk for materials
Boeing are members of the EMIT Consortium. They explained their involvement during an open seminar of an EMIT Members' Meeting in London. The starting point was awareness of the acceleration in regulatory restrictions. Boeing were looking for a way to connect materials, specifications, regulations, and parts—“a laborious and costly process when you consider the mountains of data”, Boeing’s Peter Mezey explained. They also needed to keep track of and report on enormous amounts of historical data, in some cases exceeding 80 years. So Boeing adopted GRANTA MI to provide a centralized hub for materials knowledge, allowing restricted substance information to be fully integrated with other materials information. “For the first time we have the linkage all in one place”. Return on investment has been significant in areas such as data cleanup, risk mitigation, and efficiency benefits—for example, Boeing were able to respond much more efficiently when questions arose around Mercury usage in Canada.
The challenges of 'engineering archaeology'
Boeing participate in the Material Data Management Consortium (MDMC). As manager of Boeing's Computational Methods Group, Joe Sharp heads the research and technology team responsible for computational material simulation. At a web seminar, he talked about the benefits Boeing have seen from materials data management. They generate huge amounts of information. Without a material data management system, this data and its pedigree is easily lost. In fact, Boeing used to talk about the "'half life' of materials data being about five years"—even if the data remained, it was often in pockets which meant finding it was so difficult and time-consuming that they referred to this process as "engineering archaeology." A materials data management system helps overcome these issues, as well as providing additional advantages such as helping establish new materials for use within the organization.
At a web seminar, Nicolas Capelle, Composite Process Engineer & Material Data Management Specialist in EUROCOPTER's Materials & Processes Laboratory, joined discussions on effectively managing the complexities of composites materials (e.g., anisotropy / multi-stage processing). He focused on their project to manage raw data, verify test coefficients, and determine statistical values and design data to deliver traceability, avoid “private” storage, and facilitate multi-site harmonization of methods. Note: EUROCOPTER have since been re-named Airbus Helicopters.
At a web seminar discussing "how automotive leaders manage and use materials information", Andrew Haggie, Senior Manager of the Materials Engineering Department at Jaguar Land Rover, described how Granta's tools are meeting their needs for materials information management: "There is a need in the business to have a single, consistent, and reliable source of data. We needed something that captured and collated the vast bank of data that is collected historically. It needs to be accessible for the various end-users, and it needs to be the right information in the right format for the stakeholders and customers to use." In particular, he identified a need to respond to: growth, recording and embedding knowledge and making this readily available as Jaguar Land Rover expand into new markets and partnerships around the world; new materials, supporting the advances to meet environmental pressures and lightweighting requirements; material strategies for consistency and alignment across Jaguar Land Rover's platforms; and, getting to market faster—"CAE tools are demanding a more rigorous, complete set of materials data" to meet their "zero prototype goal", relying upon a "single version of the truth".
In a web seminar, speakers from Vestas and Granta Design discussed the importance of materials information technology to materials challenges in the design and manufacture of wind turbines, and how meeting these requirements helps to: enable a fast, effective iterative design process; balance cost and performance as you push materials boundaries; improve product reliability and avoid unplanned down-time; support wind energy certification and compliance with wind turbine standards.
Jens Merkel is responsible for the material database and other materials-related services at TRW Automotive, a leading supplier of safety products and services to the automotive industry. At a web seminar, he highlighted how Granta's tools are helping TRW meet challenges such as: worldwide production; working with a wide variety of materials and choosing the right material for specific applications; handling materials information in an organization growing by acquisition; the need for dual sourcing; assessing and managing restricted substance impacts; and cost optimization. "Using such a system, we can optimize our internal processes", he explained.
NASA Glenn Research Center has used GRANTA MI to create a central engineering information database that not only contains typical material property information but also entire response histories (e.g., tensile, creep, relaxation, cyclic curves), all associated pedigree information, as well as related applications, failures and reference documents. Dr Steven Arnold, Chief of the Mechanics and Life Prediction Branch, and chair of the Material Data Management Consortium (MDMC), has spoken about this work on numerous occasions, including at a Granta seminar in Pittsburgh in 2008, and more recently in webinars. One key theme has been the importance of managing information right through from test data to FEA analysis, maintaining full traceability. "The GRANTA MI system is an excellent system for being able to handle this. We wanted an integrated toolset for design and analysis at elevated temperatures so that we could take the information that we obtained in experiments all the way to the end application."
At the 2015 North European Granta seminar and UGM, Hannah Carver, Project Leader in the PLM Group at AWE, described her experience of a long-running project to manage materials information for the leading UK nuclear security organization. The systems on which AWE works contain a wide variety of often-exotic materials (metals, ceramics, salts, organics) and require them to handle data on unusual properties and conditions (e.g., radioactive behavior, test results from explosive regimes or plasma). Simulation is an important component of their research, so efficiency in feeding data to and from computational tools is essential. Products have to be maintained over long periods of time, so robust PLM systems that can manage the product definition over lifetimes of 40+ years are a requirement, and materials is one key thread in that PLM story.
Today's AWE system consists of two major databases: a Materials Science database, which underpins materials science assessments of chemical, physical, thermal, safety, and mechanical data, and the 'MATPROPS' database, used to provide mechanical property data for product engineering, design, and simulation. With future stages in the roll-out likely to include systems for environmental compliance and Additive Manufacturing, the AWE project is active and successful, ensuring that staff with technical authority over materials data can control its quality, and providing a robust framework for distributing this data to authorized personnel in the science and engineering community.
Jing Li, Methodology Engineer at GKN Aerospace, presenting at the 2015 North European Granta seminar and UGM, outlined a year-old enterprise project to implement the GRANTA MI system. The project is managing materials information for the Aerospace division, a major global Tier 1 supplier with products including aero structures, engine systems, and special products such as aircraft transparencies and ice protection systems.
The materials information management project includes support for the testing of GKN-owned materials and processes (managing the full lifecycle from test data, through statistical analysis, to design data, and into manufacturing) and an export control tagging policy for data transfer. The project has so far reached the first stage of global deployment, with users at the Filton site in the UK and Trollhättan in Sweden managing test and design data. Based on good progress so far, further phases of the roll-out are now planned.
ASCO Industries is a leader in high-precision, safety-critical products including high lift wing components, landing gear parts and sub-assemblies, and engine mounts. With revenues around 180m€ ($280m) in 2006, ASCO provides a case study of a smaller aerospace enterprise applying GRANTA MI. ASCO has implemented the GRANTA MI system to manage data on metals, polymers, and composites, and to store data on standard parts for aerospace components. Mr Stein Janssens of ASCO described this implementation at a Granta seminar in Paris. The report of this presentation explains the project: "ASCO was similar to many engineering organizations in having excellent tools for engineering design (e.g., CATIA) and finite element modeling (e.g., Nastran, Patran) but no single, integrated system to manage the materials data that supports design and generates 'allowable' property values for FEM.... ASCO's goal was to enable full traceability for all data, revision control, easy searching, and quick comparisons."
AMAZE is a collaborative project that aims to rapidly produce large, defect-free additively-manufactured (AM) metallic components up to 2m in size, ideally with close to zero waste, for use in sectors including aeronautics, space, automotive, nuclear fusion and tooling. Granta is providing an overarching materials information management system for the consortium, enabling the 28 project partners to pool materials data and to create a single go-to source of knowledge. This data is used, for example, in simulation work to understand and optimize AM processes. It can also help to construct a clear picture of the cost structure and environmental footprint of a given metallic component.
HITEA is a 17-strong consortium, led by Rolls-Royce for industrial aerospace end-users, that was formed to address the need to find replacements for hexavalent chromium following the introduction of regulations to control the use of the material from 2017. Granta is enabling the project to develop a single shared source of knowledge for the consortium partners. By consolidating legacy test data gathered over 40 years with the results of new testing on materials properties and processing, along with unique reference data on restricted substances and regulations, the consortium is able to support effective decision making in the specification and use of alternative coating solutions.
At a web seminar, Nicholas Morley, of the specialized sustainability and techno-economic consultancy, Oakdene Hollins, shared his experiences working with business in several sectors to support change toward more sustainable products, processes, services, and supply chains, with particular emphasis on the challenges posed by critical materials and conflict minerals. He discussed how leading engineering organizations are using tools such as Granta's Critical Materials Data Module to help avoid or mitigate risks such as material supply disruptions, sudden material price escalations, or failure to meet the reporting requirements of legislation such as the Dodd-Frank Act. Granta's Critical Materials Data Module, which links elemental supply risk information to materials by composition, helps materials engineers and product sustainability experts in manufacturing organizations to perform a data-driven risk assessment for materials supply risks, and take early mitigating action to ensure business continuity and reduce long term costs of production.
The white paper Optimizing Materials Strategy—can you afford not to? contains a case study based on Granta's experience of working with large, multi-business manufacturing organizations. Financial and other details have been altered to protect commercial confidentiality, but the case study remains representative of real projects and is published with the consent of the organizations concerned. The case study illustrates how use of Granta materials strategy software can be part of a cost reduction and materials rationalization program that aims to cut 5-10% from materials costs, in organizations where a 1% saving equates to $50m per annum.
In this case study one of Granta's customers is seeking to reduce the cost of each kWh through the latest wind turbine technology, pushing new materials to their limits and posing real materials information management challenges. Granta have been able to provide the company with a materials information management system, ensuring that all data is stored in a single, traceable, and fully searchable system. Materials experts working with blade technology are now using this system to collect and maintain data from in-house tests, such as compression, IPS, ILLSS, rheology, environmental, together with its pedigree and analysis details, within this corporate materials information resource. They are then able to provide quick and reliable access to this data in the right format for those who need it. Having one "gold source" of materials information has increased confidence in the materials data used by wind blade engineers, and is capturing the corporate materials expertise and knowledge. Together, these help with innovative designs involving lower carbon fiber content, reducing the cost and increasing the efficiency of turbine blades.
Renault F1 use Granta's materials information system:
"Granta’s software is an integral part of our design process. Working with Granta’s consultants, we’ve created a consolidated source of materials information available company-wide, streamlining our design operation."
Graham Heard, Renault Formula 1
Granta’s software provides " …versatile and valuable instruments for the creation, maintenance and publication of our knowledge base."
Dr Stefan Seeger, German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing
(Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und -prüfung—BAM).
GRANTA MI was chosen as the best material data management system to serve the design, construction, and maintenance of the US naval fleet under the management of the Survivability, Structures, and Materials Directorate of the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Carderock Division (NSWCCD), the Naval Sea Systems Command, and Concurrent Technologies Corporation (CTC).
"The software system GRANTA MI was determined to be the most appropriate given factors such as functionality, cost, and release timeline."
Matthew Hayden, US Naval Surface Warfare Center