DOMAERO, a French aerospace supplier est. in 1990, is specialized in sheet metal forming for the civil, defense, and space markets. Its customers, playing aerospace OEM and tier 1, recognize DOMAERO’s know-how in the field of thin titanium sheet forming for the lightening of aerostructures. The company also works with the typical materials in the field (aluminum, stainless steel, Inconel).
Simulation as a tool for action.
Ever since they started to use AutoForm in 2021, simulation has undeniably been a tool that has helped DOMAERO get out of its comfort zone: Christophe Bompard, CEO, tells us that without it, they would never have accepted the contracts for the most complex parts they are currently working on. The economical context evolves more and more in the aerospace industry as it becomes harder to find welders or boilermakers for parts made from thin sheets. OEMs are therefore evolving their design towards more complex stamped parts to reduce the amount of welding or finishing time. As the part shapes are becoming more and more complex, it’s vital for suppliers to adapt to these changes.
Simulation as a factor of external recognition
As DOMAERO analyzes its customer’s part and gives feedback on its feasibility, simulation has proven to be the perfect tool to eliminate any doubts. The customer’s design team, used to support their decisions with simulation results (eg fatigue…), is comforted by the fact that DOMAERO uses simulation to present arguments regarding the feasibility of the part.
Thanks to the simulation, the number of tryout loops has been reduced by more than half. From 3 to 4 tryout loops in the past for a typical part, now they can only need 1 to 2 loops maximum. If a loop lasts about a week, you can gain half a month in the overall planning for this part – which is extremely interesting for the customer –, and the corresponding resources can be allocated to other projects, – which is very beneficial for DOMAERO. This is a win-win situation.
Simulation as a factor of internal consensus
In the past, DOMAERO had several stamping experts. Some of them, whose points of view were the reference for decision making regarding the stamping processes, left the company. Now the numerical simulation is a tool to get the last word and to conciliate the points of view of the methods department and the tool shop in case of a disagreement. Simulation is the tool of choice for sitting down and deciding of the next steps together, because even a quick simulation can provide more accurate and reliable information than a single expert’s advice, especially for the new parts typology they are facing today. As M. Bompard assures, for a CEO this is extremely comforting, and the next project can be chosen more serenely.
Simulation is also an essential tool for DOMAERO as it helps them with their new staff: DOMAERO uses AutoForm as a helping tool to train the new recruits of the team to the world of stamping.
Thanks to simulation, DOMAERO can achieve a better part quality out of the press, requiring less rework after forming. DOMAERO secures then its activity, which becomes less dependent on the availability of staff for the part rework after forming, which has tended to experience a high turnover in recent years.
Simulation as a tool for business evolution
Simulation has already had an important impact on DOMAERO’s business. In the past few years, DOMAERO has been able to produce much more complex parts whose average price is twice the price of previous classical parts.
DOMAERO’s customers are approaching them with more and more complex parts; they can support their customers in evaluating the feasibility of the part, the complexity of the manufacturing process and the overall costs. So far DOMAERO only analyzes the feasibility of the parts they will produce themselves, but maybe in a future activity they will take up the feasibility analysis for other parts.
Bompard really appreciates how fast these tasks can be done with AutoForm: the quick set-up and speed of computation help them to move fast and react quickly. Since the beginning of the year, they worked on around 150 references already and if they can dedicate some more time on more strategic parts and quickly secure the rest, that’s all DOMAERO needs to continue its growth.