Physical prototypes of jet engine components could belong to the past, thanks to an industrial design and modelling study that found cloud computing techniques capable of reducing scrap waste by 50% and cutting product development lead times by up to 80%.
After taking part in a University of Southern California pilot project in 2009, jet engine component maker Woodward Control Solutions now says cloud computing - the use of information technology resources over a network, such as the internet - will help it avoid building physical prototypes, saving $275,000 per engineer per year.
The project used IBM's computing on-demand cloud centre to model the behaviour of fuel nozzles designed for Pratt & Whitney engines. Woodward will use cloud resources from IBM and Nimbis Services, a University of Southern California-affiliated start-up.
Woodward will employ Nimbis under a manufacturing yield improvement innovation contract from the US Defense Logistics Agency.