European systems consultancy Knowledge Technologies International (KTI) is close to the release of a new software tool which links a system integrator with its suppliers in electronic product definition.

The new system represents an extension of the existing ICAD manufacturing tool, which KTI has now acquired from original US developer Concentra and which allows geometric computer models to obey, and "intelligently" interpret, rules set down by experts,

"We are about to announce a revolutionary new technology," says Gareth Evans, chief executive of Luxembourg-registered KTI, who declines to give full details until the release early next month.

The implication is that the time taken to assess different alternatives at the preliminary design stage will be cut from up to six weeks down to around 10min for each option.

Boeing had already been looking to extend the ICAD concept to suppliers. It introduced the first large-scale aerospace application of ICAD on the 777 in the early 1990s. That has now been extended to the 757-300 and 777-200X, says Evans, adding that KTI is now presenting ICAD to the engine manufacturers and is in "active discussions" with Asia-Pacific contractors. ICAD is also being used for the Airbus A340-500/600, with promising results on a wingbox and in making fast cabin design changes, he says.

Source: Flight International