Aerospace manufacturers, like most other industries, are urgently pursuing cost-saving measures to deal with today’s economic and market realities. But due to the complexity of aerospace products plus the safety and regulatory issues that uniquely affect them, it is not possible simply to use cheaper materials or lighter packaging. Cost savings (and their synonym, time savings) must be found elsewhere. Terms like “lean engineering” have joined the lexicon of efficiency as aerospace producers seek ways to do more with less. The discipline of software-based modeling in its many forms is proving to be the salvation of manufacturers working under pressure to deliver end products of proven quality at lower cost, and in less time. Almost every aspect of product design, from mechanical housings to printed circuit boards, has its own dedicated modeling toolset to aid engineers with basic layout, “what-if” trials and more. Not surprisingly, modeling is an enabling tool for today’s aggressive efficiency strategies.

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