Designing aircraft parts in the cloud

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Industry Week has an article up this week about airline parts manufacturer Woodward’s recent move to designing on rented, rather than purchased cycles. The article is an instance of the shift that chip manufacturers and hosting companies alike hope will happen in a big way as they struggle to find the companies in the “missing middle” of HPC

Airplane parts manufacturer Woodward is now renting time to design parts on an IBM supercomputer instead of making physical prototypes. This has allowed Woodward to deliver parts to market 80% faster while generating half the waste from prototype materials.

Woodward is actually working with HPC cloud services provider Nimbis Services, the brainchild of ex-HPCS chief Bob Graybill and Brian Schott (we wrote about them here).

Last year, Woodward, working with the University of Southern California’s Information Sciences Institute (ISI), took part in a supply chain pilot project to explore how small manufacturers can effectively use supercomputer environments for industrial design and modeling.

Woodward found that high-performance computing allowed it to more accurately model the behavior of fuel nozzles designed for Pratt & Whitney engines.

Nimbis has more about this story in their related press release.