Rolls-Royce manufacture enormous engines that are used by 500 airlines and more than 150 armed forces. These engines generate huge amounts of power, and it’s no surprise that a company used to dealing with big numbers have wholeheartedly embraced Big Data.
This is an extremely high-tech industry where failures and mistakes can cost billions – and human lives. It’s therefore crucial the company are able to monitor the health of their products to spot potential problems before they occur. The data Rolls-Royce gather helps them design more robust products, maintain products efficiently and provide a better service to clients.
Rolls-Royce put Big Data processes to use in three key areas of their operations: design, manufacture and after-sales support. Let’s look at each area in turn.
Paul Stein, the company’s chief scientific officer, says: “We have huge clusters of high-power computing which are used in the design process. We generate tens of terabytes of data on each simulation of one of our jet engines. We then have to use some pretty sophisticated computer techniques to look into that massive dataset and visualize whether that particular product we’ve designed is good or bad. Visualizing Big Data is just as important as the techniques we use for manipulating it.” In fact, they eventually hope to be able to visualize ...