EADS (European Aeronautic Defence and Space) Airbus has awarded Tecnomatix Technologies, the manufacturing process and simulation software vendor, a $3.5 million contract for its eMPower suite of software. The contract is a follow-on order to ensure the full implementation of a ‘digital factory’ for the Airbus A380 programme, which will build the world’s largest, advanced civil aircraft. The plan is for eMPower to manage all the company’s relevant manufacturing data in a centralised ‘e-Manufacturing’ server database and will be available to all authorised engineers over an Intranet. This means the firm will have a complete digital mock-up and virtual factory before starting work on the building of any site or production line. Engineers will be able to check tooling and assembly procedures, define the number of operators needed on each line, and optimise the plant layout. And the software’s eM-Work Instruction module will enable EADS’ engineers to convert manufacturing process information into works instructions and then distribute these over the Intranet to the company’s French, German and Spanish sites.