Inside the Airbus Customer Definition Centre.
Case Study
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Airbus A350 XWB CDC

Inspiring customers along their needs

The A350 XWB Customer Definition Centre (CDC) enables Airbus customers to see, feel, test and compare the entire spectrum of the cabin offering in close cooperation with the A350 XWB Risk Sharing Partners. The A350 XWB Configurator software supports the selection and visualization of cabin configurations and product options.

The launch of the A350 XWB aircraft program represented a paradigm shift in Airbus’s cabin customization approach, away from the ramifications of individual sourcing to a highly diversified yet contained product offering, which minimizes the risk of delays and cost overruns.

Show and tell

The A350 XWB Customer Definition Centre (CDC) in Hamburg is the physical manifestation of this new approach – a unique product showroom for the creative possibilities of the available product options and, quite literally, a guided walk through the cabin definition process: Airline delegations proceed through an array of carefully designed zones intended to facilitate the decision-making process. These include functional play rooms for cabin equipment testing, inspiring exhibition areas for typical airline A350 XWB product staging, well-fitted design studios for material definitions and purpose built customer-specific cabin mock-up areas.

To fuse the individual choices for seats, monuments and other items into a coherent and fully compliant cabin configuration, the CDC takes advantage of the A350 XWB Configurator, a custom software tool developed by PACE.

Inside the Airbus Customer Definition Centre.
VR Screen with A350 XWB Configurator, © Airbus

Long-standing partners

When Airbus was looking for a central configuration tool for its new aircraft models, it was natural to invite PACE to tender a solution as they had already supplied cabin configuration software for the manufacturer’s single-aisle and long-range programs.

An extended period of close collaboration between the two companies resulted in the A350 XWB Configurator, which supports Airbus-specific policies and work processes while drawing on the mature technology and core functional scope of PACE’s off-the-shelf software Pacelab Cabin.

Key features shared by the A350 XWB Configurator include:

  • Clear interface to present product options in a transparent and highly visual manner
  • Flexible configuration scope, from LOPA definition to detailed monument and systems setup
  • Automated rule checks to monitor technical feasibility and certification requirements
  • Real-time 3D engine to show customers how their choices affect the appearance of the cabin
  • Customizable export options for technical drawings and contractual documentation
Inside the Airbus Customer Definition Centre.
Design Studio, © Airbus

Highly immersive experience

Since the A350 XWB Configurator went into service in 2013, it has supported both client-facing and back-office engineering tasks throughout the entire customization process, from commercial marketing to “freezing” the design in the CDC.

Coupled with high-end 3D rendering tools and displayed on large virtual reality screens, the A350 XWB Configurator significantly contributes to the highly immersive customer experience which is the hallmark of the CDC.

As one of the key elements of Airbus’s new customization mix, the A350 XWB Configurator helps to reduce lead times and promotes an efficient communication between all process stakeholders.

Inside the Airbus Customer Definition Centre.
Inspire Mock-up "Smart Tech", © Airbus
  • "The A350 XWB Configurator is a key decision enabler for customers in the CDC as it provides all the information airlines need to create and evaluate their specific cabin layout."

    Eric Ezell, Head of A350 XWB Customer Definition Centre, CoC Cabin & Cargo Airbus

A350 XWB Customer Definition Centre facts & figures

  • One-stop shop for A350 XWB customers
  • Inaugurated in April 2014
  • Housed in former Transall aircraft assembly hall at Airbus’s Hamburg-Finkenwerder site
  • 4,000 m² of flexible presentation and conference areas across two floors


March 2015

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