Integration of CAD/CAM, Manufacturing, Operations, and In-Service Domains

One of the major areas for improvement within an aerospace enterprise is in the integration among engineering, manufacturing, and operations organizations. The drivers for such integration are to allow the maximum reuse and appropriate con­solidation of data and business systems throughout the program life cycle. The degree to which this is achieved typically has a major influence on overall costs, both recurring and nonrecurring. Traditionally, the engineering and manufactur­ing (i. e., CAD and CAM) domains operate in a self-contained operating unit. As a result, it is difficult – if not impossible – to actually leverage engineering data down­stream in the shop-floor operations area where typically bills of material (BOMs) are defined, along with related procurement data and shop-floor work instructions. One major problem with this traditional scenario is that effectively managing engi­neering changes and reconciling the parallel worlds of CAD and CAM and shop – floor operations is extremely difficult and expensive to do accurately. Digital man­ufacturing provides a means to integrate these two domains (i. e., CAD/CAM and operations), as well as the in-service domain, through several core technologies and application layers.

An additional benefit of this type of integration is the ability to reduce the num­ber of redundant business systems between the CAD/CAM and operations organi­zations. This reduces recurring and overhead costs. Specifically, the following classes of business systems can be consolidated into the PPR-hub-based solution suite: [30]

• reconciliation analysis: estimate versus actual (e. g., in preparing BOM)

• simulation-based validation

• cost estimating

• production-flow analysis

• human resources

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