Process Detailing and Validation

This software suite provides engineers with the tools to bring the process planning solutions into the application-specific disciplines of manufacturing. It assists engi­neers in verifying process methodologies with actual product geometry and defin­ing processes within a 3D environment. The human module offers tools that allow users to manipulate accurate, standard, digital, human mannequins, referred to as “workers,” and to simulate task activities in the process-simulation environment. Thus, worker processes can be analyzed early in the manufacturing and assembly life cycle. The assembly process simulation module sets a new paradigm for devel­oping manufacturing and maintenance processes. It offers manufacturing engineers and assembly process planners an end-to-end solution by incorporating a single, uni­fied interface for preplanning, detailed planning, process verification, and shop-floor instructions.

Resource Modeling and Simulation

This software suite provides engineers with the tools to develop, create, and imple­ment resource, mechanical programming, and application routines that are integral to the process planning and the process detailing and validation solutions. Within this set of solutions, resources such as robots, tooling, fixtures, machinery, automa­tion, and ergonomics are defined for completing a manufacturing solution. Digital manufacturing also offers flexible, object-based, discrete event-simulation tools for efficient modeling, experimenting, and analyzing of a facility layout and process flow. Both 2D schematic and 3D physical models are quickly created (i. e., rapid prototyping) through pushbutton interfaces, dialog boxes, and extensive libraries. Real-time interaction enables modification of model variables and viewing parame­ters during runs.

Process Planning and Simulation

The process planning software suite provides an effective process and resource­planning support environment. It improves methodically structured planning, early recognition of process risks, reuse of proven processes, traceable changes and deci­sions, and the use of scattered-process knowledge. The module is often used during the conceptual design phase, with the process-design and alternative-manufacturing concepts maturing through all the stages to production. The treatment of the rela­tionships among product, process, and manufacturing resource data, including the plant layout, helps to avoid planning mistakes and to obtain a precise overview of the needed investment costs, production space, and manpower at an early stage.

17.10.1 Product, Process, and Resource Hub

Digital manufacturing allows manufacturing engineers and process planners to define, validate, manage, and deliver to the shop floor the content needed to manu­facture an aircraft. The combination of this PPR hub environment is uniquely able to provide savings to an enterprise in the following ways by reducing risk, time to market, and overall costs of manufacturing:

• Concurrent engineering design and manufacturing planning and process valida­tion occur before release is final, in the midst of ongoing change.

• Manufacturing producibility analysis directly influences design, thus providing a true DFM/A environment.

• The enterprise is able to formally capture and reuse manufacturing best prac­tices.

• Manufacturing plans are prevalidated in a 3D environment to avoid unexpected problems on the shop floor.

• Unbuildable conditions are found early in the design cycle when the cost of change is minimal.

• Quality targets are met sooner due to reduction (or elimination) of reworking and engineering change orders generated on the shop floor.

Through a combination of methodologies, significant reductions can be achieved in time to market, overall cost, and effective risk for an aircraft program. A key enabler for reducing the time to market is the ability to support concurrent engineering design and manufacturing planning before a release is final. When this is possible, manufacturing producibility analysis directly influences design, thus providing a true DFM/A environment. In this scenario, the total costs of the engineering changes that occur during the program are dramatically less because they are identified and resolved much earlier in the life cycle. The total effective cost of the changes is dramatically less because they are mostly identified and resolved before tooling is procured and production starts.

The key technology enabler for the digital manufacturing solution, prod – uct/process design, and validation is the PPR hub and business transformation. This database environment – supporting complex configuration and affectivity rules that are required in the aerospace world – provides the infrastructure to allow process and resource planning to occur in the context of the engineering data and contin­uously changing environment. In contrast to traditional systems, the PPR hub pro­vides the means to explicitly manage PPR objects and the relationships among them. Because such relationships are explicitly defined and managed within the database, it is possible to see directly the impact of changes of one object class on any other (e. g., “If a part is changed, which manufacturing plans are affected?”).

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