Original Date: 10/14/1988
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Information : Composite Ply Management
Recognizing the need for automated tracking of the increasing volume of advanced composite materials, Bell Helicopter Textron, Inc. (BHTI) designed and implemented the Composite Process System (CPS). The objective of the program is to track individual plies and ensure that they are properly laid-up on the curing tools. The system provides current part and material data for process control, controls and records the fabrication and inspection processes, improves material utilization, and reduces labor.
CPS enables engineers, planners and lofters to access the engineering department's CADAM and CATIA libraries to obtain part specific data such as lay-up sequence, fiber orientation, and material specifications. It is used, in coordination with material requirements planning (MRP), to perform producibility studies on each part and to generate gross material requirements and material inventory checks.
CPS is tied into the shop floor operations through a bar-code wanding system. Shop workers access the system by bar codes on their badges. Bar-codes placed on each ply at the cutting tables are wanded to control and verify ply lay-up and kitting. CPS also tracks the time that plies are out of cold storage and the labor spent on each part.
CPS has many values such as eliminating errors between engineering and planning, preparing individual part planning tables, releasing part work orders and tools to the shop floor, and issuing cold storage pick tickets. All manufacturing and inspection steps are logged via bar-code transactions.
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