Original Date: 07/21/2003
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Best Practice : Pipe Producibility Validation Process
Electric Boat Corporation, Quonset Point Facility developed a Pipe Producibility Validation process that enables the migration from a manual, labor-intensive operation to a streamlined, automatic operation. This process allows the integration of all design, fabrication, and assembly processes in pipe production, and exemplifies the company’s Design/Build philosophy.
In the past, Electric Boat Corporation, Quonset Point Facility’s (EBQP’s) piping information was created using hand calculations based on a designer’s interpretation of a hard-copy drawing. In the 1970s, EBQP began purchasing and upgrading commercial software in an effort to maintain pace with expanding batch processing and manual data input to Graphical User Interfaces (GUIs) and more powerful processing capabilities. However, this process had its limitations. The training of new personnel was difficult, automated business and design rules did not exist, and the process was time consuming and prone to error because controls on the process were manual and depended on hand calculations of individuals. EBQP’s solution was to gradually enhance the process to provide: Graphical pipe detail and assembly sheets
Automated work scheduling and man hour predictions
Electronic design rule checks and man hour predictions
Hanger and boss locations/boss drill size
Automatically generated Direct Numerical Control (DNC) marker/cutter and bending machine instructions
Teaming support with Newport News Shipbuilding (NNS)
Seamless CATIA integration
Operations analyst interface/shop floor distribution system
Customized CATIA configuration data manager
EBQP’s enhancements to the pipe producibility validation process have enabled the company to electronically complete all pipe interference checks, calculate radial growth compensation, generate all marking, cutting, and bending instructions, and create pipe detail sheets and DNC programs for the cutting and bending machines. This process also automatically checks the design rules for the distance between bends, minimum straight distance, valid bend radius, welding checks, and detail structure content check. The operations analyst is the manufacturing interface for this information and schedules the work throughout the facility. Configuration management and consistent work papers simplify shop floor processing.
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