Original Date: 07/21/2003
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Best Practice : Electronic Visualization Simulation
Electric Boat Corporation, Quonset Point Facility expanded its existing Electronic Visualization System to design, plan, and digitally test new production facilities. A detailed model of the steel fabrication facility and processes is near completion and will be used by production planning to optimize and track work flow through the shop.
Electric Boat Corporation, Quonset Point Facility (EBQP) has used Electronic Visualization Simulation (EVS) since 1992 as a tool for design and production engineers. The Virginia Class submarine is the first submarine to be totally designed electronically which has facilitated greater use of EVS. The detailed visualizations generated by the EVS allow skilled trade workers to digitally build complex assemblies on the computer. This facilitates optimizing the assembly sequence, identifying potential production difficulties prior to production, and identifying design changes that could improve the assembly process and/or reduce butt welds. The trade workers can also identify ways to maximize the outfitting of assemblies during the manufacturing process, where it is easier and less costly than outfitting after the hull is complete.
The EVS significantly improved EBQP’s production processes resulting in reduced costs, improved quality, and faster delivery times. Recently, the EVS was expanded to help EBQP plan, design, and test facility modernization initiatives and support production planning. The EVS now links CATIA-based product models with CATIA models of production facilities to simulate production processes by using Delmia’s Discreet Event Simulation software package, Quest. This expansion provides feasibility analysis of new facilities, facility layout, material flow analysis, shop and work center planning, and demonstration of new concepts and processes to upper management and customers. The first application of this expanded system was in designing the new steel fabrication facility. It is now being expanded to support production planning. The finished model will help production planning better sequence work through the shop, predict work completion dates, provide status of all work in the shop, provide machine utilization data, work-in-process status, impacts of additional work, and the need for additional resources and material handling requirements. It provides visualization of product flow to get all the information on any part going through the shop by pointing at the part in the visualization.
The expanded EVS system has also been used to design and digitally test a new, state-of-the-art sheet metal shop. In a continuous effort to improve processes, EBQP sees expanded uses for this new capability.
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