Original Date: 02/26/2001
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Information : Solid Model Configuration Management
General Dynamics Armament Systems uses Solid Model Configuration Management to streamline its design process and obtain greater efficiencies on future design projects. This closed system of control provides the company with significant savings in time and money.
In the early use of computer aided design, meeting the contract requirements of creating the drawing and part was the primary purpose for solid models. As software evolved, so did the uses for solid models. In addition to drawing creations, stress analysis, rapid prototyping (RP), assembly animations, and casting die creations using solid models became possible. The need for good model management methods became evident as designers struggled to retrieve models and reuse them. Previously, General Dynamics Armament Systems (GDAS) used an open system of control for configuration management of computer generated solid models. Accessibility to the Tech Data Manager was unrestricted, so personnel created uncontrolled generations of parts libraries and projects. The result was excessive amounts of data being stored; difficulty in locating and reusing information; no revision status; and a lack of standardization for parts libraries, naming conventions, modeling procedures, and assembly creations. To address this situation, GDAS developed Solid Model Configuration Management.
Solid Model Configuration Management uses a closed system of control. Only the System Administrator or Lead Designer has the rights to create parts libraries and projects in the Tech Data Manager. Additionally within the Manager are clearly defined areas for storage that are overseen by the Lead Designer. This approach makes data easy to find and permits the reuse of models to avoid recreating what already exists. The Lead Designer also has control of and access to the top assembly drawings including the customer interface file. This aspect assures that components are compatible, and that the customer interface and design envelope are not infringed. Specific naming conventions allow models to be easily retrieved. Revision status is now part of the model data and matches the drawing, allowing easy retrieval of the latest revision. Standard models and assembly libraries promote reuse on future designs and eliminate duplication of common models. Standardized modeling procedures also enhance the design process by training designers to employ efficient methods of modeling and avoid time-consuming iterations. The machining model is now an electronically related copy of the casting model. This feature eliminates the need to produce separate models for casting vendor information. Changes to the casting model are easier to translate to the machining model.
Through Solid Model Configuration Management, GDAS keeps all supporting data for a program current and easily identified. The extra effort required by the process in the early stages of a program translates into clarity and time savings for the company later. In addition, GDAS promotes mentoring with experienced computer aided design users to increase others’ skills; conducts user meetings to promote greater awareness and communication; and developed a Mechanical Design Home Page to document current practices. Application of Solid Model Configuration Management has proven beneficial on the Korean A-50 Aircraft Programs, resulting in on-schedule data packages with minimal problems.
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