Original Date: 08/07/1995
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Best Practice : Modeling and Simulation
Lockheed Martin Tactical Aircraft Systems (LMTAS) has bundled hardware and software into a toolset for modeling and simulating manufacturing processes during design in preparation for production. LMTAS is using modeling and simulation to integrate its design, manufacturing, and business data systems into a common information environment. This integration provides a common data path between functions and enhances evaluation of complex design, manufacturing, and business concepts during all phases of the product’s life cycle. Factory layout, functional verification of tools, interference detection of assemblies, and manufacturing process concept development are tied together by a three-dimensional solid model.
Workstations, PCs, and software tools such as AUTOMOD, Advanced Computer-Aided Design (ACAD), ERGO, Computer-Aided Three-Dimensional Interface Applications (CATIA)/Computer Mock-up (COMOK), Excel, and SLAM provide manufacturing process simulation capability used in product design. Operational simulations of flight, carrier operations analysis and visualization of flight recorder data are also used. Networking and solid modeling of the product in CATIA/COMOK provide a common path for information sharing and simulation. An organizational realignment which integrated manufacturing engineering tasks into the design department provide early awareness and leverage of manufacturing issues in product design. Tool jigs and fixtures concepts are developed and functionally simulated during advanced design to highlight configuration or concept problems. Weight and cost data can be reviewed to trade options, or detailed part configuration information such as radii can be evaluated for economical machining. Solid modeling of products, parts, and processes allow fit checks and evaluations of interferences and ease of assembly using COMOK. High level assembly efforts are simulated using discrete event simulation software (SLAM) to assess efficiency and highlight improvement opportunities.
The traditional method of manufacturing allowed very little cross-functional technical interface. The virtual manufacturing method provides a simultaneous interface between all technical disciplines and provides better communication of complex designs, manufacturing, and business concepts. The product consequently requires a shorter cycle time, lower development costs, improved quality, and encourages more team ownership.
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