Original Date: 08/20/2001
Revision Date: 12/14/2006
Best Practice : Mechanical Computer Aided Design/Computer Aided Manufacturing
Faced with increasing competition, Lockheed Martin Naval Electronics & Surveillance Systems-Surface Systems set out to improve its engineering design and manufacturing reliability through the use of concentric modeling and a common hardware/software suite. This philosophy has reduced costs and increased the company’s competitive posture in the marketplace.
In the past at Lockheed Martin Naval Electronics & Surveillance Systems-Surface Systems (NE&SS-SS), designs were passed to subcontractors via 2-D drawings. Minimal high-end design data was also shared between internal sites. Errors were typically introduced into the process because of incomplete translation techniques and multiple computer aided design (CAD)/computer aided manufacturing (CAM) systems. Many parameters often had to be re- created for engineering analysis and manufacturing use. To resolve these issues, Lockheed Martin NE&SS-SS implemented the Mechanical CAD/CAM process.
The process came about through the efforts of an Engineering Process Improvement Subcouncil. The Subcouncil, composed of site experts from various Lockheed Martin plants, provided direction, standardized engineering processes within the company, and established a path for keeping the company’s engineering department at the forefront of technology. As a result, the Mechanical CAD/CAM process uses a seamless method to effectively transfer 3-D parametric models to other corporate sites, subcontractors, and suppliers. Only one part or assembly model is used throughout the entire design and manufacturing process, thereby eliminating the chance of errors being introduced by data translation/re-creation from another system. Everyone works with the same concentric model. This approach greatly improves the reliability associated with product design, interoperability, and manufacturing when using multiple locations. All components can be designed and manufactured from the same models using intelligent data parameters.
The Mechanical CAD/CAM process enables Lockheed Martin NE&SS-SS to improve communications among users as well as increase productivity and design reliability. The process also employs model-centric data transfer, common software tools, and a preferred hardware platform to facilitate transfer of non-CAD data. During the process’ test period, Lockheed Martin NE&SS-SS saved $28,000 on two separate projects. The company plans to implement this process on all of its programs.
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