Original Date: 05/08/1995
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Information : Automated Mass Properties System
McDonnell Douglas Aerospace (MDA)-St. Louis began developing its Automated Mass Properties System (AMPS) in 1986 for weight engineering calculations to provide mass property information quickly and accurately. This information was previously hand calculated or obtained from engineering estimates using mechanical drawings and scales.
AMPS is an interactive system that weight engineers can use to calculate surface areas and volumes rapidly, calculate area properties, calculate volume properties, manipulate the calculated properties, store properties and geometry definitions, and transmit properties to input files for database input. It uses wire frame model data from a Unigraphics CAD system, and provides an interface between a mass properties database and Unigraphics. The database is being converted to Oracle, which is based on the UNIX operating system, to work more efficiently with the UNIX-based Unigraphics CAD system. Once the mass properties data is calculated, it is stored with the Unigraphics model.
MDA-St. Louis has seen many benefits from developing and using AMPS. Manpower requirements for mass property calculations have been reduced by up to 50%. The accuracy of calculations has increased significantly compared to manual calculations. An error of 0.2% was recorded on 3500 pounds of parts with the maximum error for any single part recorded at less than 7%.
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