Original Date: 04/01/1993
Revision Date: 01/19/2007
Best Practice : Automated Load Programming System
Design and test engineers at McDonnell Douglas Aerospace (MDA) have found that sharing part models in the early stages of product development offers a rapid and flexible means of verifying early design concepts. As part of a concurrent engineering approach to product design and development, mathematical part models that were automatically generated by design engineers using CAD models are utilized for structural testing of fabricated parts.
Early part models and analysis are available to test engineers across a distributed network. Parts are fabricated in early design stages and tested at the MDA structures laboratory. The five-test pads in this 200- foot diameter building are capable of resisting axial loads up to eight million pounds.
Horizontal and vertical loads are applied to parts using computer controlled actuators. Feedback from the loading process is used automatically in tuning the load applied to the test article. Up to 128 data acquisition points can be applied to analyze strain-load deflection to verify computer models. Parts are tested using this methodology until a destructive structure limit is found. Part analysis using the automated loading programming system can verify structural analysis and give designers a quick and accurate measure of maximum part capabilities and safety margins. All modeling, design, and analysis information is shared and can be remotely accessed through a distributed database architecture.
By integrating automated design and test analysis results into part development, mistakes and costly rework are avoided. Design engineers are given quick feedback and troubleshooting tools to ensure an optimal system design.
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