Original Date: 05/01/2000
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Information : Product Data Manager Design Enabler
In 1996, Northrop Grumman Defensive Systems Division (DSD), in collaboration with MANTECH, began a cost- sharing initiative to provide a virtual environment for managing the product development life cycles/processes. Product Data Management (PDM) is an integrated system used to manage product data throughout its life cycle; enables collaboration early in the life cycle; distributes data automatically to functions when needed; and controls product data through vaulting.
PDM was customized and implemented into the Modular Factory for Electronic Warfare Component Manufacturing (MFEWCM) limited environment, and later developed into a fully vertically integrated system. From there, the company initiated a pilot program; acquired software licenses; implemented system enhancements; trained personnel; and established concurrent engineering procedures. These efforts helped establish PDM as the routine method for conducting business in current and future programs. PDM also features a single repository for all product data (e.g., manufacturing process documents, tooling drawings) to support the environment at Northrop Grumman DSD.
A key element of design is the intelligent selection of components which operates in conjunction with PDM. Here, tools are selected and developed to consolidate part numbers, as well as control the proliferation of part numbers that have resulted over the years from multiple design authorities, plant consolidations, and transitions. To improve component selection, a Preferred Parts List with searchable attributes will be implemented on the site command media web with subsequent integration into computer aided design (CAD) systems and PDM. Also, a contractor has been retained to provide integrated supplier catalog capabilities, verify component life cycles, and manage part families for optimization (e.g., component price, delivery, quality).
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