Original Date: 11/03/1996
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Information : Concurrent Product and Process Engineering
The Oak Ridge Y-12 Plant has the design, development, manufacturing and certification/testing technologies and capabilities that are imperative for complex/difficult-to-make machined parts and assemblies. The principal enabling technologies that allow for these processes to proceed in a timely, accurate, and cost effective way center on the use of concurrent engineering infrastructure elements that include a large (many nodes) computing network, comprehensive information system, and the implementation of shared computing tools. Because of the need for tight informational control from design through production, the Product Data Management (PDM) System has the ability to securely and verifiably handle many information/user nodes while still allowing for vital information sharing necessary for real-time concurrent engineering design. The concurrent engineering process makes use of a computing environment that includes a CAD System; capability for on-line comment/approve capabilities; generations of data for NC machines; process engineering data; and fabrication and inspection DNC.
The advantages of concurrent processes include identifying manufacturing/assembly problems earlier in the design cycle; refining and addressing design/manufacturing dependencies early; providing product and process modeling; and simultaneously providing simulation information to all segments of the design/manufacturing team to validate and verify processes and provide an early start on product documentation and training aids when necessary.
Oak Ridge estimates its CAD drafting and modeling have provided a 300% gain over two-dimensional manual drafting, and three-dimensional modeling, while costly, has paid for itself by allowing for corrections and changes that streamline many downstream manufacturing and testing processes.
The use of the CAM tool ANVIL has been instrumental in a productivity increase in the manufacture of complex articles such as parts that require more than just turning and basic milling, as well as in allowing for the feasibility of producing a part using multi-axis milling. As much as a five-time increase in material removal was seen using this capability on a part needing variable lead and tilt angle control and using toroidal cutters.
One of the many tools that Y-12 applies to complex industrial manufacturing problems is a specially designed Hydroforming Tool Design Advisor that makes use of a knowledge-based system to capture the expertise of retiring metal forming process specialists.
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