Producibility Element Highlighted:
Employ Producibility Design Guidelines
Litton Amecom is creating a powerful knowledge base consisting of various design rules useful in the transition between design and manufacturing. In effect, the concept focuses on cumulative rather than individual knowledge of product development. Under rule-based design, the design team evolves a design while using a rule base that constrains options that could be detrimental, thus forcing intelligent tradeoffs. In addition, by adding a knowledge base, the concept leads development teams to optimum conclusions, where a rule base alone only prevents detrimental choices.
The knowledge and rules compiled within the database come from various sources. One of the main sources consists of material derived from various problem investigation reports. Other sources include manufacturing
constraints, military standards, and reliability physics journals.
Many organizations rely on experienced individuals or publications as sources for design rules, which creates the potential for losing or overlooking valuable information over a period of time. The knowledge/rule-base concept addresses this problem by providing an optimum repository for storing and compiling rules. It is easily accessible,
maintainable, and transportable. In effect, it keeps the knowledge "off the dusty shelves."
The nature of the data storage is more than just a database. The software is actually an artificial intelligence (AI) architecture with the capability of helping the user achieve several levels of information cross-reference. The use of AI is a natural evolution because of its potential for on-line use with Computer Aided Design, Computer Aided Engineering, and Computer Aided Manufacturing. In fact, AI was found to be helpful for the more complicated rules which require implementing algorithms.
The database is intended to benefit users with backgrounds in all phases of design and manufacturing, including electrical, mechanical, reliability, test, components, and manufacturing engineering. Ultimately, issues to be addressed in the database will include not only reliability and producibility guidelines, but also performance and economic
tradeoffs. In general, the knowledge/rule base developed by Litton Amecom promises to be a very powerful tool which will smooth the transition between design and manufacturing.