Assembly Design & Documentation (AD&D) – Phase I

NCMS Project #: 140407

Problem: Since the early 80’s aircraft engine providers have used complex assemblies of 3D CAD data to assist in the engineering design of components.  This process eliminated the need to create expensive physical mockups used for interference and clearance checking.  Even with complete 3D definitions, the downstream assembly/
disassembly planning process, and associative document­ation, is still developed using an Engineering Bill of Material (BOM), 2D drawings, and specifications.

Benefit: The benefits of this project are improved productivity, elimination of errors, and reductions in lead time by linking AD&D processes to the full Engineering definition:

  • Reduce manual effort to author complex assembly and maintenance manuals
  • Work directly from complete Engineering definition
  • Avoid time to identify and interpret specifications
  • Improved generation of animated assembly instructions
  • Improved quality and accuracy of the documentation
  • Interaction animations: better content, no additional cost
  • Positioned for automated flow of digitized procedures
  • Reduce transcription risks
  • Change impact analysis – accurate and complete propagation of design changes.

The technology has direct application to Sustainment activities.  For example:

  • Given a partial kit of parts, the system can determine how far assembly can proceed
  • Given an assembly model with a single part selected, the system can develop a custom disassembly sequence for access to the selected part. That may have application to rapid assessment of battle damage.

Solution/Approach: The AD&D project will utilize commercial software solutions from UGS, including Teamcenter Manufacturing and eM-Simulate.  Technology developed by GE Global Research Center named MPAD (Maintainability, Planning, Analysis and Documentation) will be integrated into eM-Simulate.  MPAD provides the neces­sary algorithms to create and edit an intelligent assembly and disassembly sequence based on complex geometric shapes.  This technology is unique in industry.  GE plans to make the MPAD technology available to UGS as part of the project contribution.

Impact on Warfighter: GE recorded measured assembly planning productivity improvements between 50 – 67% in its internal testing of the technology.

DOD Participation:

  • U.S. Marines (Albany) (observer)
  • U.S. Air Force (OC-ALC)

Industry Participation:

  • GE Aircraft Engines
  • UGS Corporation
  • Manufacturing Resources, Inc. (MRI)
  • NCMS

Final Report