Current aircraft procured by NAVAIR are designed and fabricated utilizing state-of-the-art technology consisting of computer aided design, computer aided engineering, and computer aided manufacturing (CAD/CAM/CAE). The design definition of these aircraft are created and delivered as 3D solid model based definition in electronic media. The current state of technology used within the Fleet Readiness Centers (FRCs) makes it impossible for the responsible agencies to provide effective sustainability. This is especially true once the aircraft are deployed to the fleet due to the lack of infrastructure (to host, maintain, control, archive, manage, and utilize these models). Additionally, there is excessive variation in the quality of the solid models. Each data set acquired from the OEMs requires a data healing process. This problem is common at all FRCs.
Finally, the FRCs need a capability in place to facilitate essential 3D data management practices. The current capability forces each local engineering support activity to translate the 3D data back to 2D blueprint-type paper-based instructions for the depot level maintainers to perform their work. The lack of a comprehensive configuration managed solution that can accommodate the Manufacturing Model Management System (3MS) process (developed at FRC Southwest) has caused a large number of parts to be scrapped or reworked.
The project team proposes a solution that will enable users at FRC Southeast and FRC East to access engineering and manufacturing information from the FRC Southwest via web interface. Each location will be able to utilize configuration controlled data generated by a range of technologies for acquiring the “as-is” condition for aircraft that enter the NAVAIR depot environment.
The solution will provide a collaborative environment for maintenance and repair activities between the depots. Data from the new environment will be formatted and managed to allow a team of users to access, visualize, collaborate, manipulate, and conference using engineering information, (2D and 3D) in a secure and traceable way.