Integrating 3D Technical Data Packages (TDPs) into a Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) Environment

NCMS Project #: 140802

Problem: Through CTMA funding, model-based definition was conducted in 2013 which showed positive results in the PLM for Aircraft Sustainment & Support project. The new 3D TDP was much clearer for the manufacturing artisans to understand and the feedback provided by NAWCAD Lakehurst QA personnel indicated that they would also see a reduction in time to inspect new items utilizing the new process. In particular, significant savings are generated when machining parts with a 3D TDP.

Although this project showed promising results, some challenges still remain that must be fine-tuned before full integration for commercial applications may be obtained.

PLM integrated software will simplify the process for the engineers creating the 3D TDP. This will ensure that the 3D TDP generation process is done in a consistent and uniform manner. Some areas of industry are currently using different PLM systems as well as CAD systems. A requirement now exists to develop a similar process which can work equally well regardless of the CAD or PLM system.

Benefit: Picatinny Arsenal has been working on implementing model-based definition for three years, with assistance from Lakehurst personnel. DLA is also currently investigating the feasibility of provisioning parts using a 3D model instead of a 2D TDP. This project would directly benefit these efforts.

NAWCAD Lakehurst compiled data from the past model-based definition project and the results indicated a savings of more than $3M will be generated annually by implementing model-based definition. Industry has identified a 33% reduction in the development schedule of new items.

Solution/Approach: In this initiative, the proposed solution is to partner with industry leaders to formulate a model-based definition TDP consisting of engineering drawing formats that are compatible with the existing 3D PDF (PRC) solution and embedding STEP files into these PDFs. A comparison of the CREO Parametric models with the new PRC and STEP model files will be conducted to ensure these models define an identical geometry and will work with multiple CAD and PLM systems processes.

Impact on Warfighter:

  • Improved communication and collaboration of engineering, manufacturing and all project stakeholders
  • Reduction in cycle time for the new design processes
  • Significant manufacturing error reduction resulting in substantial cost-savings in avoidance of rework
  • More effective allocation of resources

DOD Participation:

  • U.S. Navy (NAWCAD Lakehurst)
  • U.S. Navy (FRC Southwest)
  • U.S. Army (Picatinny Arsenal) observer

Industry Participation:

  • Anark
  • Siemens PLM
  • NCMS

Benefit Area(s):

  • Cost savings
  • Repair turn-around time
  • Obsolescence management and continued maintenance capability
  • Positive environmental impact
  • Improved readiness
  • Reliability improvement

Focus Area:

  • Reliability improvement

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