Model Based Definition for Aircraft Launch, Recovery, and Support Equipment

NCMS Project #: 140502

Problem: Model Based Definition (MBD) is the practice of using 3D digital data (such as solid models and associated metadata) within three-dimensional (3D) Computer Aided Design (CAD) software to provide specifications for individual components and product assemblies as opposed to utilizing conventional two-dimensional (2D) drawings.  The Naval Air Warfare Center (NAWC) in Lakehurst NJ is the center of excellence for Aircraft Launch and Recovery Equipment (ALRE) as well as Naval Aviation Support Equipment (SE).  As such, engineers at the facility are constantly supporting fleet maintenance activities with the design of replacement parts and new maintenance equipment.  In the current environment, engineering designs use 3D software.  However, although these designs are constructed in 3D, they are converted into 2D engineering drawings for prototype/production.  When manufacturing and inspecting these items, only the 2D drawings are used.  Currently the technology exists to manufacture and inspect directly from the 3D data, however, many challenges still exist.

Benefit: Statement of the quantifiable benefits that are expected to be gained by DoD as a result of this project (an ROI for the project).  The team will use the alignment meetings with NAWCAD to establish certain variables that will be tracked for ROI.

An MBD system implemented at the NAWCAD benefits the Navy.  Since the project will run in parallel with the legacy process, almost all variables can be compared to the existing ways of doing business.

Industry partners will learn from the unique requirements of DoD, giving them opportunities to adapt their products and services to more closely match the needs of DoD.

Improved coordination between NAVAIR supply chain vendors.

Solution/Approach: The proposed solution is to partner with an industry leader to formulate a MBD-based Technical Data Package (TDP).  The TDP will consist of engineering drawing formats which are compatible with the existing 3D PDF (PRC) solution and embedding STEP files into these PDF files.  A comparison of the PRO/E models with the new PRC and STEP model files will be conducted to ensure that they define an identical geometry.  The proposed “to be” process will be as follows:

  • Design: Engineers design, using Pro/E software, new or modified SE/ALRE in accordance with approved equipment requirements.
  • Document: Engineers completely annotate their models into an MBD package in  accordance with ASME Y14.41
  • Producibility: Model Geometry and PMI are validated for downstream reuse utilizing ITI’s CADIQ solution.
  • PLM: Engineers save their models to the NAVAIR approved PLM system (Windchill).
  • Create the 3D Drawing: Engineer print their models to a PDF (using PRC) file.  The printing of the file will be done utilizing Anark software.  The model will be printed onto a NAVAIR approved PDF Template which will serve as the new 3D drawing format.
  • Check: The 3D drawing file (PDF) will then be checked by our drawing checker and producibility expert.  After corrections the engineers will recreate the PDF as well as a STEP file of the model.
  • Model Comparison: Utilizing ITI TranscenData software, the engineer will then analyze the PRC, STEP and PRO/E models and confirm they are the same.  The engineer will then print and digitally sign a certificate from the ITI TranscenData software.  He will then embed both the STEP file and the certificate into the PDF file.
  • Secure: The PDF file would then be secured and sent to manufacturing.
  • Manufacture Prototype: Manufacturing will then manufacture a prototype of the proposed equipment .  During this prototype phase the STEP file will be used as an input to the CNC/water jet/(other) machines.  QA will inspect the part against the STEP file using their CMM and PC DMIS software.

Impact on Warfighter:

  • Reduced cycle time for development of aircraft launch, recovery, and support equipment
  • Significant cost savings
  • More effective allocation of resources
  • Improved change and management processes.

DOD Participation:

  • U.S. Navy (NAWCAD Lakehurst)

Industry Participation:

  • Anark Corporation
  • ITI TranscenData
  • NCMS

Final Report