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On Specifying An Information Management Tool To Support Manufacturing Process Planning In Aerospace  A Case Study
 

On Specifying An Information Management Tool To Support Manufacturing Process Planning In Aerospace A Case Study

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    On Specifying An Information Management Tool To Support Manufacturing Process Planning In Aerospace  A Case Study On Specifying An Information Management Tool To Support Manufacturing Process Planning In Aerospace A Case Study Document Transcript

    • Proceedings of DETC’06 ASME 2006 Computers and Information in Engineering Conference September 10-13, 2006, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania On specifying an information management tool to support manufacturing process planning in aerospace: a case study M.A.EL HANI*, Prof. L.RIVEST*, Ph.D., Prof. C.FORTIN**, Ph.D. * École de Technologie Supérieure, Department of Automated Production Engineering **École Polytechnique de Montreal, Department of Mechanical Engineering Abstract Increasing product complexity and pressure to reduce time to market, manufacturing process planning (MPP) engineers have to be able to quickly access reliable information in order to make swift and correct decisions. Organizations therefore turn to information management tools, such as PLM, MPM and ERP, to support their product development processes. These various information management tools compete by offering some similar functionality, while MPP engineers have to manipulate multiple tools to access the information they need. This paper proposes to take a fresh look at a fundamental question: what are the specifications of an ideal information management tool that would help MPP engineers efficiently define a manufacturing process plan from the product definition. This paper thus presents the approach and the results of a research work conducted within the process planning department of a manufacturing company operating in the aerospace sector. The study was conducted so as to direct the effort toward documenting the MPP process and the MPP engineer’s information needs. The approach that is presented primarily relies on a comprehensive documentation and modeling of the MPP development process, which in turn offers a sound basis to conduct an analysis of the MPP engineers’ information needs. This analysis next leads to the specifications of a Dashboard solution aimed at MPP engineers. Keywords: information management, manufacturing process planning, product development, process modeling, Dashboard, IDEF0. Introduction In the current industrial context, with increasing product complexity and pressure to reduce time to market, efficient product change management has become a key challenge of product development. When defining the manufacturing process for unreleased product data, process planning engineers have to handle a large number of information. They thus have to be able to quickly access reliable information in order to make swift and correct decisions. Organizations therefore turn to information management tools to support their product development processes. These tools, such as PLM, MPM and ERP, evolved considerably over the years, thanks to their editors’ effort to provide more functionality. As a result, many design organizations now face a situation where various information management tools compete by offering some similar functionality, while manufacturing process planning engineers have to manipulate multiple tools to access the information they need (Figure 1). Moreover, when confronted to providing information management tools to their manufacturing process planning activities, a basic approach used by manufacturing organizations focuses on analyzing the commercially available tools mentioned above. This research work is integrated within the framework of project called CRIAQ IP2CM-`Integrated Product- Process Changes Management’. It aims to improve the propagation’s control of an engineering change on manufacturing process planning. The reaching of this objective is strongly related to the following problem: Few formal connections exist between the elements data to the manufacturing process planning, which makes the synchronization of information difficult. Two principal approaches were developed by researchers in order to solve these problems: 1) approach by features and 2) methodologies of integration. Mc Mahon and Browne [1], Bronsvoort & Willem [2] developed concepts and methods to link features. Van Houten [3] and [4] extends the concept of characteristics by the introduction of the concept of ULO (Unified Linking of Engineering Objects) and the proposal of a new global taxonomy. The contribution of this last work was circumscribed in a research goal, considering the complexity and the number of factors which can intervene 1
    • in a concrete context. The principal integration methodology which tacked our attention is that proposed by Eversheim [5] and [6]. It takes in account the business process and then it could be adopted in a concrete and complex context. We took as a starting point the Eversheim’s approach, and then we extended it by taking an account of the process planning businesses needs. This research work was conducted from June 2004 to November 2005 within the process planning department of a manufacturing company operating in the aerospace sector. The project had a scientific objective as well as a more business-oriented objective. The scientific objective was to develop an integration methodology of data integration in manufacturing process planning. The business-oriented objective was to document and analyze the manufacturing process planning department in order to help them to better understand their business needs. Most of the approach chosen to conduct the project allowed achieving both objectives. This paper focuses on the second objective. We try define the specifications of an ideal information management tool that would help manufacturing process planning engineers efficiently develop a manufacturing process plan for a given product definition. The study was conducted while voluntarily disregarding the existing information management tools, so as to direct our effort toward documenting the MPP process and the MPP engineer’s information needs. The approach chosen is presented in figure 2. This paper presents the MPP business map. This map includes the process planning tasks carried out, from reception of an engineering drawing to process plan validation. This map includes 80 activities and 50 deliverables. We next explain how and why the map was expanded to create an IDEF0 activity model of the MPP. A quantitative analysis of the map and activity model is presented. Finally we expose the profile of the resulting Dashboard solution. Figure 1: PDM, MPM, ERP and MES tools coverage in product development 2
    • M.P.P.¹ business map documentation M.P.P.business map M.P.P. business map analysis M.P.P.business requirements: need for a dashboard tool M.P.P. activity modeling (IDEF0) IDEF0 model Quantitative analysis of M.P.P. map & IDEF0 model M.P.P¹. : Manufacturing process planning Validation of the need for a Dashboard M.P.P. engineers’ information needs analysis Dashboard tool specification Dashboard profile elaboration Figure 2: MPP information management tool specification approach 1- Process planning business map 1.1- Overview The main actor of the MPP map documented in this study is the process planning department also named New Part Planning or N.P.P. department. Its main task is to prepare and coordinate the development of process plan folders named M.O.S (Manufacturing Operation Sheet) in accordance with the requirements of the engineering department. The M.O.S is a folder composed of several operations sheet, which each one of them represents a process plan. In this case study we are interested only on the parts which are in development cycle called experimental parts. The NPP department is composed of manufacturing process planners and team leaders. Starting with an engineering drawing in preliminary release, the MPP engineers study, prepare and coordinate the realization of all the documentation required to manufacture a part and to pilot the prototype manufacturing process (Figure 3). Process planners also study and manage the integration of the engineering changes on the M.O.S during the product development cycle. MPP team leaders manage and follow the MOS’s projects developed by MPP engineers; they contribute their expertise when appropriate and ensure the respect of the established deadlines. The NPP department interacts with representatives of multiples services involved in the development process of the M.O.S, in order to document their roles and their interactions (information exchanged between them) with the N.P.P. 1.2- Process map development To obtain a high quality of process planning business map, we proceeded as follow: 1) identify the main processes for the M.O.S development process (a reference process of the M.O.S development process for a new part and a change management process during the M.O.S development process), 2) reduce the scope of the business map by fixing assumptions in order to concentrate our effort on the important and representative tasks 3) collect all the documentation of two representatives’ parts, 4) use a template during 3
    • the meeting with the different departments, which recapitulates received and generated technical documentation as well as other information relative to their tasks, 5) build a preliminary version of each process and revise it with the process planners so as to refine and validate. Two principal processes were identified and targeted in this research project: 1) a reference process of the M.O.S development process for a new part, and 2) a process showing how an engineering change management is handled during the M.O.S development process. The latter was required to achieve our scientific objective. Both were used to specify the Dashboard. The reference process is presented next. Figure 3: N.P.P Role in part’s development process 1.3- Reference process of the M.O.S development process Due to the important number of tasks and actors implied (80 tasks and 14 actors), presenting this process is challenging. It was thus decided to break it up into six zones; each one representing a group of activities as shown in figure 4. The left part of the figure above presents the principal actors implied in the development process. Zone I: M.O.S folder order - As soon as the engineering drawing is available in preliminary version, the engineering department sends a parts order to the A.M.P.C (Advanced Manufacturing Planning & Control), which records it and transfers it to process planning as a preliminary D.R.A (Document Review Application) document. Thus the I.P.T. (Integrated Product Team) studies the constraints related to part manufacturing and communicates the results to the process planner as an I.P.T minutes document. The process planner studies the order received (required time, tools, costs, etc.), establishes an estimate and sends the completed D.R.A to A.M.P.C for recording. Once the I.P.T. decides to begin the development of the manufacturing process, the process planner receives the agreement and prepares his manufacturing bill of material as a preliminary P.S.S (Part Sourcing Structure) document. Zone II: Process planning – It should be noted that this zone encompasses all the tasks made by the process planner who is in continuous communication with all the actors; hence its description was distributed and mentioned through the description of other zones. Zone III: Configuration management - The process planner studies the manufacturing drawings (M.D) requirements, sends requests for creation of M.D numbers to M.F.G. C.M. service, which attributes the M.D numbers. The process planner next integrates the M.D numbers in the P.S.S document, validates (releases) the structure and informs the drafting team to begin work on the M.D. Zone IV: M.D. development - The planner establishes the global manufacturing process of the part and the tolerance chart. For the parts requiring M.D., the drafting team receives the information from the process planner, starts working on the M.D., and eventually sends the finished M.D for revision. The process planner receives the M.D. comments it and mark it up, and then send the M.D. for update. The drafting team receives the M.D. (with the mark-ups), makes the corrections and sends them back to the process planner for approval. The M.D. release process proceeds at the same time, in order to record and to make them available for all the actors of the process. The drafting team continues working on the remaining M.D. 4
    • Zone V: M.O.S development - As soon as some M.D. are released, the process planner creates and sends requests for creation of M.O.S/F.I.R (First Inspection Report) folder (to M.O.S team), of tools (for tooling & cutting tools team) so that they begin working on their deliverable. M.O.S team receives the request for M.O.S/F.I.R folder and prepares the manufacturing operation sheets (M.O.S) based on the M.D. available or the engineering drawing (for the parts not requiring an M.D.). If the remaining parts require M.D., work follows their availability to complete the M.O.S., else it sends the M.O.S folder to the next service. As soon as sheets of the M.O.S are available, the process planner sends requests for N.C programs. The N.C. programming team receives the requests and develops the corresponding programs. The tooling and cutting tool teams receive their requests, pilot the tooling design and drawing process, and then manufacture the tools. During the development of the deliverable associated to the M.O.S, the process planner and the implied actors (M.O.S team, tooling team, cutting tools team and N.C programming team) communicate continuously for explanations or resolving problems. Once a subset of M.O.S, corresponding N.C programs and tools are ready, a tools and programs validation work is performed by the manufacturing service. The process planner participates in this process in order to add additional information on the M.O.S sheets related to the adjustments (setup). In some cases the operations sheets pass to the Special processes service before validation begins. As soon as the remaining M.D are ready, the process planner receives and validates them and sends the remaining requests (to complete the remained deliverable) to the tooling team, cutting tools team and N.C programming team. He then sends a request for creation of an F.I.R (First Inspection Report) document to the M.O.S team which completes the M.O.S sheets as well as the F.I.R and sends the M.O.S/F.I.R to the following service. As soon as the process planner receives the M.O.S/F.I.R, start a correction and approval process, and then sends the M.O.S/F.I.R to inspection team. Zone VI: Part Manufacturing and MOS/FIR validation - The manufacturing service prints the M.O.S., manufactures the parts and records deviations as a Q.N (Quality Notification) and the sending with service Q.R. (Quality Review). The inspection team receives the F.I.R, controls the part (based on the F.I.R), records Q.N. and sends the F.I.R to the process planner for validation. Q.N. are collected by the Q.R service (Quality Review) which is responsible of their management. The process planner receives the F.I.R., and once all the Q.N. are closed (resolved) the F.I.R. passes thought a validation and approval process. This information is communicated to the engineering which starts the process of engineering drawings release, confirms that the M.O.S developed satisfies the engineering requirements and changes the engineering drawing code (as a new released document). Thus the manufacturing service delivers the part to storage. 1.4- Change management process during the M.O.S development process This process describes a change which affects the reference process .Several types of changes can exist. For simplification reasons only the engineering changes are considered. This does not affect the consistency of the results of our research sight that in case of engineering changes the studied field is more covered. In the majority of the cases engineering changes are communicated through modifications on the engineering drawings (in certain cases they are communicated verbally). The zonal distribution for this process is identical to the reference process. Zone I - M.O.S folder order and impact study of engineering change: based on the new engineering drawings, the engineering department sends a new parts order to A.M.P.C department which records and transfers it to process planning as a new D.R.A document. Thus, the I.P.T. (Integrated Product Team) studies the constraints related to the integration of engineering change and communicates the results to the process planner as I.P.T minutes document. The process planner makes an impact study of the change on the various deliverables of the reference process (new times required, tools, new costs,...) ( 8 ), establishes a new estimate and send the new D.R.A completed to A.M.P.C for recording. Continuation of the process: As soon as it receives the agreement, the process planner prepares his new manufacturing bill of material as a preliminary P.S.S document (without manufacturing drawings (M.D) numbers) and sends requests for creation or modification of M.D numbers to M.F.G. C.M. The continuation of this process is identical the reference process described above, except that the different actors (M.O.S team, tooling, N.C programming and special processes service) remake an impact study of the change on their deliverable as soon as they receive the new requests. By analyzing the processes described above, the development process of the M.O.S folder seems to be a very complex work based on the knowledge and process planners appraises. As a result of our analysis, an important conclusion can be tacked: due to the complexity of the M.O.S development process, the process planners must have a clear vision of all the process in order to better carry out the change’s impact study. Thus, a need for a solution that offers a centralized vision of all the process and a follow-up of all the 5
    • deliverables seems to be a better alternative that offer an improvements in the change’s impact study and its integration. Although this need was validated with the different actors implied in the process, we chose to make a thorough study of the M.O.S development process in order to more understand the process planners’ needs, to give more scientific arguments and to prepare the ground for the proposed solution. Thus we chose to use IDEF modeling techniques to build an activity (IDEF0) model, sight that offer a thorough documentation of the manufacturing process planning activity. 2- MPP business map analysis Analysis of the above process reveals that the MPP, which leads to the development of an M.O.S folder, is a very complex process that heavily relies on the process planner expertise. As a result, an important conclusion can be reached: the MPP process documentation confirms that the process planner would benefit from a tool offering visibility of all the ongoing and coming tasks involved in an MOS development. This tool would offer a centralized vision of all the tasks and deliverables involved in a MOS project. This need was validated with the actors involved in the MPP process. From this business process mapping, we next decided to conduct a more detailed study of the M.O.S development process in order to develop a more precise understanding the process planners’ information needs, to gather more scientific arguments and to prepare the ground for the proposed Dashboard solution. Thus we chose to use IDEF modeling techniques to build an activity (IDEF0) model that would offer a thorough documentation of the manufacturing process planning activity. This activity model is described in [7]. 3- Quantitative analysis Within the framework of our research project, we introduced the concept of informational object (I.O) in order to bring a common representation of all information included in the M.O.S development process. According to Maurino [8], a technical object is a component of a product. It is used to structure the various product views around only one concept. It can be a screw, a machined part, a mechanical assembly. Based on the abstraction used by Maurino [8], the concept of informational object used within the framework of this work aims to bring a common representation of all information relating to the product. We define an informational object as any data, information, unit of information, formal or abstract knowledge, document, a whole of documents, an electronic file, etc. A quantitative analysis of the data was considered to be very important to make. This was performed in two ways. We first established the variety of information tools (software or other tools) used by each tasks included in the MPP business map. Next, for each mean (software or other tools) we calculated the number of tasks that use it. As an exemple the SAP software is used by 35 tasks in the reference business map. The data extracted from the reference business map and IDEF0 model allowed us to make two representations as mentioned in the figure below. The IDEF0 model also documents an important volume of manufacturing process planning information; we thus extracted all the informational objects included in the model and associate to each one of them the software or other tool which contains it. A great part of the informational inheritance of the quot;manufacturing process planningquot; is contained on quot;paperquot;, which leads us to conclude that a very important field of the M.O.S development process still non covered by any software application. The massive use of quot;paperquot; as means of work, the broad range of software tools used, the significant number of tasks and actors in the M.O.S development process, confirm the process planners’ needs towards a vision solution: quot;dashboardquot; This analysis shows the significant number of tools used by the process planner during the M.O.S development. This gives us an interest towards the development of a solution which offers a work centralization and data access simplification. 6
    • Percentage of the tasks using the tool / Percentage of occupation in « I.O » 35,0% 30,0% 25,0% 20,0% % of tasks / % of « I.O » 15,0% 10,0% 5,0% 0,0% SAP Catia Excel Lotus Soft 1 Soft 2 Soft 3 Paper Execution means / Information repository Figure 5 Percentage of tasks using the means Vs percentage of occupation in quot;I.Oquot; of the information repository 4- Process planning business needs The business maps as well as the IDEF0 model give us a good comprehension of the process planning work. To refine our comprehension of the process planners needs a near look to what they want to have in the solution seems to be important. In order to define the “dashboard” solution profile, A global study was made near all the actors participating in the M.O.S development process. Then a specific study was made near manufacturing process planner and resulted to many functional needs. The needs was extracted through interviews supported by a questionnaires elaborated in advance. The principal users of the “dashboard” solution are manufacturing process planner, their team leaders, engineering department and the actors participating in the M.O.S development process. In more of the needs expressed by the users, and after acquiring knowledge of the manufacturing process planning work as well as its software environment, we added others requirements to the quot;dashboardquot; solution which offer more traceability relating to the development project. 5- Dashboard solution profile Based on the manufacturing process planners’ business needs ( ), on the business maps and the IDEF0 model, it was useful to imagine a quot;dashboardquot; solution that meets this needs. This made it possible to document the solution, which is at this stage a quot;PowerPoint prototype (static). The objective aimed by making this prototype is to validate the idea of the quot;dashboardquot;, to concretize the manufacturing process planners’ needs and to capture the maximum of comments (forces and weaknesses of the solution) in order to eliminate uncertainties (needs badly included/understood). Thus this prototype gives a global idea of the solution, its graphic interface and the principal functionalities. It will be used as support for a future development of the solution or for the acquisition of existing solution on the market. Due to the significant number of needs expressed by the process planners, two principal processes (representative) were selected to be used as a basis for construction of the prototype: 1) develop an M.O.S and 2) modify an M.O.S. The figure 5 gives an outline of an interface of the quot;dashboardquot; solution. The higher panel of the interface entitled quot;descriptionquot;, highlights information of the part identification as well as contacts information of the principal actors in the project. The left panel entitled quot;Documents listquot; present the list of all the documents generated by the process planner as well as their respective statutes. From this panel the process planner could create, import or modify its deliverable. The medium panel entitled quot;Task listquot; contains the list of the principal tasks of process planning during the M.O.S development. This list is updated automatically with the 7
    • deliverable statutes of the process planner or manually. Considering the number of tasks to be made, this list is used as support for the process planner who has the possibility of adding or removing tasks. The right panel entitled quot;Dashboardquot; gathers the windows of all the actors in the process, from which the process planner could reach in centralized way desired information. These windows represent a bond towards information of follow-up which the process planner needs. As an example, if the process planner wants to follow the tooling department deliverables which are associated the part number mentioned in top-left of the interface, it can make a zoom in the corresponding window and it has all the interface of the application associated which opens to enable him making the desired tasks. Once finished, he returns to the principal interface. The left bottom panel of the interface entitled quot;communicationsquot; represents a window of communication which is used to gather all the communications relative to a given project in a centralized manner. This will offer a better centralization and information’s traceability. 6- Conclusion The approach proposed and the resulting specifications of the Dashboard presented in this paper could be used as a solution path by manufacturing organizations wishing to implement information management tools in order to achieve their business goals. 8
    • Zone II N.P.P Mfg. CM. Zone III P.S.S available A.M.P.C M.D N◦ available Drafting Zone IV Zone I Communication I.P.T Somes M.D All the M.D are available are available M.O.S C.N Zone V Tooling Cutt.Tool Proc.Sp MOS available Zone I : M.O.S folder order Mfg Zone II : Process planning Zone III : Configuration management Inspec. Zone IV : M.D development Zone VI Zone V : M.O.S development Q.R Zone VI : Part Manufacturing and MOS/FIR ENG. Figure 4 Zonal decomposition of the M.O.S reference process (EL HANI 2005) 9
    • Figure 5 Dashboard interface 10
    • 7- References [1]: McMahon, C., & Browne J. (1998), CADCAM. Principles, practice and manufacturing management nd (2 ed.). Harlow, England: Addison-Wesley. [2] : Bronsvoort, Willem F. Multiple-view feature modeling for integral product development University of Technology); Noort, Alex Source: CAD Computer Aided Design, v 36, n 10, Sep 1, 2004, p 929-946 [3]: Zimmermann, J.U. (DaimlerChrysler Res. and Technology, Dept. of Product); Haasis, S.; Van Houten, F.J.A.M., ULEO – Universal Linking of Engineering Objects Source, CIRP Annals - Manufacturing Technology, v 51, n 1, 2002, p 99-102. [4]: Zimmermann, Johann U. (DaimlerChrysler Research, Dept. of Product Integration, RIC/EP); Haasis, Siegmar; Van Houten, Fred J.A.M., Applying universal linking of Engineering Objects in the automotive industry - Practical aspects, benefits, and prototypes, Proceedings of the ASME Design Engineering Technical Conference, v 2, 2002, p 65-74. [5]: Eversheim, W. (Universidade de Sao Paulo); Rozenfeld, H.; Bochtler, W.; Graessler, R., Methodology for an integrated design and process planning based on a concurrent engineering reference model, CIRP Annals - Manufacturing Technology, v 44, n 1, 1995, p 403-406. [6]: Eversheim, W. (Aachen Univ of Technology); Bochtler, W.; Graessler, R.; Koelscheid, W., Simultaneous engineering approach to an integrated design and process planning, European Journal of Operational Research, v 100, n 2, Jul 16, 1997, p 327-337. [7]: El Hani Mohamed Ali, Study of the change management processes in aerospace industry and the necessary applications to do it, École de technologie supérieure (2006). [8]: Michel MAURINO, LA GESTION DES DONNÉES TECHNIQUES, Masson, Paris, 1993, ISBN: 2-225- 84518-2, ISSN: 1161-0077. 11