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PAFEC EDM for manufacturing documentation
Software solutions for aerospace
PAFEC EDM for manufacturing documentation
Capitalising on its many years of experience in manufacturing, PAFEC has launched an exciting new system, PAFEC EDM for manufacturing which contains the KAT (Knowledge Acquisition Tool) technology. The new system is said to be able to produce manufacturing documentation quickly and consistently using optimum methods. As a result the elapse time of the planning and estimating process is believed to be reduced and highly skilled manufacturing engineers are freed from clerical activities and their very knowledge of the production process is captured for future use.
Alan Crawford, head of PAFEC's manufacturing Group said:
"PAFEC EDM for manufacturing is unique in its ability to generate, control and distribute all types of manufacturing documentation and data. The system includes LOCAM for computer aided process planning (CAPP) and estimating. LOCAM provides integration with Microsoft Office for the creation of multimedia manufacturing documents. LOCAM also links with PPS, CAD, PDM and legacy systems and is the only system on the market with KAT expert system technology for the acquisition of manufacturing knowledge."
PAFEC EDM for Manufacturing consists of two main components, LOCAM and Document Manager. Suitable for use in any manufacturing application, PAFEC EDM for manufacturing claims to provide all the tools necessary to create, control, manage and distribute all types of manufacturing documentation and data. LOCAM is used for the creation and modification of manufacturing documentation including: planning sheets, operation schedules, tooling sheets, routeing details and data files. Unique to LOCAM is KAT expert system technology for capturing manufacturing knowledge to aid the document creation process. The KAT ensures that manufacturing documentation is produced quickly and consistently using optimum methods. Document manager is used for storing, viewing and controlling the documentation. Documents are stored in safe vaults where revision control is maintained. Shopfloor facilities such as job pack creation, viewing and mark-up are also provided.
The LOCAM document creation method uses question and answer techniques to define the manufacturing method. The details are then used to prepare manufacturing documents. The system is able to reduce the amount of effort required to produce manufacturing documents and at the same time improve the readability of the production instructions produced.
Used with a simple document generator, LOCAM prompts the manufacturing engineer to supply the working method. As the system becomes customised for the site, the lists of workcentres, materials and construction options are extended. The range of manufacturing documentation produced by LOCAM is vast and includes planning and tooling sheets, routing details, operation schedules MRP data files and NC data files to name but a few.
The ability to make manufacturing rules available for engineers during the preparation of plans and estimates is not new, but KAT is novel in that it uses the common exchange method of flowcharts rather than tables of information usually found in older systems. This environment allows engineers to specify and retain manufacturing knowledge. In this way as the manufacturing knowledge is entered, it is maintained as flowcharts and becomes both self documenting and available to all. As a result personal expertise becomes company knowledge which is available for use even when the individual leaves or retires from the organisation.
Through the use of flowcharts, KAT allows people to enter knowledge graphically, and the layout maintenance and presentation of information becomes automatic. Engineers concentrate on identifying rules without concerns for redrawing or other presentation details. Because LOCAM plan generator uses the flowchart, there is no need for information to be re-entered or interpreted by others. Maintenance of engineering knowledge becomes automatic. The rules can be added or altered graphically then viewed, plotted and used directly to create manufacturing processes plans and estimates.
Using PAFEC EDM for manufacturing, the planning process is then moved to the EDM environment of storage vaults, change control and search utilities. Once stored in the secure vaults within EDM, details of each item are identified to allow access. New parts can be built using appropriate existing information. Selection of this information then takes place using search forms, which return details of matching items. Subsequent refinement of the selection criteria can be made so that a manageable number of possible documents can be viewed for final selection.
The Shop Floor Viewer forms the working end of the control system. The manufacturing engineer collects all information required into a package of documents for issue. This includes hypertext references to standard specification texts as well as drawings and documents that may be specific for a single manufacture batch.