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PDM system for Martin-Baker aircraft
PDM system for Martin-Baker aircraft
Keywords Martin-Baker, Unigraphics Solutions, Software, Database management
Air-crew escape and safety systems manufacturer Martin-Baker has recently completed the latest phase in the full implementation of an enterprise-wide product data management (PDM) system based on Unigraphics Solutions' iMAN PDM software suite. Valued at some £315,000 including software, systems integration and support services, the PDM system has been developed to enable Martin-Baker to fully exploit the advantages of the design-for-manufacture strategy which the company has adopted for its future product development processes.
Now comprising 44 "seats" of iMAN v.5 software running on Hewlett-Packard workstations under UNIX, the PDM system is tightly integrated with Martin-Baker's existing Unigraphics 3D CAD/CAM system and uses an Oracle relational database management system. It also includes a further ten seats of the latest Web-based version of iMAN.
Paul Lane, head of computer-aided engineering and information technology at Martin-Baker, says:
The design-for-manufacture strategy which we have adopted is designed to enable us to meet the demands for affordability which our customers around the world increasingly rank alongside their existing requirement for total reliability. While Martin-Baker has always used the latest CAD/CAM technologies, the success of a design-for-manufacture approach to new product development, which integrates design engineering and production engineering processes so that products are engineered to suit our manufacturing cells, depends on two things: first, a single, integrated database across the departments generating information on a product's form, fit and function and second, a system that ensures that product information relating to all design phases is readily available when it is needed and, potentially, wherever it is needed. The iMAN PDM system, together with our new rules-based electronic release procedures, gives us these capabilities.
With its product development, design engineering and production engineering functions now integrated via iMAN and the Unigraphics CAD/CAM system's product "master model" database, Martin-Baker has reportedly not only succeeded in cutting its design-to-manufacture time-scales but is also more easily able to comply with MoD and US DoD standards, such as CALS. Tim Norman, Unigraphics Solutions' UK managing director, said, "We are proud to have Martin-Baker as a customer and to have worked with them in developing our iMAN PDM software to support their aim of introducing a design-for-manufacture approach to their product development programmes".
Since the company began making aircraft ejection seats in 1945, the lives of well over 6,700 air-crew have been saved by seats designed and manufactured by Martin-Baker – a record unmatched by any other ejection seat manufacturer. Today, the 800-employee company, which has annual revenues of some £80 million ($130 million), holds by far the largest share of the Western world's aircraft escape systems market.
With a range of ejection seats designed to operate in aircraft travelling at speeds from zero to 600 knots (690mph) and at altitudes from ground level to over 50,000 feet, Martin-Baker seats are fitted as standard to aircraft ranging from the simplest turbo-prop trainer to the Eurofighter and the prototype USAF Joint Strike Fighter from Boeing. The company is also enjoying increasing success in the expanding worldwide market for helicopter crash-worthy seats and has developed a complete range.
Details available from Unigraphics Solutions. Tel: +44 (0) 1276 702033; www.ugsolutions.com