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  • 09-Mar-2012 09:21 EST

The Correlation of As-Manufactured Products to As-Designed Specifications: Closing the Loop on Dimensional Quality Results to Engineering Predictions


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Simulation-based tolerance analysis is the accepted standard for dimensional engineering in aerospace today.

Sophisticated 3D model-based tolerance analysis processes enable engineers to measure variation in complex, often large, assembled products quickly and accurately. Best-in-class manufacturers have adopted Quality Intelligence Management tools for collecting and consolidating this measurement data. Their goal is to completely understand dimensional fit characteristics and quality status before commencing the build process. This results in shorter launch cycles, improved process capabilities, reduced scrap and less production downtime.

This paper describes how to use simulation-based approaches to correlate the theoretical tolerance analysis results produced during engineering simulations to actual as-built results. This allows engineers to validate or adjust as-designed simulation parameters to more closely align to production process capabilities. They can apply this knowledge to validate, capture and reuse best practices on future programs.

Not only does simulation-based tolerance analysis enable engineers to completely understand the dimensional fit characteristics and quality status of products before commencing the build process, it can be used to correlate the theoretical tolerance analysis results produced during the engineering simulation to the actual as-built results determined by the Quality Intelligence Management process. This, in turn, enables engineers to validate or adjust the as-designed simulation parameters to more closely align to the production process capability.

Using real-life examples, this paper describes how this ?closed-loop? approach provides today's aerospace manufacturers with the opportunity to validate, capture and reuse best practices on future programs for both engineering simulation and manufacturing.

As aerospace manufacturers face tighter program cycles and budgets, they can apply this correlation approach to reuse existing and proven manufacturing process elements on new and redesign programs - improving efficiency, reducing costs, and completing program development and enhancements faster than the competition.

Donald Jasurda, Dimensional Control Systems Inc.

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