Challenges:

Manufacturing/Assembly of a Jumbo Jet

When manufacturing such a complex piece of machinery, it is quite overwhelming with hundreds of thousands of parts and assemblies and wiring coming from global suppliers, and everything must fit together precisely and work without question.

Traditionally a paper drawing and manufacturing instructions were off to the side so that no Foreign Object Debris could get near or on, or worse INSIDE THE PLANE, MECHANISMS, OR ENGINES.  This implies that manufacturing professionals have to be up on the plane to execute the assembly and quality checks, etc.   Without having access to the detailed drawings and documentation, these workers must continuously get down off the planes, and travel outside the designated FOD area to access this information.   This raises many concerns – including safety, productivity, and latent, out of synch data and specifications.

Solution:

Using the latest technology, we were able to:

  • Export the engineering data for the entire 787 data 4 decimal place accuracy on a daily basis
  • Run it through several manufacturing and visualization utilities which made the lightweight geometry and information available for creating electronic manufacturing instructions
  • These manufacturing instructions
    • Had enough detail to replace the large paper manufacturing instructions and huge drawings, some physical prototypes
    • Stayed in synch on a daily basis – much fewer out of date paper content
    • Were lightweight enough to work on a tablet in 2009

Value:

  • Greatly diminished the need for the workers to get on and off the plane and in and outside of the FOD area
    • Reducing safety risks
    • Diminishing out of synch instructions and data
    • Improved ability to perform tasks on the plane with the manufacturing instructions at their finger tips
    • Improved training and understanding
    • Improved, prompt feedback mechanisms
    • Reduction in defects
    • Improved quality
    • Expedient update to manufacturing processes