(19)
(11)EP 2 863 280 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
04.12.2019 Bulletin 2019/49

(21)Application number: 14189098.8

(22)Date of filing:  15.10.2014
(51)Int. Cl.: 
G05B 19/4097  (2006.01)

(54)

Managing the manufacturing lifecycle of fasteners of a product

Verwaltung des Fertigungslebenszyklus von Befestigungselementen eines Produkts

Gestion du cycle de vie de la fabrication d'éléments de fixation d'un produit


(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO RS SE SI SK SM TR

(30)Priority: 18.10.2013 US 201314056983

(43)Date of publication of application:
22.04.2015 Bulletin 2015/17

(73)Proprietor: The Boeing Company
Chicago, IL 60606-1596 (US)

(72)Inventors:
  • Rudnick, Fredrick C. III
    Seattle, Washington 98124 (US)
  • Carpenter, Christopher L.
    Seattle, Washington 98124 (US)
  • Williams, Anthony J.
    Seattle, Washington 98124 (US)

(74)Representative: Morrall, Jonathan Ian McLachlan et al
Kilburn & Strode LLP Lacon London 84 Theobalds Road
London WC1X 8NL
London WC1X 8NL (GB)


(56)References cited: : 
US-A1- 2004 181 549
US-A1- 2010 145 490
US-A1- 2006 106 483
US-A1- 2010 161 095
  
      
    Note: Within nine months from the publication of the mention of the grant of the European patent, any person may give notice to the European Patent Office of opposition to the European patent granted. Notice of opposition shall be filed in a written reasoned statement. It shall not be deemed to have been filed until the opposition fee has been paid. (Art. 99(1) European Patent Convention).


    Description

    TECHNOLOGICAL FIELD



    [0001] The present disclosure relates generally to managing the manufacturing lifecycle of a product and, in particular, to managing the manufacturing lifecycle of fasteners of a product.

    BACKGROUND



    [0002] Complex manufacturing projects such as the design and manufacture of aircraft generally require the successful integration of design engineering, manufacturing engineering and sometimes numerical control (NC) programing. The production of aircraft, for example, typically requires the successful integration of hundreds of thousands of parts and associated processes according to a comprehensive plan to produce an aircraft in accordance with engineering design data, and includes the automated manufacturing of a number of components, assemblies and sub-assemblies according to NC programming techniques.

    [0003] From design engineering, engineering design data typically includes engineering drawings and parts lists that cooperatively form an engineering product plan that describes how component parts including materials, components, assemblies and sub-assemblies must be combined to form the desired product. For this, design engineering often makes use of computer-aided design (CAD) systems.

    [0004] Manufacturing engineering may include the subsequent compilation of a manufacturing process plan from the engineering design data to make sure the intent of the design engineering is properly executed, often making use of manufacturing process planning (MPP) systems. Manufacturing engineering produces this manufacturing process plan so that identified parts in the desired product may be properly scheduled for assembly on the factory floor. Suitable scheduling and coordination is particularly important in complex projects that require accurate estimation of factors such as the overall cost of the project, the time required for completion of the project, and the risk of failure. In addition, these complex projects often require accurate estimation of other variables of importance such as the overall efficiency of the project. The manufacturing process plan therefore typically includes factory floor planning, tool planning and scheduling, compilation of work plans for assembly personnel, assembly plans, and other similar activities.

    [0005] The NC programming for automated manufacture of various parts of the product generally takes input of engineering design data from design engineering, and the manufacturing process plan from manufacturing engineering. The NC programming produces machine control data such as commands for operation of automated machinery to produce the respective components, assemblies and sub-assemblies of the product, often making use of computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) systems.

    [0006] Although existing process planning and analysis techniques are useful, it is generally desirable to improve upon existing techniques.

    [0007] US2006106483 discloses a system and method providing data for a laser projection process used in manufacturing involving fasteners. For example, the laser projection process may include projecting a laser image associated with fasteners used to assemble objects. Fastener attribute data may be extracted from an engineer's design data and processed to generate a laser projection output file. This output file may include geometric data used to project a laser image associated with the fasteners. For example, this image may be an outline indicating the location, shape, and orientation of a fastener. The output file may also include non-geometric data associated with attributes of the objects to be assembled. Both the geometric and the non-geometric data can then be displayed in a user interface, such as a display screen of a laser projector control device, in addition to the display of the laser image in three-dimensional space.

    [0008] US2010161095 discloses design for a repair of an area of a composite structure which is at least partially automated. Electronic data defining the boundaries of the area is used to calculate the boundaries of a cutout in the composite structure encompassing the area. Components used to repair the area are automatically designed based on the location of the cutout. Following removal of the cutout, the repair components are installed.

    [0009] US2010145490 discloses that manufacturing process planning is usually considered as not intuitive for non-expert user. This is because a user needs to deal with processes, describing a work to be done, and other abstract concepts that are loosely related to the real world. Accordingly, a method and corresponding apparatus are provided to describe a work to be done in response to a user interacting with a three-dimensional representation of one or more parts that form a product and to provide the user with feedback in the form of a graphical representation of the work to be done. This approach is said to be very intuitive as it is close to how a user would, for example, in a real world, decompose a product into sub-assemblies that essentially results into a definition of a manufacturing process of the product.

    BRIEF SUMMARY



    [0010] In a first aspect, there is provided a system as defined in claim 1.

    [0011] In a second aspect, there is provided a method as defined in claim 6.

    [0012] Example implementations of the present disclosure provide a system and method of managing the manufacturing lifecycle of fasteners installed to join component parts during manufacture of a product. Example implementations may be useful for defining and maintaining the manufacturing process lifecycle of fasteners to support process planning and numerical control (NC) programming for manufacture of the product. For this purpose, various example implementations may provide a graphic generation system configured to generate one or more graphical views that merge fastener locations defined by engineering design data, into one or more process operations of a manufacturing process plan for the product. These graphical views may provide a number of benefits such as improved implementation of NC data management methods, and may enable the communication of the process intent in three-dimensions (3D).

    [0013] Example implementations provide graphical view(s) of the manufacturing lifecycle of fasteners installed to join parts assembled together, which may thereby provide users with graphical, discrete-level information for the fasteners that may not otherwise be available. The graphical view(s) may be used to define fastener locations and manufacturing process operations performed at the respective locations to install fasteners at the respective locations. Design engineering may define the fastener locations, but manufacturing engineering may be responsible to make sure the design intent is properly executed through the process operations performed at the respective locations.

    [0014] In some examples, integration with a manufacturing process planning system may be provided to allow process planning of automated and manually-installed fasteners. An NC programming system may be employed to quickly and easily enable programming of automated machinery such as drill, drill and fasten or weld systems used during the manufacturing lifecycle of the fasteners. This may reduce the time required to create machine control data for the programming of automated machinery.

    [0015] According to one example, a system to manage the life cycle of fasteners of a product composed of a plurality of component parts is provided that includes a plurality of fasteners for joining a plurality of component parts, an input module, view generator and output module. The input module may be configured to receive a manufacturing process plan for a product including a plurality of component parts joined by fasteners, with the manufacturing process plan including process definitions that describe process operations in which component parts are worked to manufacture of the product. The view generator may be configured to generate graphical views for respective process operations of the manufacturing process plan in which fastener locations are worked for installation of respective fasteners to join component parts of the product, and the output module may be configured to output the graphical views. The graphical view of a process operation may graphically depict one or more component parts and only those of the fastener locations on the component part(s) worked during the process operation, with any others of the fastener locations on the same or other component parts being hidden from the graphical view.

    [0016] In some examples, the manufacturing process plan may further identify locations on a factory floor where the process operations are to be performed. In these examples, the graphical view of a process operation generated by the view generator may further include the process definition of the process operation and identifies the location on the factory floor where the process operation is to be performed.

    [0017] In some examples, the graphical view of a process operation generated by the view generator may graphically depict the component part(s) as a collection of primitives arranged to reflect a three-dimensional geometry of the component part(s). In these examples, the graphical view may graphically depict respective fastener locations as at least one of points or vectors without reflecting the three-dimensional geometry of fasteners installed at the respective fastener locations.

    [0018] In some examples, the input module, view generator and output module may be elements of a graphic-generation system. In these examples, the system may further include an importation system coupled to the graphic-generation system. The importation system may be configured to import process operation-related data from the graphical views into a numerical control (NC) programming system. The process operation-related data may include at least process definitions and fastener locations for the respective process operations of the manufacturing process plan in which the fastener locations are worked.

    [0019] In some examples, the system may further include the NC programming system, which in these examples may include an input module, in-process model generator, data merge module and output module. The input module may be configured to receive engineering design data including engineering requirements for the product including the component parts, where the engineering requirements may include fastener data for fasteners installed to join the component parts. The in-process model generator may be configured to generate an NC in-process model for one or more component parts, where the NC in-process model may include fastener data for fasteners with fastener locations on the respective one or more component parts. The data merge module may be configured to receive process operation-related data from the importation system, and add the process operation-related data to the NC in-process model. Here, the process operation-related data may be merged with the fastener data of the NC in-process model. And the output module may be configured to output the NC in-process model.

    [0020] In some further examples, the NC in-process model is a second NC in-process model. In these further examples, the in-process model generator being configured to generate the NC in-process model may include being configured to generate an NC in-process model assembly including a first NC in-process model and the second NC in-process model. Here, the first NC in-process model may include engineering requirements for the respective one or more component parts.

    [0021] In some examples, the importation system may include an input module, parser, organization module and output module. The input module may be configured to receive the graphical views. The parser may be configured to loop through the graphical views and parse each graphical view into its portion of the process operation-related data. The organization module may be configured to reorganize the process operation-related data for the graphical views by fastener location, with each fastener location thereby being associated with one or more process definitions. And the output module may be configured to output the reorganized process operation-related data to the NC programming system.

    [0022] In some examples, the importation system may be further configured to generate a log file that textually describes the process operation-related data. In these examples, the log file may be comparable to engineering design data including engineering requirements for the product including the component parts. Here, the log file may be comparable to the engineering design data to verify accuracy of fastener locations graphically depicted by the graphical views and imported as process operation-related data.

    [0023] In another example implementation, a method to manage the life cycle of fasteners of a product composed of a plurality of component parts is provided. Advantageously, the method comprises receiving engineering design data including engineering requirements for the product including the component parts, the engineering requirements including fastener data for fasteners installed to join the component parts, generating an NC in-process model for one or more component parts, the NC in-process model including fastener data for fasteners with fastener locations on the respective one or more component parts, and receiving process operation-related data from the importation system and adding the process operation-related data to the NC in-process model sot that the process operation-related data is merged with the fastener data of the NC in-process model, and then outputting the NC in-process model.

    [0024] Optionally, the method is one wherein the NC in-process model is a second NC in-process model, and wherein generating the NC in-process model includes generating an NC in-process model assembly including a first NC in-process model and the second NC in-process model, the first NC in-process model including engineering requirements for the respective one or more component parts.

    [0025] Optionally, the method step of importing the process operation-related data comprises receiving the graphical views, looping through the graphical views and parsing each graphical view into its portion of the process operation-related data, reorganizing the process operation-related data for the graphical views by fastener location, with each fastener location thereby being associated with one or more process definitions, and outputting the reorganized process operation-related data to the NC programming system. The method may further comprise generating a log file that textually describes the process operation-related data, the log file being comparable to engineering design data including engineering requirements for the product including the component parts, the log file being comparable to the engineering design data to verify accuracy of fastener locations graphically depicted by the graphical views and imported as process operation-related data.

    [0026] According to another example of the present disclosure, there is provided a computer-readable storage medium having computer-readable program code stored therein that, in response to execution by a processor, causes an apparatus to at least receive a manufacturing process plan (104) for a product including a plurality of component parts joined by fasteners, the manufacturing process plan (104) including process definitions that describe process operations in which component parts are worked to manufacture of the product. The computer-readable program code further causes the apparatus to generate graphical views for respective process operations of the manufacturing process plan (104) in which fastener locations are worked for installation of respective fasteners to join component parts of the product, the graphical view of a process operation graphically depicting one or more component parts and only those of the fastener locations on the one or more component parts worked during the process operation, any others of the fastener locations on the same or other component parts being hidden from the graphical view, and then output the graphical views. The features, functions and advantages discussed herein may be achieved independently in various example implementations or may be combined in yet other example implementations further details of which may be seen with reference to the following description and drawings.

    BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING(S)



    [0027] Having thus described example implementations of the disclosure in general terms, reference will now be made to the accompanying drawings, which are not necessarily drawn to scale, and wherein:

    FIG. 1 is an illustration of a fastener manufacturing-lifecycle-management system in accordance with an example implementation;

    FIGS. 2, 3 and 4 illustrate a suitable graphic-generation system, NC programming system and importation system, respectively, according to example implementations of the present disclosure; and

    FIGS. 5-8 depict example graphical views and NC in-process models that may output for display by a graphic-generation system and NC programming system, according to example implementations of the present disclosure.


    DETAILED DESCRIPTION



    [0028] Some implementations of the present disclosure will now be described more fully hereinafter with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which some, but not all implementations of the disclosure are shown. Indeed, various implementations of the disclosure may be embodied in many different forms and should not be construed as limited to the implementations set forth herein; rather, these example implementations are provided so that this disclosure will be thorough and complete, and will fully convey the scope of the disclosure to those skilled in the art. Also, something may be shown or described as being above something else (unless otherwise indicated) may instead be below, and vice versa; and similarly, something shown or described as being to the left of something else may instead be to the right, and vice versa. Like reference numerals refer to like elements throughout.

    [0029] Example implementations of the present disclosure relate generally to managing the manufacturing lifecycle of fasteners of a product composed of a plurality of component parts. Example implementations will be primarily described in conjunction with aerospace applications in which the product may be an aircraft composed of component parts such as materials, components, assemblies and sub-assemblies. It should be understood, however, that example implementations may be utilized in conjunction with a variety of other applications, both in the aerospace industry and outside of the aerospace industry.

    [0030] In various examples, the product may include a plurality of fasteners that join component parts assembled together. Examples of suitable types of fastener include externally-threaded bolts or screws, rivets, pins, spot welds, tack welds or the like. In some examples, fastener collars may also be considered a type of fastener, such as in the case of an internally-threaded nut that screws onto an externally-threaded bolt or screw.

    [0031] The manufacturing lifecycle of a fastener that joins component parts includes one or more process operations in which a fastener location on one or more of the component parts is worked for installation of the fastener at the respective fastener. These process operations may depend on the type of fastener. For example, the process operations may include drilling a hole into or through component part(s) at the fastener location, installing a fastener (e.g., externally-threaded screw or bolt, rivet, pin) into the hole, and perhaps also applying a fastener collar (e.g., internally-threaded nut) to the fastener. In another example, the process operations may simply include installing a fastener (e.g., spot weld, tack weld) at the fastener location.

    [0032] FIG. 1 illustrates a fastener manufacturing-lifecycle-management system 100 is illustrated according to example implementations of the present disclosure. The system may include any of a number of different subsystems (each an individual system) for performing one or more functions or operations. As shown, for example, the system may include one or more of each of a product design system 102, manufacturing process planning system 104, a graphic-generation system 106, NC programming system 108 and/or importation system 110. Although shown as part of the fastener manufacturing-lifecycle-management system, one or more of the product design system, manufacturing process planning system, graphic-generation system, NC programming system and/or importation system may instead be separate from but in communication with the fastener manufacturing-lifecycle-management system. It should also be understood that one or more of the subsystems may function or operate as a separate system without regard to others of the subsystems. And further, it should be understood that the fastener manufacturing-lifecycle-management system may include one or more additional or alternative subsystems than those shown in FIG. 1.

    [0033] The product design system 102 may be employed during design engineering of a product such as an aircraft, and may be generally configured to receive, produce or otherwise provide engineering design data that generally describes configuration of the product including its component parts. The engineering design data may include, for example, a digital three-dimensional (3D) model (sometimes referred to as solid model) of the product. As another example, the engineering design data may include a collection of engineering requirements for the product that may collectively form an engineering requirements model (ERM), and which in some examples may be represented by one or more two-dimensional (2D) drawings. For this design engineering, in some examples, the product design system may include or otherwise benefit from a commercially-available computer-aided design (CAD) system, such as the CATIA digital modeling system, available from Dassault Systèmes S.A. of Vélizy-Villacoublay, France.

    [0034] The 3D model may represent the geometry of the product including at least some of its component parts. For example, the 3D model may represent the product as a collection of computer-graphics primitives (image elements) such as edges, faces, points (e.g., vertices) and the like, which may be arranged into polygons or other arithmetically-derived structures to reflect the 3D geometry of the respective product including its surfaces, volumes or parts. The product may be defined by a "boundary" representation, or collection of polygons that demarcate the space occupied by the product, which may include sub-collections of polygons that demarcate spaces occupied by respective parts of the product. For some products, the 3D model may use hundreds of thousands of polygons.

    [0035] The ERM may include, for example, product manufacturing information (PMI) such as geometric dimensions and tolerances (GD&T), material specifications, component lists, process specifications, inspection requirements or the like. This data may convey the design engineering intent for how the product should be fabricated, assembled, operated, maintained or the like. In some examples, the ERM may represent the engineering authority for the product.

    [0036] In various examples, the product may include a plurality of fasteners that join component parts assembled together. For a number of larger complex products such as aircraft that include thousands if not millions of fasteners that join its component parts, however, the 3D model may not model or otherwise represent the 3D geometry of individual fasteners. The ERM may represent fastener locations by points, vectors (e.g., centerlines), and perhaps other parametric data, such as the type or types of fasteners and any installation specification requirements. In some examples, this fastener data may be provided by joint definitions that specify the type and manner of joining component parts assembled together during manufacture of the product.

    [0037] The manufacturing process planning system 104 may be employed during manufacturing engineering of the product, and may be generally configured to receive engineering design data for the product, and produce or otherwise provide a manufacturing process plan for the product including its component parts. The manufacturing process plan may include process definitions that describe process operations in which component parts are worked to manufacture of the product; and in some examples, the manufacturing process plan may identify locations on the factory floor where the process operations are to be performed. These component parts may be as defined by the engineering design data, and in some examples, the manufacturing process plan may include one or more links to the engineering design data. For this manufacturing engineering, in some examples, the manufacturing process planning system may include or otherwise benefit from a commercially-available manufacturing process planning (MPP) system or suite, such as DELMIA DPM, DPE or the like, also available from Dassault Systèmes S.A. And at this point, in some examples, the manufacturing process plan may be pure text and links.

    [0038] The manufacturing process plan may include a number of process operations in which fastener locations on component parts are worked for installation of respective fasteners, and these process operations may compose their manufacturing lifecycle. As part of the manufacturing engineering of the product, it may be desirable to visualize the manufacturing lifecycle of one or more fasteners. The graphic-generation system 106 of example implementations may therefore be generally configured to generate graphical views for at least some of the process operations of the manufacturing process plan, including one or more in which fastener location(s) on component part(s) are worked for installation of respective fastener(s). For this purpose, in some examples, the graphic-generation system may include or otherwise benefit from a commercially-available tool such as 3DVIA available from Dassault Systèmes S.A.

    [0039] The NC programming system 108 of example implementations may be generally configured to perform numerical control programming of automated machinery to perform various process operations including the installation of at least some of the fasteners. The NC programming system may be configured to generate an NC in-process model of one or more component parts, which model may include fastener data (from the ERM) for fasteners with fastener locations on the respective component part(s). In some examples, the NC programming system may include or otherwise benefit from a commercially-available tool such as CATIA.

    [0040] The importation system 110 may be generally configured to import process operation-related data from the graphical views of process operations, which the NC programming system 108 may add to the NC in-process model and merge with the fastener data. The resulting NC in-process model may include data logically ordered to facilitate its use and understanding by a user such as an NC programmer who may interact with the NC programming system to define machine motion and order of process operations including one or more in which fastener locations on the component part(s) are worked for installation of respective fasteners. The NC programming system may generate a file of machine control data for programming of automated machinery to perform the respective process operations.

    [0041] FIG. 2 illustrates various elements of a suitable graphic-generation system 200, which in some example implementations of the present disclosure may correspond to the graphic-generation system 106 of FIG. 1. As indicated above and explained in greater detail below, the graphic-generation system may be generally configured to generate graphical views for respective ones of at least some process operations of a manufacturing process plan for a product. And as shown, the graphic-generation system may include an input module 202, view generator 204 and output module 206.

    [0042] The input module 202 may be configured to receive a manufacturing process plan for a product including component parts. One example of a suitable manufacturing process plan may be that produced or otherwise provided by a manufacturing process planning system (e.g., manufacturing process planning system 104). As explained above, the manufacturing process plan may include process definitions that describe process operations in which component parts are worked, and may also identify locations on the factory floor where the process operations are to be performed. The process plan may include links to engineering design data (e.g., 3D model, ERM) that describes configuration of the product including its component parts, and through these links the input module may receive various engineering design data.

    [0043] The view generator 204 may be configured to generate graphical views for respective ones of at least some process operations of the manufacturing process plan, including one or more in which fastener location(s) on component part(s) are worked for installation of respective fastener(s). As explained above, in one example, these process operation(s) may include drilling a hole into or through component part(s) at the fastener location, installing a fastener (e.g., externally-threaded screw or bolt, rivet, pin) into the hole, and perhaps also applying a fastener collar (e.g., internally-threaded nut) to the fastener. In another example, these process operation(s) may simply include installing a fastener (e.g., spot weld, tack weld) at the fastener location.

    [0044] In some examples, the graphical view may be lightweight in that it may include a graphical depiction (e.g., 3D graphical depiction) that does not include the overhead of the mathematical definition required to define a surface or solid model, such as in the context of a 3D model. In effect, in at least some of these examples, the graphical depiction may be considered a 3D shell result.

    [0045] The graphical view of a process operation generated by the view generator 204 may graphically depict one or more component parts and one or more fastener locations on the component part(s) worked during the process operation. The graphical view may also include the process definition of the process operation and identify the location on the factory floor where the process operation is to be performed, either or both of which may be at least partially identified by appropriate code(s).

    [0046] The graphical view may graphically depict the component part(s) and fastener locations for a process operation in any of a number of different manners. In one example, the graphical view may graphically depict the component part(s) as a collection of primitives similar to the 3D model. That is, the graphical view may graphically depict the component part(s) as a collection of primitives arranged to reflect the 3D geometry of the respective component part(s). The graphical view may depict the fastener locations as points and/or vectors (e.g., centerlines) such as those from the ERM, without reflecting the 3D geometry of fasteners installed at the respective fastener locations. In some examples, the graphical view may graphically depict only those of the fastener locations worked during the process operation, with any others of the fastener locations on the same or other component part(s) (those worked during other process operations instead) being hidden. The graphic-generation system may therefore represent fasteners by process operation and fastener location, which may convey manufacturing-engineering intent for how and where fasteners should be installed.

    [0047] The output module 206 may be configured to receive and output the graphical views such as to a display, printer or the like. In some examples, the output module may receive and output complete graphical views after the view generator has generated the views including all of their constituent data and content. In other examples, the output module may receive and output the graphical views after the view generator has generated the views depicting component part(s) and including respective process definitions and factory-floor locations, but before also depicting fastener location(s) on the depicted component part(s). In these examples, the view generator may then add the depicted fastener locations to the generated views, which the output module may then output in complete graphical views.

    [0048] FIGS. 3 and 4 illustrate various elements of a suitable NC programming system 300 and importation system 400, respectively, which in some example implementations of the present disclosure may correspond to the NC programming system 108 and importation system 110 of FIG. 1. As indicated above and explained in greater detail below, the NC programming system may be generally configured to generate an NC in-process model of one or more component parts. The importation system, then, may be generally configured to import process operation-related data from the graphical views of process operations, which the NC programming system may add to the NC in-process model and merge with the fastener data.

    [0049] As shown in FIG. 3, the NC programming system 300 may include an input module 302, in-process model generator 304, data merge module 306 and output module 308. The input module may be configured to receive engineering design data for a product including component parts, and which engineering design data describes configuration of the product including its component parts. In some examples, the engineering design data may be that received, produced or otherwise provided by a product design system (e.g., product design system 102). As explained above, the engineering design data may include a 3D model of the product including at least some of its component parts, and a collection of engineering requirements that may form an ERM.

    [0050] The in-process model generator 304 may be configured to generate an NC in-process model of one or more component parts of the product. In some examples, the in-process model generator may generate an empty (shell), first NC in-process model of component part(s), and add to the first NC in-process model, engineering requirements for the respective component part(s) from the engineering design data. The in-process model generator may then generate another, empty second NC in-process model of the respective component part(s). The first and second NC in-process models may then be treated as an NC in-process model assembly, and further processing may be made with respect to the second NC in-process model to avoid inadvertent changes to engineering requires in the first NC in-process model.

    [0051] The in-process model generator 304 may add to the second NC in-process model, fastener data (from the ERM) for fasteners with fastener locations on the respective component part(s). In some examples, links may be established between the second NC in-process model and ERM. Each fastener location may be linked so in instances in which the ERM is revised, the in-process model may be easily updated to reflect the revision. The NC programming system 300 may then be called to add process operation-related data to the second NC in-process model. In some examples, the NC programming system may invoke an importation system (e.g., importation system 110, 400) to import process operation-related data from graphical views of process operations generated by a graphic-generation system (e.g., graphic-generation system 106, 200). This process operation-related data may include, for example, process definitions, fastener locations, and perhaps also factory-floor locations, for process operations in which the fastener locations are worked for installation of respective fasteners - or in some examples, codes that identify the process definitions and factory-floor locations.

    [0052] As shown in FIG. 4, the importation system 400 may include an input module 402, parser 404, organization module 406 and output module 408. The input module of the importation system may be configured to receive graphical views of process operations generated by a graphic-generation system (e.g., graphic-generation system 106, 200). As explained above, the graphical view of a process operation may include a respective process definition and factory-floor location, and may graphically depict fastener location(s) on component part(s) worked during the process operation. The parser may be configured to loop through the graphical views. The parser may parse each graphical view into its portion of process operation-related data, including the process definition, fastener locations, and perhaps also factory-floor location. The organization module may then reorganize the process operation-related data for the graphical views by fastener location, with each fastener location thereby being associated with one or more process definitions and factory-floor locations. The output module 408, then, may be configured to receive and output the reorganized process operation-related data, such as to an NC programming system (e.g., NC programming system 108, 300).

    [0053] Returning to FIG. 3, the data merge module 306 may be configured to receive process operation-related data to be added to the second NC in-process model, such as from the importation system (e.g., importation system 110, 400) - or more particularly in one example the output module of importation system 400. The data merge module may be configured to add the process operation-related data to the second NC in-process model, with the process operation-related data being merged with the fastener data of the second NC in-process model. Again, the second NC in-process model may include fastener data (from the ERM) for fasteners with fastener locations on one or more component parts of the product. The fastener data may include fastener locations represented by points, vectors (e.g., centerlines), and include other parametric data, such as the type or types of fasteners and any installation specification requirements. The process operation-related data from the may include process definitions and factory-floor locations for process operations in which fastener locations on the respective component part(s) are worked for installation of respective fasteners. Or reorganized, the process operation-related data may include fastener locations and respective associated process operation(s) and factory-floor location(s).

    [0054] The data merge module 306 may be configured to loop through the fastener data in the second NC in-process model, and compare each fastener location in the fastener data to fastener locations in the process operation-related data. For each fastener location in the fastener data that matches a fastener location in the process operation-related data, the data merge module may create a geometric set for the fastener location in the second NC in-process model. The data merge module may then add fastener data, process definition(s) and factory-floor location(s) for the fastener location to the geometric set, such as by adding appropriate parameters to the geometric set. For each fastener location, the fastener data, process definition(s) and factory-floor location(s) may thereby be merged within the second NC in-process model.

    [0055] The output module 308 may be configured to receive and output the second NC in-process model, or in some examples, may receive and output the NC in-process model assembly including the first and second NC in-process models, such as to a display, printer or the like. In some examples, the fastener locations represented in the second NC in-process model may be coded based on the process operation-related data such as by size, color, shape or the like, which may be shown in the output from the output module. The resulting NC in-process model assembly may then be used to create NC programming media. That is, the NC in-process model assembly may include data logically ordered to facilitate its use and understanding by a user such as an NC programmer who may interact with the NC programming system 300 to define machine motion and order of process operations including one or more in which the component part(s) are worked for installation of at least some of the fasteners at respective fastener locations. The NC programming system may generate a file of machine control data for programming of automated machinery such as drill, drill and fasten or weld systems to perform the respective process operations.

    [0056] Returning to FIG. 1, in some examples, the importation system 110 may generate a log file during importation of process operation-related data, and the log file may textually describe the respective data. The log file in some examples may be comparable to the original the engineering design data (either in context of the product design system, or via an extract to a text file) to verify accuracy of the fastener locations graphically depicted by the graphical views and imported as process operation-related data. This comparison may be performed by NC programming system 108 or another suitable system such as the product design system 102. In some examples, this type of verification may assure that none of the fastener locations have been moved, and exactly match the engineering design data.

    [0057] Example implementations may keep track of which fastener locations have been processed, and which processes have been completed, as the product or part(s) of the product works through the build process. For example, automated machinery performing the respective process operations may provide input to the NC programming system 108, which may accordingly change in the second NC in-process model, the coding (e.g., size, color, shape) of those fastener locations that have been processed. In this regard, many automated machinery include controllers that may be configured to track work performed and capture locations for fastener locations or a name associated to the fastener location if inserted into the machine control data.

    [0058] To further illustrate example embodiments of the present invention, reference will now be made to FIGS. 5-8, which illustrate example graphical views and NC in-process models that may be output for display by a graphic-generation system 106, 200 and NC programming system 108, 300, according to example implementations of the present disclosure. The figures illustrate graphical views and NC in-process models for one or more components of a product, in this case an aircraft structural frame, including its skin and fastener locations.

    [0059] FIG. 5 illustrates graphical views for respective process operations in which fastener location(s) on component part(s) are worked for installation of respective fastener(s). As shown, the graphical views may be displayed in a graphical user interface (GUI) that includes one or more windows in a predetermined viewable area 500. The windows may include a first window 502 in which a plurality of graphical views may be presented, and which may itself have a limited viewable area, and in some examples, may be scrollable to include a greater number of graphical views than may at one time fit in the viewable area.

    [0060] In the first window 502, each graphical view of a process operation may include a graphical depiction 504 of the component part(s) and fastener location(s) worked during the process operation, and include respective process operation-related data 506. The process operation-related data may include the process definition of the process operation, which may be identified by an appropriate code and text (e.g., "CS272 PER ENGR (FIC)"), and may also include a status of the process operation (e.g., "In Work 1"). The process operation-related data may also include the location on the factory floor where the process operation is to be performed, which may also be identified by an appropriate code (e.g., "Op 030").

    [0061] The windows in the viewable area 500 may also include a second window 508 in which a larger representation 510 of a selected graphical view in the first window 502 (or at least its graphical depiction 504) may be presented. Although perhaps also shown in the graphical depiction in the first window, in the larger representation, the depicted component part(s) 512 and fastener location(s) 514 (only some of which are separately called out) may be more easily seen. As shown, in the graphical views and larger representation, the component part(s) may be depicted as a collection of primitives similar to the 3D model, and the fastener location(s) as points and/or vectors (e.g., centerlines). As also shown, in the graphical view and larger representation of a particular process operation, only those of the fastener locations worked during the process operation may be depicted, with any others of the fastener locations being hidden. And in some examples, the larger representation in the second window may be rotatable or otherwise movable to alter a perspective in which the component part(s) and fastener location(s) are depicted.

    [0062] FIG. 6 illustrates a first NC in-process model of component part(s). As shown, the first NC in-process model may be displayed in a GUI that includes a predetermined viewable area 600. The GUI may include parameters 602 of the first NC in-process model, such as engineering requirements for the respective component part(s) from the engineering design data, which have been added to the first NC in-process model. The GUI may further include a graphical depiction 604 of fastener locations on the component part(s), which may be identified from fastener data (e.g., joint definitions) in the engineering design data. As shown, the fastener locations may be depicted as points and/or vectors (e.g., centerlines), as they may be represented in the engineering design data.

    [0063] FIG. 7 illustrates an NC in-process model assembly including the first NC in-process model of FIG. 6, and another, second NC in-process model, both of which may be displayed in the viewable area 600 of the GUI. The GUI may include parameters 602 of the first NC in-process model, as before, and may additionally include parameters 702 of the second NC in-process model, such as fastener data for the fasteners with fastener locations on the respective component part(s), which have been added to the second NC in-process model. The GUI may include the graphical depiction 604 of fastener locations on the component part(s) from fastener data in the engineering design data from the first NC in-process model, and may additionally include a graphical depiction 704 of the same or substantially the same fastener locations from the fastener data from the second NC in-process model. As shown, the fastener locations from both NC in-process models may be depicted as points and/or vectors (e.g., centerlines), and may appear to overlap one another.

    [0064] FIG. 8 (including FIGS. 8A and 8B) illustrates a resulting NC in-process model assembly including the first and second NC in-process models of FIG. 7, after process operation-related data from graphical views such as those of FIG. 6 have been added to the second NC in-process model. As before, the GUI may include parameters 602, 702 of the first and second NC in-process models. Here, though, the parameters of the second NC in-process model may further include geometric sets 802 for fastener locations in the second NC in-process model. As explained above, the geometric set for a fastener location may include fastener data, process definition(s) and factory-floor location(s) for the fastener location to the geometric set, such as in appropriate parameters of the geometric set.

    [0065] In FIG. 8, the GUI may include the graphical depiction 604 of fastener locations on the component part(s) from fastener data in the engineering design data from the first NC in-process model. The GUI may similarly include a graphical depiction 804 of the same or substantially the same fastener locations from the fastener data from the second NC in-process model. This graphical depiction 804 may be similar to graphical depiction 704 in FIG. 7, but the fastener locations in the graphical depiction may now be coded based on the process operation-related data such as by size, color, shape or the like. For example, some fastener locations 806 having the same or similar process operation-related data may be depicted as smaller circles of a first color. Other fastener locations 808 having the same or similar process operation-related data, but that different from fastener locations 806, may be depicted as smaller larger of a second color. And yet other fastener locations 810 having the same or similar process operation-related data, but that different from fastener locations 806, 808 may be depicted as centerlines of a third color.

    [0066] According to example implementations of the present disclosure, the fastener manufacturing-lifecycle-management system 100 and it subsystems including the product design system 102, manufacturing process planning system 104, a graphic-generation system 106, NC programming system 108 and importation system 110 may be implemented by various means. Similarly, the examples of a graphic-generation system 200, NC programming system 300 and importation system 400, including each of their respective elements, may be implemented by various means according to example implementations. Means for implementing the systems, subsystems and their respective elements may include hardware, alone or under direction of one or more computer program code instructions, program instructions or executable computer-readable program code instructions (at times generally referred to as "computer programs," e.g., software, firmware, etc.) from a computer-readable storage medium.

    [0067] In some examples, one or more apparatuses may be provided that are configured to function as or otherwise implement the systems, subsystems and respective elements shown and described herein. In examples involving more than one apparatus, the respective apparatuses may be connected to or otherwise in communication with one another in a number of different manners, such as directly or indirectly via a wired or wireless network or the like.

    [0068] Generally, an apparatus of exemplary implementations of the present disclosure may comprise, include or be embodied in one or more fixed or portable electronic devices. Examples of suitable electronic devices include a smartphone, tablet computer, laptop computer, desktop computer, workstation computer, server computer or the like. The apparatus may include one or more of each of a number of components such as, for example, a processor (e.g., processor unit) connected to a memory (e.g., storage device).

    [0069] The processor is generally any piece of computer hardware that is capable of processing information such as, for example, data, computer programs and/or other suitable electronic information. The processor is composed of a collection of electronic circuits some of which may be packaged as an integrated circuit or multiple interconnected integrated circuits (an integrated circuit at times more commonly referred to as a "chip"). The processor may be configured to execute computer programs, which may be stored onboard the processor or otherwise stored in the memory (of the same or another apparatus).

    [0070] The processor may be a number of processors, a multi-processor core or some other type of processor, depending on the particular implementation. Further, the processor may be implemented using a number of heterogeneous processor systems in which a main processor is present with one or more secondary processors on a single chip. As another illustrative example, the processor may be a symmetric multi-processor system containing multiple processors of the same type. In yet another example, the processor may be embodied as or otherwise include one or more application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs), field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) or the like. Thus, although the processor may be capable of executing a computer program to perform one or more functions, the processor of various examples may be capable of performing one or more functions without the aid of a computer program.

    [0071] The memory is generally any piece of computer hardware that is capable of storing information such as, for example, data, computer programs and/or other suitable information either on a temporary basis and/or a permanent basis. The memory may include volatile and/or non-volatile memory, and may be fixed or removable. Examples of suitable memory include random access memory (RAM), read-only memory (ROM), a hard drive, a flash memory, a thumb drive, a removable computer diskette, an optical disk, a magnetic tape or some combination of the above. Optical disks may include compact disk - read only memory (CD-ROM), compact disk - read/write (CD-R/W), DVD or the like. In various instances, the memory may be referred to as a computer-readable storage medium which, as a non-transitory device capable of storing information, may be distinguishable from computer-readable transmission media such as electronic transitory signals capable of carrying information from one location to another. Computer-readable medium as described herein may generally refer to a computer-readable storage medium or computer-readable transmission medium.

    [0072] In addition to the memory, the processor may also be connected to one or more interfaces for displaying, transmitting and/or receiving information. The interfaces may include a communications interface (e.g., communications unit) and/or one or more user interfaces. The communications interface may be configured to transmit and/or receive information, such as to and/or from other apparatus(es), network(s) or the like. The communications interface may be configured to transmit and/or receive information by physical (wired) and/or wireless communications links. Examples of suitable communication interfaces include a network interface controller (NIC), wireless NIC (WNIC) or the like.

    [0073] The user interfaces may include a display and/or one or more user input interfaces (e.g., input/output unit). The display may be configured to present or otherwise display information to a user, suitable examples of which include a liquid crystal display (LCD), light-emitting diode display (LED), plasma display panel (PDP) or the like. The user input interfaces may be wired or wireless, and may be configured to receive information from a user into the apparatus, such as for processing, storage and/or display. Suitable examples of user input interfaces include a microphone, image or video capture device, keyboard or keypad, joystick, touch-sensitive surface (separate from or integrated into a touchscreen), biometric sensor or the like. The user interfaces may further include one or more interfaces for communicating with peripherals such as printers, scanners or the like.

    [0074] As indicated above, program code instructions may be stored in memory, and executed by a processor, to implement functions of the systems, subsystems and their respective elements described herein. As will be appreciated, any suitable program code instructions may be loaded onto a computer or other programmable apparatus from a computer-readable storage medium to produce a particular machine, such that the particular machine becomes a means for implementing the functions specified herein. These program code instructions may also be stored in a computer-readable storage medium that can direct a computer, a processor or other programmable apparatus to function in a particular manner to thereby generate a particular machine or particular article of manufacture. The instructions stored in the computer-readable storage medium may produce an article of manufacture, where the article of manufacture becomes a means for implementing functions described herein. The program code instructions may be retrieved from a computer-readable storage medium and loaded into a computer, processor or other programmable apparatus to configure the computer, processor or other programmable apparatus to execute operations to be performed on or by the computer, processor or other programmable apparatus.

    [0075] Retrieval, loading and execution of the program code instructions may be performed sequentially such that one instruction is retrieved, loaded and executed at a time. In some example implementations, retrieval, loading and/or execution may be performed in parallel such that multiple instructions are retrieved, loaded, and/or executed together. Execution of the program code instructions may produce a computer-implemented process such that the instructions executed by the computer, processor or other programmable apparatus provide operations for implementing functions described herein.

    [0076] Execution of instructions by a processor, or storage of instructions in a computer-readable storage medium, supports combinations of operations for performing the specified functions. It will also be understood that one or more functions, and combinations of functions, may be implemented by special purpose hardware-based computer systems and/or processors which perform the specified functions, or combinations of special purpose hardware and program code instructions.

    [0077] Many modifications and other implementations of the disclosure set forth herein will come to mind to one skilled in the art to which the disclosure pertains having the benefit of the teachings presented in the foregoing description and the associated drawings. Therefore, it is to be understood that the disclosure is not to be limited to the specific implementations disclosed and that modifications and other implementations are intended to be included within the scope of the appended claims. Moreover, although the foregoing description and the associated drawings describe example implementations in the context of certain example combinations of elements and/or functions, it should be appreciated that different combinations of elements and/or functions may be provided by alternative implementations without departing from the scope of the appended claims. In this regard, for example, different combinations of elements and/or functions than those explicitly described above are also contemplated as may be set forth in some of the appended claims. Although specific terms are employed herein, they are used in a generic and descriptive sense only and not for purposes of limitation.


    Claims

    1. A system (100) to manage the lifecycle of fasteners of a product composed of a plurality of component parts comprising:

    a plurality of fasteners arranged to join the plurality of component parts;

    an input module configured to receive a manufacturing process plan (104) for the product including the plurality of component parts joined by the fasteners, the manufacturing process plan (104) including process definitions that describe process operations in which component parts are worked to manufacture of the product;

    a view generator (202) configured to generate graphical views for respective process operations of the manufacturing process plan (104) in which fastener locations are worked for installation of respective fasteners to join component parts of the product, the graphical view of a process operation graphically depicting one or more component parts and only those of the fastener locations on the one or more component parts worked during the process operation, any others of the fastener locations on the same or other component parts being hidden from the graphical view; and

    an output module configured to output the graphical views, wherein

    the manufacturing process plan (104) further identifies locations on a factory floor where the process operations are to be performed, and

    wherein the graphical view of a process operation generated by the view generator (202) further includes the process definition of the process operation and identifies the location on the factory floor where the process operation is to be performed.


     
    2. The system (100) of Claim 1, wherein the input module (202), view generator (202) and output module (202) are elements of a graphic-generation system (106), and wherein the system (100) further comprises:
    an importation system (110) coupled to the graphic-generation system (106) and configured to import process operation-related data from the graphical views into a numerical control (NC) programming system (108), the process operation-related data including at least process definitions and fastener locations for the respective process operations of the manufacturing process plan (104) in which the fastener locations are worked.
     
    3. The system (100) of Claim 2 further comprising the NC programming system (108), wherein the NC programming system (108) comprises:

    an input module configured to receive engineering design data including engineering requirements for the product including the component parts, the engineering requirements including fastener data for fasteners installed to join the component parts;

    an in-process model generator (304) configured to generate an NC in-process model for one or more component parts, the NC in-process model including fastener data for fasteners with fastener locations on the respective one or more component parts;

    a data merge module (306) configured to receive process operation-related data from the importation system (110), and add the process operation-related data to the NC in-process model, the process operation-related data being merged with the fastener data of the NC in-process model; and

    an output module configured to output the NC in-process model.


     
    4. The system (100) of Claim 3, wherein the NC in-process model is a second NC in-process model, and
    wherein the in-process model generator (304) being configured to generate the NC in-process model includes being configured to generate an NC in-process model assembly including a first NC in-process model and the second NC in-process model, the first NC in-process model including engineering requirements for the respective one or more component parts.
     
    5. The system (100) of any of Claims 2 to 4, wherein the importation system (110) comprises:

    an input module configured to receive the graphical views;

    a parser (404) configured to loop through the graphical views and parse each graphical view into its portion of the process operation-related data;

    an organization module (406) configured to reorganize the process operation-related data for the graphical views by fastener location, with each fastener location thereby being associated with one or more process definitions; and

    an output module (408) configured to output the reorganized process operation-related data to the NC programming system (108).


     
    6. A method to manage the lifecycle of fasteners of a product composed of a plurality of component parts comprising:

    receiving a manufacturing process plan (104) for a product including a plurality of component parts joined by fasteners, the manufacturing process plan (104) including process definitions that describe process operations in which component parts are worked to manufacture of the product;

    generating graphical views for respective process operations of the manufacturing process plan (104) in which fastener locations are worked for installation of respective fasteners to join component parts of the product, the graphical view of a process operation graphically depicting one or more component parts and only those of the fastener locations on the one or more component parts worked during the process operation, any others of the fastener locations on the same or other component parts being hidden from the graphical view; and

    outputting the graphical views, wherein

    the manufacturing process plan (104) further identifies locations on a factory floor where the process operations are to be performed, and

    wherein the graphical view of a process operation further includes the process definition of the process operation and identifies the location on the factory floor where the process operation is to be performed.


     
    7. The method of Claim 6 further comprising:
    importing process operation-related data from the graphical views into a numerical control (NC) programming system, the process operation-related data including at least process definitions and fastener locations for the respective process operations of the manufacturing process plan (104) in which the fastener locations are worked.
     
    8. The method of Claim 7 further comprising:

    receiving engineering design data including engineering requirements for the product including the component parts, the engineering requirements including fastener data for fasteners installed to join the component parts;

    generating an NC in-process model for one or more component parts, the NC in-process model including fastener data for fasteners with fastener locations on the respective one or more component parts;

    receiving process operation-related data from the importation system (110), and adding the process operation-related data to the NC in-process model, the process operation-related data being merged with the fastener data of the NC in-process model; and

    outputting the NC in-process model.


     
    9. The method of claim 8 wherein the NC in-process model is a second NC in-process model, and wherein generating the NC in-process model includes generating an NC in-process model assembly including a first NC in-process model and the second NC in-process model, the first NC in-process model including engineering requirements for the respective one or more component parts.
     
    10. The method of any of claims 7 to 9 wherein the step of importing the process operation-related data comprises receiving the graphical views; looping through the graphical views and parsing each graphical view into its portion of the process operation-related data; reorganizing the process operation-related data for the graphical views by fastener location, with each fastener location thereby being associated with one or more process definitions; and outputting the reorganized process operation-related data to the NC programming system.
     
    11. The method of any of claims 7 to 10 further comprising generating a log file that textually describes the process operation-related data, the log file being comparable to engineering design data including engineering requirements for the product including the component parts, the log file being comparable to the engineering design data to verify accuracy of fastener locations graphically depicted by the graphical views and imported as process operation-related data.
     


    Ansprüche

    1. System (100) zum Verwalten des Lebenszyklus von Befestigungselementen eines Produkts, das aus einer Vielzahl von Bauteilen besteht und Folgendes aufweist:

    eine Vielzahl von Befestigungselementen, die angeordnet sind, um die Vielzahl von Bauteilen zu verbinden;

    ein Eingabemodul, das dazu ausgestaltet ist, einen Herstellungsprozessplan (104) für das Produkt zu empfangen, das die Vielzahl von Bauteilen beinhaltet, die durch die Befestigungselemente verbunden sind, wobei der Herstellungsprozessplan (104) Prozessdefinitionen beinhaltet, die Prozessschritte beschreiben, in denen Bauteile bearbeitet werden, um das Produkt herzustellen;

    einen Ansichtsgenerator (202), der dazu ausgestaltet ist, grafische Ansichten für jeweilige Prozessschritte des Herstellungsprozessplans (104) zu erzeugen, in denen Befestigungselementstellen zur Installation jeweiliger Befestigungselemente bearbeitet werden, um Bauteile des Produkts zu verbinden, wobei die grafische Ansicht eines Prozessschritts ein oder mehrere Bauteile und nur diejenigen der Befestigungselementstellen an dem einen oder den mehreren Bauteilen, die während des Prozessschritts bearbeitet werden, grafisch darstellt und alle anderen der Befestigungselementstellen an demselben oder anderen Bauteilen in der grafischen Ansicht ausgeblendet sind; und

    ein Ausgabemodul, das dazu ausgestaltet ist, die grafischen Ansichten auszugeben, wobei

    der Herstellungsprozessplan (104) ferner Stellen in einer Fabrikhalle identifiziert, an denen die Prozessschritte durchzuführen sind, und

    wobei die grafische Ansicht eines durch den Ansichtsgenerator (202) erzeugten Prozessschritts ferner die Prozessdefinition des Prozessschritts beinhaltet und die Stelle in der Fabrikhalle identifiziert, an welcher der Prozessschritt durchzuführen ist.


     
    2. System (100) nach Anspruch 1, wobei das Eingabemodul (202), der Ansichtsgenerator (202) und das Ausgabemodul (202) Elemente eines Grafikgenerierungssystem (106) sind, und wobei das System (100) ferner Folgendes aufweist:
    ein Importsystem (110), das mit dem Grafikgenerierungssystem (106) gekoppelt und dazu ausgestaltet ist, prozessschrittbezogene Daten aus den grafischen Ansichten in ein Numerische-Steuerung-Programmiersystem, NC-Programmiersystem (108) zu importieren, wobei die prozessschrittbezogenen Daten mindestens Prozessdefinitionen und Befestigungselementstellen für die jeweiligen Prozessschritte des Herstellungsprozessplans (104) beinhalten, in denen die Befestigungselementstellen bearbeitet werden.
     
    3. System (100) nach Anspruch 2, das ferner das NC-Programmiersystem (108) aufweist, wobei das NC-Programmiersystem (108) Folgendes aufweist:

    ein Eingabemodul, das dazu ausgestaltet ist, Konstruktionsdesigndaten, die Konstruktionsanforderungen für das Produkt einschließlich der Bauteile beinhalten, zu empfangen, wobei die Konstruktionsanforderungen Befestigungselementdaten für Befestigungselemente beinhalten, die zum Verbinden der Bauteile installiert werden;

    einen Inprozess-Modellgenerator (304), der dazu ausgestaltet ist, ein NC-Inprozess-Modell für ein oder mehrere Bauteile zu erzeugen, wobei das NC-Inprozess-Modell Befestigungselementdaten für Befestigungselemente mit Befestigungselementstellen an dem jeweiligen einen oder den jeweiligen mehreren Bauteilen beinhaltet;

    ein Datenzusammenführungsmodul (306), das dazu ausgestaltet ist, prozessschrittbezogene Daten von dem Importsystem (110) zu empfangen und die prozessschrittbezogenen Daten zu dem NC-Inprozess-Modell hinzuzufügen, wobei die prozessschrittbezogenen Daten mit den Befestigungselementdaten des NC-Inprozess-Modells zusammengeführt werden; und

    ein Ausgabemodul, das dazu ausgestaltet ist, das NC-Inprozess-Modell auszugeben.


     
    4. System (100) nach Anspruch 3, wobei das NC-Inprozess-Modell ein zweites NC-Inprozess-Modell ist, und
    wobei, dass der Inprozess-Modellgenerator (304) dazu ausgestaltet ist, das NC-Inprozess-Modell zu erzeugen, beinhaltet, dazu ausgestaltet zu sein, eine NC-Inprozess-Modellanordnung zu erzeugen, die ein erstes NC-Inprozess-Modell und das zweite NC-Inprozess-Modell beinhaltet, wobei das erste NC-Inprozess-Modell Konstruktionsanforderungen für das jeweilige eine oder die jeweiligen mehreren Bauteile beinhaltet.
     
    5. System (100) nach einem der Ansprüche 2 bis 4, wobei das Importsystem (110) Folgendes aufweist:

    ein Eingabemodul, das dazu ausgestaltet ist, die grafischen Ansichten zu empfangen;

    einen Parser (404), der dazu ausgestaltet ist, die grafischen Ansichten zu durchlaufen und jede grafische Ansicht in ihren Teil der prozessschrittbezogenen Daten zu parsen;

    ein Organisationsmodul (406), das dazu ausgestaltet ist, die prozessschrittbezogenen Daten für die grafischen Ansichten nach Befestigungselementstelle zu reorganisieren, wobei jede Befestigungselementstelle dadurch einer oder mehreren Prozessdefinitionen zugeordnet wird; und

    ein Ausgabemodul (408), das dazu ausgestaltet ist, die reorganisierten prozessschrittbezogenen Daten an das NC-Programmiersystem (108) auszugeben.


     
    6. Verfahren zum Verwalten des Lebenszyklus von Befestigungselementen eines Produkts, das aus einer Vielzahl von Bauteilen besteht und Folgendes aufweist:

    Empfangen eines Herstellungsprozessplans (104) für ein Produkt, das eine Vielzahl von Bauteilen beinhaltet, die durch Befestigungselemente verbunden sind, wobei der Herstellungsprozessplan (104) Prozessdefinitionen beinhaltet, die Prozessschritte beschreiben, in denen Bauteile bearbeitet werden, um das Produkt herzustellen;

    Erzeugen von grafischen Ansichten für jeweilige Prozessschritte des Herstellungsprozessplans (104), in denen Befestigungselementstellen zur Installation jeweiliger Befestigungselemente bearbeitet werden, um Bauteile des Produkts zu verbinden, wobei die grafische Ansicht eines Prozessschritts ein oder mehrere Bauteile und nur diejenigen der Befestigungselementstellen an dem einen oder den mehreren Bauteilen, die während des Prozessschritts bearbeitet werden, grafisch darstellt und alle anderen der Befestigungselementstellen an demselben oder anderen Bauteilen in der grafischen Ansicht ausgeblendet sind; und

    Ausgeben der grafischen Ansichten, wobei der Herstellungsprozessplan (104) ferner Stellen in einer Fabrikhalle identifiziert, an denen die Prozessschritte durchzuführen sind, und

    wobei die grafische Ansicht eines Prozessschritts ferner die Prozessdefinition des Prozessschritts beinhaltet und die Stelle in der Fabrikhalle identifiziert, an welcher der Prozessschritt durchzuführen ist.


     
    7. Verfahren nach Anspruch 6, das ferner Folgendes aufweist:
    Importieren von prozessschrittbezogenen Daten aus den grafischen Ansichten in ein Numerische-Steuerung-Programmiersystem, NC-Programmiersystem, wobei die prozessschrittbezogenen Daten mindestens Prozessdefinitionen und Befestigungselementstellen für die jeweiligen Prozessschritte des Herstellungsprozessplans (104) beinhalten, in denen die Befestigungselementstellen bearbeitet werden.
     
    8. Verfahren nach Anspruch 7, das ferner Folgendes aufweist:

    Empfangen von Konstruktionsdesigndaten, die Konstruktionsanforderungen für das Produkt einschließlich der Bauteile beinhalten, wobei die Konstruktionsanforderungen Befestigungselementdaten für Befestigungselemente beinhalten, die zum Verbinden der Bauteile installiert werden;

    Erzeugen eines NC-Inprozess-Modells für ein oder mehrere Bauteile, wobei das NC-Inprozess-Modell Befestigungselementdaten für Befestigungselemente mit Befestigungselementstellen an dem jeweiligen einen oder den jeweiligen mehreren Bauteilen beinhaltet;

    Empfangen von prozessschrittbezogenen Daten von dem Importsystem (110) und Hinzufügen der prozessschrittbezogenen Daten zu dem NC-Inprozess-Modell, wobei die prozessschrittbezogenen Daten mit den Befestigungselementdaten des NC-Inprozess-Modells zusammengeführt werden; und

    Ausgeben das NC-Inprozess-Modells.


     
    9. Verfahren nach Anspruch 8, wobei das NC-Inprozess-Modell ein zweites NC-Inprozess-Modell ist, und wobei das Erzeugen des NC-Inprozess-Modells beinhaltet, dass eine NC-Inprozess-Modellanordnung erzeugt wird, die ein erstes NC-Inprozess-Modell und das zweite NC-Inprozess-Modell beinhaltet, wobei das erste NC-Inprozess-Modell Konstruktionsanforderungen für das jeweilige eine oder die jeweiligen mehreren Bauteile beinhaltet.
     
    10. Verfahren nach einem der Ansprüche 7 bis 9, wobei der Schritt des Importierens der prozessschrittbezogenen Daten das Empfangen der grafischen Ansichten;
    Durchlaufen der grafischen Ansichten und Parsen jeder grafischen Ansicht in ihren Teil der prozessschrittbezogenen Daten;
    Reorganisieren der prozessschrittbezogenen Daten für die grafischen Ansichten nach Befestigungselementstelle, wobei jede Befestigungselementstelle dadurch einer oder mehreren Prozessdefinitionen zugeordnet wird; und Ausgeben der reorganisierten prozessschrittbezogenen Daten an das NC-Programmiersystem aufweist.
     
    11. Verfahren nach einem der Ansprüche 7 bis 10, welches ferner das Erzeugen einer Protokolldatei aufweist, welche die prozessschrittbezogenen Daten textlich beschreibt, wobei die Protokolldatei mit Konstruktionsdesigndaten, die Konstruktionsanforderungen für das Produkt einschließlich der Bauteile beinhalten, vergleichbar ist und die Protokolldatei mit den Konstruktionsdesigndaten vergleichbar ist, um die Genauigkeit von Befestigungselementstellen zu überprüfen, die durch die grafischen Ansichten grafisch dargestellt und als prozessschrittbezogene Daten importiert werden.
     


    Revendications

    1. Système (100) de gestion du cycle de vie d'éléments de fixation d'un produit composé d'une pluralité de parties constituantes comprenant :

    une pluralité d'éléments de fixation agencés pour joindre la pluralité de parties constituantes ;

    un module d'entrée configuré pour recevoir un plan du procédé de fabrication (104) pour le produit incluant la pluralité de parties constituantes jointes par les éléments de fixation, le plan du procédé de fabrication (104) incluant des définitions du procédé qui décrivent des opérations du procédé dans lesquelles des parties constituantes sont travaillées pour la fabrication du produit ;

    un générateur de vues (202) configuré pour générer des vues graphiques pour des opérations du procédé respectives du plan du procédé de fabrication (104), dans lesquelles des emplacements des éléments de fixation sont travaillés pour l'installation d'éléments de fixation respectifs pour joindre des parties constituantes du produit, la vue graphique d'une opération du procédé décrivant en mode graphique une ou plusieurs parties constituantes et uniquement celles des emplacements d'éléments de fixation sur les une ou plusieurs parties constituantes travaillés au cours de l'opération du procédé, les autres emplacements d'éléments de fixation sur les mêmes parties constituantes ou sur d'autres parties constituantes étant masqués dans la vue graphique ; et

    un module de sortie configuré pour délivrer les vues graphiques, dans lequel :

    le plan du procédé de fabrication (104) identifie en outre les emplacements sur un plancher d'usine où les opérations du procédé doivent être effectuées et

    dans lequel la vue graphique d'une opération du procédé générée par le générateur de vues (202) inclut en outre la définition du procédé de l'opération du procédé et identifie l'emplacement sur le plancher de l'usine où l'opération du procédé doit être effectuée.


     
    2. Système (100) selon la revendication 1, dans lequel le module d'entrée (202), le générateur de vues (202) et le module de sortie (202) sont des éléments d'un système de génération de graphiques (106) et dans lequel le système (100) comprend en outre :
    un système d'importation (110) couplé au système de génération de graphiques (106) et configuré pour importer des données en rapport avec l'opération du procédé depuis les vues graphiques dans un système de programmation de commande numérique (NC) (108), les données en rapport avec l'opération du procédé incluant au moins des définitions du procédé et des emplacements d'éléments de fixation pour les opérations du procédé respectives du plan du procédé de fabrication (104) dans lequel les emplacements des éléments de fixation sont travaillés.
     
    3. Système (100) selon la revendication 2, comprenant en outre le système de programmation NC (108), dans lequel le système de programmation NC (108) comprend :

    un module d'entrée configuré pour recevoir des données de conception technique incluant des exigences techniques pour le produit incluant les parties constituantes, les exigences techniques incluant des données pour les éléments de fixation installés pour joindre les partie constituantes ;

    un générateur de modèles industriels (304) configuré pour générer un modèle industriel NC pour une ou plusieurs parties constituantes, le modèle industriel NC incluant des données pour les éléments de fixation avec des emplacements de ces éléments sur les une ou plusieurs parties constituantes respectives ;

    un module de fusion de données (306) configuré pour recevoir des données en rapport avec l'opération du procédé depuis le système d'importation (110) et ajouter les données en rapport avec l'opération du procédé au modèle industriel NC, les données en rapport avec l'opération du procédé étant fusionnées aux données d'éléments de fixation du modèle industriel NC ; et

    un module de sortie configuré pour délivrer le modèle industriel NC.


     
    4. Système (100) selon la revendication 3, dans lequel le modèle industriel NC est un second modèle industriel NC et
    dans lequel le générateur de modèles industriels (304) configuré pour générer le modèle industriel NC inclut une configuration pour générer un ensemble de modèles industriels NC incluant un premier modèle industriel NC et le second modèle industriel NC, le premier modèle industriel NC incluant des exigences techniques pour les une ou plusieurs parties constituantes respectives.
     
    5. Système (100) selon l'une quelconque des revendications 2 à 4, dans lequel le système d'importation (110) comprend :

    un module d'entrée configuré pour recevoir les vues graphiques ;

    un analyseur (404) configuré pour parcourir les vues graphiques et analyser chaque vue graphique dans sa partie des données en rapport avec l'opération du procédé ;

    un module d'organisation (406) configuré pour réorganiser les données en rapport avec l'opération du procédé pour les vues graphiques par emplacement d'élément de fixation, chaque emplacement d'élément de fixation étant associé à une ou plusieurs définitions du procédé ; et

    un module de sortie (408) configuré pour délivrer les données réorganisées en rapport avec l'opération du procédé au système de programmation NC (108) .


     
    6. Procédé de gestion du cycle de vie d'éléments de fixation d'un produit composé d'une pluralité de parties constituantes, comprenant :

    la réception d'un plan du procédé de fabrication (104) pour un produit incluant une pluralité de parties constituantes jointes par des éléments de fixation, le plan du procédé de fabrication (104) incluant des définitions du procédé qui décrivent des opérations du procédé dans lesquelles des parties constituantes sont travaillées pour la fabrication du produit ;

    la génération de vues graphiques pour des opérations du procédé respectives du plan du procédé de fabrication (104), dans lesquelles des emplacements des éléments de fixation sont travaillés pour l'installation d'éléments de fixation respectifs afin de joindre des parties constituantes du produit, la vue graphique d'une opération du procédé décrivant en mode graphique une ou plusieurs parties constituantes et uniquement celles des emplacements des éléments de fixation sur les une ou plusieurs parties constituantes travaillés au cours de l'opération du procédé, les autres emplacements quelconques des éléments de fixation sur les mêmes parties constituantes ou sur d'autres parties constituantes étant masquées dans la vue graphique ; et

    la délivrance des vues graphiques, dans lequel :

    le plan du procédé de fabrication (104) identifie en outre les emplacements sur un plancher d'usine où les opérations du procédé doivent être effectuées et

    dans lequel la vue graphique d'une opération du procédé inclut en outre la définition du procédé de l'opération du procédé et identifie l'emplacement sur le plancher d'usine où l'opération du procédé doit être effectuée.


     
    7. Procédé selon la revendication 6, comprenant en outre :
    l'importation de données en rapport avec l'opération du procédé depuis les vues graphiques dans un système de programmation de commande numérique (NC), les données en rapport avec l'opération du procédé incluant au moins des définitions du procédé et des emplacements d'éléments de fixation pour les opérations du procédé respectives du plan du procédé de fabrication (104), dans lequel les emplacements des éléments de fixation sont travaillés.
     
    8. Procédé selon la revendication7, comprenant en outre :

    la réception de données de conception technique incluant des exigences techniques pour le produit incluant les parties constituantes, les exigences techniques incluant des données pour les éléments de fixation installés pour joindre les parties constituantes ;

    la génération d'un modèle industriel NC pour une ou plusieurs parties constituantes, le modèle industriel NC incluant des données pour les éléments de fixation avec les emplacements des éléments de fixation sur les une ou plusieurs parties constituantes respectives ;

    la réception de données en rapport avec l'opération du procédé depuis le système d'importation (110) et l'addition des données en rapport avec l'opération du procédé au modèle industriel NC, les données en rapport avec l'opération du procédé étant fusionnées aux données d'éléments de fixation du modèle industriel NC ; et

    la délivrance du modèle industriel NC.


     
    9. Procédé selon la revendication 8, dans lequel le modèle industriel NC est un second modèle industriel NC et dans lequel la génération du modèle industriel NC incluant la génération d'un ensemble de modèles industriels NC incluant un premier modèle industriel NC et le second modèle industriel NC, le premier modèle industriel NC incluant des exigences techniques pour les une ou plusieurs parties constituantes respectives.
     
    10. Procédé selon l'une quelconque des revendications 7 à 9, dans lequel l'étape d'importation des données en rapport avec l'opération du procédé comprend la réception des vues graphiques ; le parcours des vues graphiques et l'analyse de chaque vue graphique dans sa partie des données en rapport avec l'opération du procédé, la réorganisation des données en rapport avec l'opération du procédé pour les vues graphiques par emplacement d'élément de fixation, chaque emplacement d'élément de fixation étant alors associé à une ou plusieurs définitions du procédé ; et la délivrance des données réorganisées en rapport avec l'opération du procédé au système de programmation NC.
     
    11. Méthode selon l'une quelconque des revendications 7 à 10, comprenant en outre la génération d'un fichier d'enregistrement qui décrit textuellement les données en rapport avec l'opération du procédé, le fichier d'enregistrement étant comparable aux données de conception technique incluant les exigences techniques pour le produit incluant les parties constituantes, le fichier d'enregistrement étant comparable aux données de conception technique pour vérifier la précision des emplacements d'éléments de fixation décrits en mode graphique par les vues graphiques et importés en tant que données en rapport avec l'opération du procédé.
     




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    REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



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    Patent documents cited in the description