David Hinkle and Christopher N. Toomey, Lockheed AI Center
Clavier is a case-based reasoning (CBR) system that assists in determining efficient loads of composite material parts to be cured in an autoclave. Clavier’s central purpose is to find the most appropriate groupings and configurations of parts (or loads) in order to maximize autoclave throughput while assuring that parts are properly cured. Clavier uses case-based reasoning to match a list of parts that need to be cured against a library of previously successful loads and suggest the most appropriate next load. Clavier also uses a heuristic scheduler to generate a sequence of loads that best meets production goals while satisfying operational constraints. The system is being used daily on the shop floor and has virtually eliminated the production of low-quality parts that must be scrapped, saving thousands of dollars each month. As one of the first fielded case-based reasoning systems, Clavier demonstrates CBR to be a practical technology that can be used successfully in domains where more traditional approaches are difficult to apply.