Gregory L. Smith, Gerald R. Graves
It has traditionally been difficult for PCA manufacturers to share up-to-date knowledge of their processes and capabilities with engineering in a form that can be readily usable. Current knowledge sharing techniques, including design guidelines and capability databases, provide information that is either out-of-date or not rigidly followed by engineering. Engineering, not understanding the limitations and capabilities of manufacturing, typically develop PCA designs that are not producible or require processes outside of the capabilities of the manufacturer. The majority of existing CAD/CAM systems have no ability to store knowledge concerning the manufacturing environment, let alone support the PCA design lifecycle. Systems are now available that provide for the capture and utilization of PCA manufacturing process and capability knowledge. The subject of this paper is one such system, the PreAmp system. This paper will begin with a brief overview of the PreAmp research program and follow with an in-depth discussion of the resulting Pre,/lmp system. The PrcAmp system architecture and how it relates to the capture and utilization of manufacturing knowledge is then detailed. The paper concludes with a discussion of realized and expected benefits. The paper will focus on the Manufacturing Resource Editor, the Rules Definition Facility, and the Rules Execution Facility and will include discussions on rule management, definition, storage, and execution.