2040. 777 Weight Control in the Digital Environment


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B Miller: 2040. 777 Weight Control in the Digital Environment. 1991.



It is Boeing Commercial Airplane Group’s initiative to design the new 777 airplane digitally, using Dassault Systemes’ Computer graphics Aided Three-dimensional Interactive Application (CATIA). This software is one of many sophisticated Computer Aided Design (CAD) packages currently in use within the aerospace industry. Our goal is to define each part of the airplane by a 3D solid (mass in space). Design engineers will use the 3D solids to perform Digital Pre-Assembly (DPA), commonly referred to as electronic mockup, ensuring that parts fit together before the design is released to manufacturing. This initiative is one of many vast departures from the Boeing business as usual scenario. Weight engineering, as well as all other disciplines within the 777 are, faced with operating in a new environment. Design definition which once was found in mounds of paper is now found through digital datasets. Designs that in the past took days to change are now evolving daily. Datasets can be shared from one site to another in seconds through the mainframe. A team comprised of weight engineers from various areas of Boeing evaluated the impact of the CAD environment on weight engineering. The team concluded that the 777 weight staff could conduct weight control on an equal or higher level than that encountered on past Boeing programs. However, change was eminent if weights was to fulfill their program responsibilities and implement any process improvements offered through the new digital environment Two actions were taken to help implement change. First, guidelines for weight control in the new environment were documented and distributed to the weight control groups. Secondly, two members of the team became full time consultants, providing on site support and training. This paper relays the major findings of the aforementioned team activity. These issues form the basis of the 777 Weight Control Plan. The CAD related issues which are addressed are: – How company computing business practices influence the overall operation of the weights staff, including the five required privileges that allow weights to perform at full potential in a digital environment. – The effect of CAD on the internal operations of a weights staff, including the recommended procedures required to ensure a smooth transition from the old ways of doing business. – How CAD has influenced the weight control process itself, addressing both the benefits and drawbacks. A section on how to utilize the digital definition for weight control efforts is also included.


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