2205. Drawing Calculation and Automation in Building Part Level Databases


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A C Jordan: 2205. Drawing Calculation and Automation in Building Part Level Databases. 1994.



Previous new Boeing airplane programs have used handwritten calculation sheets for weight analysis and justification. Storage of these calculation sheets and data retrieval from them are a problem, particularly when considering large wide body aircraft with virtually thousands of drawing calculation sheets. Past experience has shown these old files to be illegible and out of date and sustaining weight engineers have been forced to recalculate old drawings before incorporating any changes from new releases. 777 Weight Engineering has set new standards, within The Boeing Company, in calculating and recording the airplane weight at part level detail. Standard electronic calculation forms have been designed using the Microsoft Excel spreadsheet software. This paper describes the automated process for building a Part Level Database (PLDB) using macros developed on Excel. These macros are menu driven and easily used to extract data directly from calculation sheets. Pull down menus and dialog boxes, created for a user friendly interface, will allow the first time user to log on and direct themselves through each step. IBM or Macintosh systems are compatible to this process and can be accessed from file servers on either system. Most personal computers with minimum capability to run Excel 3.0 are adequate to perform normal operations. This PLDB has great potential as a tool for future 777 sustaining program goals as well as external customer support for Finance and Materiel organizations and other entities. Current development is for a one time build-up for the first customer airplane and future major derivatives. To improve speed and efficiency and avoid file size limitations, the Database is separated into several modules according to function codes or Airplane sections. This allows the user to choose which section to work within and avoid paying a price, in computer run time, to search for data throughout an entire airplane database. The resulting database will allow engineers to analyze weight at the detail level and will provide a correlation between parts and assemblies to function codes. For example, weight control and sustaining programs may use the tool to track changes and extract material and fastener usage’s for comparison to lighter alternatives. Other applications of the PLDB may enable family aircraft or future airplane programs to assess the correlation of preliminary weights to integrated work statements at very early stages in design.


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