TXT NEXT FOR COMPLEX MANUFACTURING

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1 TXT NEXT FOR COMPLEX MANUFACTURING The TXT NEXT offering of software products & services to support enterprises in their global design & manufacturing operations of complex products

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3 TXT NEXT has a long-lasting experience in the industry sector of discrete manufacturing of complex goods, i.e. Complex Manufacturing. TXT NEXT supports its Customers along their main business processes to take the maximum advantage from their ICT technologies and applications. Capitalizing on that experience and know-how, TXT NEXT proposes an engineered approach including methodologies, software solutions and services. CONTENTS Complex Manufacturing 4 Supporting the Engineering Department 6 Supporting the Manufacturing Engineering Department 9 Supporting the Planning Department 13 Supporting the Procurement Department 17 Supporting the Production Department 20 Supporting the Final Assembly Department 24 Supporting the Customer Service Department 28

4 COMPLEX MANUFACTURING HOW MUCH COMPLEX IS COMPLEX MANUFACTURING? Product complexity The FAST solution from TXT allows Agusta-Westland to effectively manage the final assembly of complex products like custom configured helicopters. Process complexity TXT provides the operation tools supporting the complex, innovative processes for the production of the carbon-fiber fuselage sections of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner at the Grottaglie plant of Alenia Aermacchi. Discrete manufacturing might become a highly complex task when it applies to products like for instance airplanes, helicopters, excavators, trains as well as some machineries. The complexity lies not only in the product itself which may be made of many thousands of components but also in the way that product is to be designed, tested, its components procured and produced, assembled, distributed and served at customers side. Complex manufacturing is therefore to be considered as a distinctive industry sector, requiring well-suited practices, know-how, methodologies and IT supporting tools. The same practices, when adapted and right-sized can deliver a great value to other less complex discrete manufacturing environment. On the other side, the intrinsic complicatedness of the complex manufacturing sector requires a background of competences and experiences to be properly tackled that cannot be underestimated. THE DIGITAL MANUFACTURING PARADIGM Digital Manufacturing TXT NEXT approaches production processes in complex manufacturing contexts through the paradigm of Digital Manufacturing. Digital Manufacturing implies enabling design, testing and manufacturing activities to proceed concurrently. Expected benefits are faster time-to-market and the reduction of problems in post-design phases through the use of digital simulation techniques to anticipate and solve them as soon as possible in the product lifecycle 1. Digital Manufacturing, however, is not only a set of techniques but, indeed, a new business approach. In fact, in order to be really effective, it requires a high level of collaboration between different entities and departments in the company. It implies a concurrent product development practice, requiring to overcome the traditional sequence of product development phases and to break the classical company silos of design, engineering and manufacturing. 1 Recent studies shows that a Digital Manufacturing approach can avoid up to 60% of the engineering changes. 4

5 COMPLEX MANUFACTURING PROCESSES High level processes in complex manufacturing are: Engineering comprising all product design activities Manufacturing engineering designing and developing all that is needed to effectively produce and assemble the product Planning defining the proper plans to procure, make, assemble and distribute the final product according to the market demand and customer orders Procurement in charge to procure all needed materials, parts, resources and components at the right quantity, time, quality, cost and at the proper location Production carrying out all internal and external production tasks of parts and components Final assembly delivering the final product Customer service including all post-sales support activities THE ROLE OF TXT NEXT TXT NEXT has developed a deep experience in so-called complex manufacturing, mainly in the aerospace & defence industry. While many vendors can provide specialized software tools, TXT is among the few providers of solutions integrating proprietary and third-party software tools, highly specialized custom solutions, as well as field-proven methodologies and consulting capabilities. Several references from leading enterprises can demonstrate TXT NEXT capabilities. 5

6 SUPPORTING THE ENGINEERING DEPARTMENT THE CONTEXT The role of collaboration in Digital Manufacturing The essence of a Digital Manufacturing approach in the design phase is collaboration. An effective collaboration allows to break the company silos of knowledge and expertise so to collect valuable information in order to anticipate issues in subsequent phases. The activities of the Engineering Department are no longer strictly related to the design of products according to the goals of desired form and function. Especially under a Digital Manufacturing paradigm, the maximum part of product related features is to be considered and anticipated in the Engineering phase of the product lifecycle, including: Design to Cost considering the goal of costs and margins for the final product Design to Manufacturing Capabilities taking into account how to manufacture the product in different production sites worldwide, possibly with different technologies, processes and manpower skills Design to Assembly/Disassembly considering issues related to assembly and/or disassembly the product (e.g. to create assembly kits or to distribute products for final assembly at customer site) Design to Maintain taking into account product inspections, component replacements, in order to facilitate product maintenance Design to Recycle considering all issues related to product decommissioning, dismounting, disposal and recycle. A fundamental support to the Engineering phase comes from tools like PDM (Product Data Management), PLM (Product Lifecycle Management), MDM (Master Data Management) CAD 2D/3D, FEM/FEA (Finite Element Modeling & Analysis) and simulation tools. However, the essence of a Digital Manufacturing approach in this phase is collaboration. Breaking the company silos of knowledge and expertise, it is only through an effective collaboration that, for instance, the Engineering Department can learn about ergonomic issues for component mounting activities from the shop floor or about component failure rates from the customer service. 6

7 TXT NEXT KEY OFFERING Collaboration tools and knowledge management solutions are the main contributions that TXT NEXT can bring to the Engineering Department. Companies in the complex manufacturing market segment heavily rely on large PDM/PLM solutions complemented by specialized solutions for 3D, design analysis and simulation. Their Engineering Departments, however, are typically seen as separate entities by the other company functions and departments. TXT NEXT has the experience and capabilities to help Engineering Department to effectively connect and cooperate with other company functions. Indeed, information has to flow in both directions under the right control: while the Engineering Department needs, for instance, to know the data about quality tests in production in order to improve the design of new, similar products, at the same time the Production and the Final Assembly Departments might be interested to influence the design of new products, taking into account, for instance, a standardization of working processes or specific plant capabilities. The SW application that support this flow has to guarantee the right control in both directions (i.e. warning on in progress activities modifications or Non Conformances workflow management till engineering department). TXT NEXT joins a technical expertise and proprietary solutions in the area of collaboration and knowledge management tools with an extended know-how of needs, solutions and trends in the other company departments. 7

8 REFERENCES & CASE HISTORIES AgustaWestland FAST The overall goal of the FAST program of AgustaWestland is to provide the company with a comprehensive, effective set of tools to manage the industrialization, production and assembly of helicopters according to a digital manufacturing paradigm. The TXT NEXT solution allows design engineers to collaborate with manufacturing engineers, in order to manage design and configuration change management activities. FAST applications allow to reduce efforts and lead time related to the management of change requests, configuration control and update of technical documentation. The user interface is completely web-based and integrates graphical environments (CADRA, 3D-VIA Composer). FAST applications are progressively made available at the company plants of Vergiate, Philadelphia, Yeovil (UK), Brindisi. Daimler Truck Engine Design Testing In the Daimler Truck Engine Division, new product developments are accompanied by intensive and highly sophisticated tests. The design of a new part drives a prototyping phase in which the product sample needs to be tested under real conditions. Design engineers generate a test order including a number of measurements and assessments to be carried out on the new part. Integrated with the group Product Data Management system and Warehouse Management systems, TXT has developed an end-to-end order management solution that supports the whole lifecycle of test orders. The users of the system are design engineers, the order management office, fitters and testers for a total of over 400 professionals. The TXT solution allows managing materials ID and serial numbers, as well as their modification along the assembly and testing cycles, for a complete traceability. The solutions also supports the comparison of initial testing orders placed by design engineers with actual measurements and testing results. It enables people and offices involved in the process to interact in real-time through an enhanced information sharing by rapidly exchanging structured and unstructured messages such as s and allows for an effective coordination among design engineers and materials suppliers, assembly and testing operations. 8

9 SUPPORTING THE MANUFACTURING ENGINEERING DEPARTMENT THE CONTEXT The Manufacturing Engineering Department is in charge of fulfilling the gap between product design and the manufacturing process. The output of the design phase a complete description of the product structure, form and features is to be match against manufacturing issues in the specific company context. The best suited production processes, among those mastered by the company, are to be selected and specific production flows are to be designed in order to define how the product is to be made in detail. The E-BOM (Engineering Bill of Material) defined in the Engineering phase is enriched and possibly partially modified to take into account the specific production process (e.g. considering additional or phantom nodes to model specific work-in-progress states or components), leading to the M-BOM (Manufacturing Bill of Material), that is a manufacturing view of the components making the final product up. That is not enough: the Manufacturing Engineering Dept. is in charge to determine the sequence of manufacturing and assembly operations required to build the product. In particular, the process planning activity has to define the operational sequences (work cycles, operations, work center routings, required materials, tooling, manpower skills, standard operation times etc.) and detailed work instructions (textual descriptions, manufacturing drawings, standards to apply, quality checkpoints, dimensional and process parameters etc.). In such a complex manufacturing business the Configuration Management or Change Management needs a specific approach to guarantee the continuous modification/improvement on the final product. A fundamental support for these tasks comes from CAPP (Computer-Aided Process Planning) applications and from proper extensions of PDM/PLM and MDM applications. 9

10 TXT NEXT KEY OFFERING The TXT NEXT contribution A wide range of specialized, web-based solutions to easily create, manage, distribute manufacturing process data, including powerful multimedia contents. Many of the most significant experiences of TXT NEXT were devoted to fulfill the needs of the Manufacturing Engineering Departments of large companies in the complex manufacturing sector, like AgustaWestland and Alenia Aermacchi. Capitalizing on these experiences, TXT NEXT is able to deliver specialized CAPP solutions, effective manufacturing process and operational database systems. In addition to that, the combination of application know-how in the area and advanced software development capabilities allows TXT NEXT to offer effective ad hoc solutions on behalf of its Clients, in order to cover specific requirements while granting a seamless integration with the enterprise backbone applications like PDM/PLM and ERP. REFERENCES & CASE HISTORIES AgustaWestland CAPP Through the CAPP application from TXT NEXT, the manufacturing engineers of AgustaWestland generate optimized work cycles with associated additional information i.e. routings, tooling, work instructions, drawings for the production of transmission gears and other mechanical components of the company range of helicopters for the production sites of Yeovil (UK), Frosinone, Cascina Costa and Vergiate. AgustaWestland FAST The FAST program of AgustaWestland is intended to provide the company with a comprehensive, effective set of tools to manage the industrialization, production and assembly of helicopters according to a digital manufacturing paradigm. The TXT NEXT solution allows manufacturing engineers to manage new drawings from the engineering department, analyze their impact on existing configurations, create or update the technical specification documents and job cards. 10

11 FAST applications allow to reduce efforts and lead time related to the management of change requests and to efficiently manage non-recurrent industrialization activities, through integrated workflow management, task assignment and monitoring features, including extensive operation reporting capabilities based on BI tools. The user interface is completely web-based and integrates graphical environments (CADRA, 3D-VIA Composer). FAST applications are progressively made available at the company plants of Vergiate, Philadelphia, Yeovil (UK), Brindisi, Swidnik (PZL), Tessera. Alenia Aermacchi DBT Alenia Aermacchi is a first-tier supplier of Boeing for the production of the new 787 Dreamliner. In fact, Alenia is in charge of producing two fuselage sections and the horizontal tails of the 787 Dreamliner in its plants of Grottaglie and Foggia. These large components are made in carbon-fiber according to a very innovative technology. TXT NEXT supports that process with its DBT (Data Base Technological) application, a solution managing the technological database of production cycles and production tracking information. Through a web-based interface, Alenia engineers of the manufacturing engineering department, in cooperation with Boeing technical services, create and maintain detailed production cycles including tooling, drawings and other multimedia information that are applied in production activities. Process parameters and production related information are then collected and linked to production cycles, to be used as production tracking data. 11

12 Alenia Aermacchi JSF Alenia Aermacchi is partnering with Lockheed Martin for the final assembly of the F-35 Lighting II (also known as the Joint Strike Fighter JSF) airplanes for the Italian Air Forces, as well as acting as a second source producer for the aircraft wing. The final assembly and wing production will be carried out in the new Alenia plant of Cameri. Wing production is accomplished through cycles created and certified by Alenia engineers according to Lockheed Martin specifications. Cycle operations include tasks for the collection of process and production parameters and component serial numbers. The shop-floor application of TXT NEXT include features for the proper exchange of parameter definitions with the PLM application, the in-process collection of data and their communication back to PLM, to enable the construction of the as-built information. AgustaWestland Multimedia Assembly Routing Following specific requirements of AgustaWestland, TXT NEXT has developed a web-based system to support the operators activities on job orders with multiple, multimedia information. Manufacturing engineers can easily associate different multimedia information e.g. 2D/3D drawings, textual instructions, movies, mounting schemas, tooling information etc. to job orders. 12

13 SUPPORTING THE PLANNING DEPARTMENT THE CONTEXT The fulfillment of the customer demand requires accurate planning activities in order to coordinate all procurement, production, assembly and delivery operations. On the basis of actual customer orders or of a demand forecast, the Planning Department has to develop an ESCM (Extended Supply Chain Management) that include in an unique process the MPS (Master Production Schedule) and the MRP/DRP (Manufacturing/Distribute Resource Planning) in order to determine the right quantity and timing for the procurement of components and materials needed to match the timequantity-location targets for final products, taking into account the reference work cycles for production and assembly operations. The planning task has to consider all the possible constrains (e.g. capability, resource availability, incompatible procurement or production lead-times and so on) and leveraging on available degrees of freedom of the manufacturing environment (such as adding additional resources, increasing working hours, outsourcing, paying a premium to suppliers) reach an acceptable plan (matching at best customer demand with capabilities, costs and margins). The resulting MPS becomes a reference target for all subsequent manufacturing and procurement activities. The updated feedback from the actual manufacturing and procurement allows to periodical refinment of the current plans: the more accurate the available information from the shop floor and from the Procurement Department is, the more effective the planning activity can be. The Planning Department is typically also in charge of supporting the definition of standard industrial costs in collaboration with the Administration, Finance & Control Department as well as of analyzing actual cost statements as collected during the production and assembly phases. 13

14 TXT NEXT KEY OFFERING The TXT NEXT contribution A proprietary suite of software products to support the planning process combined with a deep, extended knowledge on the whole planning process. TXT is a leading player in the planning area. Its proprietary suite TXT PERFORM comprises: CDMi (Collaborative Demand Management & Intelligence) a sophisticated tool for demand planning & forecasting; TXTPLAN, devoted to production procurement distribution planning and inventory optimization; TXTMAKE, a specialized tool for scheduling and short-term planning and shop floor optimization. CDMi and TXTPLAN have dozens of successful references in several industry segments, but the most important asset of TXT NEXT is its competence on the whole planning process. TXT consultants are able to support customers in defining, modeling, configuring, tuning and supporting their specific planning processes. The tight integration of the TXT solutions with the corporate ERP and with the execution phases of the manufacturing and procurement activities (in particular, when supported by TXT tools), allows the Planning Department to easily get the feedbacks needed to refine planning as well as to collect the required data for cost analysis and reporting. REFERENCES & CASE HISTORIES Alenia Aermacchi PA/OPS Alenia Aermacchi is a first-tier supplier of Boeing for the production of the new 787 Dreamliner. In its plant in Grottaglie, Alenia is in charge of the production of two fuselage sections made in carbon-fiber according to a very innovative process technology and of the assembly of components (e.g. internal floors) in order to deliver sections ready for the airplane final assembly. TXT NEXT supports the planning process with its OPS application, a finite capacity scheduling tool that, considering customer orders, production cycles and related constraints, is able to propose an optimized time schedule of sections to be produced. Through OPS, Alenia planning managers are able to define production plans, simulate the effects of changes of constrains and context, manually adjust the plans according to their knowledge of the overall context and publish plans in order to use them as a reference for shop-floor management applications. 14

15 Oto Melara Planning system Customers opinion This project has truly encompassed the whole company: our experience, our way of thinking and planning and the results are more than satisfactory. We have established an excellent collaboration with TXT, where I met people who are very professionally prepared. The solution is based on solid theory and a solid culture. Massimo Bianchi, Program Management Oto Melara Oto Melara is a company of the Finmeccanica Group with more than 1,300 employees. The company operates two plants, serving the Italian armed forces with ground systems and producing naval systems for more than 50 navies around the world. Oto Melara has to face complexity not only at product level but also at supply chain level, with sales in five continents and 75% of components from suppliers based in Europe and US. The solution from TXT NEXT based on TXTPLAN and TXTMAKE proprietary products focuses on long-term planning (through TXTPLAN) and on short-term planning & scheduling (through TXTMAKE). Long-term planning capabilities, carried out with a five-year time span and at product family level, allow planners to simulate orders, workloads, product mix, take effective make-or-buy decisions and elaborate feasible MPS. On the short-term, plant managers are able to assign resource workloads, generating an optimized, feasible short/medium term plan that considers current constraints and shop floor progress. AgustaWestland FAST Planning The TXT NEXT solution allows plant managers to efficiently manage customer orders with tail number specific configurations. The application allows to reduce efforts and lead time related to the management of customer orders, supporting the preparation of the Master Index proposal for the configured helicopter, including a technical sequence check (e.g. to assure a feasible assembly sequence of custom components as required by the specific tail number configuration). The released Master Index sequence is then processed by an integrated planning system in order to derive an optimized working schedule, according to available resources and constraints. 15

16 Messier-Dowty S&OP Messier-Dowty part of the Safran Group is the worldwide leader for the design, development, production and support of landing gears. It supplies 22 manufacturers and supports 2000 operators for civil, regional, business aviation and military services of aircraft and helicopters. Messier-Dowty has developed a company-wide Sales & Operations Planning (S&OP) solution applying the proprietary TXTPERFORM suite from TXT. The solution combines independent demand planning focused on determining the most accurate forecast for all types of demand (OEM, spare parts, retrofits) with a mid-long term assembly and production planning focused on determining the internal and external load of resources over time required to fulfill the expected demand. The overall, combined information allows the establishment of a formal validation process of sales & operation planning: all involved actors from different company functions (e.g. sales, planning, assembly & production departments) can interact on the basis on a unified, global vision and take consistent business decisions (e.g. capacity changes, inter-site balancing, anticipating or delaying production), also supported by simulation features. Brembo Production and Distribution Planning Brembo is an international group producing braking system components, with 36 production sites in 12 countries of three continents. On behalf of Brembo, TXT has developed a solution in order to derive optimal production and distribution plans: the goal is to find the best production plants and warehouses in order to satisfy the demand of customers along the complex company distribution network, with the best cost ratio, taking into account production, transportation, stock keeping and purchasing costs. Based on the proprietary TXTPERFORM suite, the solution combines demand planning and forecasting capabilities with sophisticated production and distribution planning optimization features. 16

17 SUPPORTING THE PROCUREMENT DEPARTMENT THE CONTEXT The production objectives defined by the MPS can only be reached if the required components and materials can be procured in the right quantity, at the right time and made available at the right manufacturing site. The Procurement Department is in charge of reaching that goal, of course with the additional task to get the best costs and economic conditions. Suppliers are to be considered as fundamental partners of any company. In the complex manufacturing context, that is even more evident. In fact, purchase components and outsourced manufacturing operations (production and/or subassembly) might be very critical to get the targets of quality and availability for final products. Therefore, an effective relationship with suppliers must rely on a tight collaboration, which in turn requires an easy-to-use communication channel for frequent, formal as well as informal interactions. An accurate supplier rating, taking into account multiple parameters, is essential for any Procurement Department. TXT NEXT KEY OFFERING The proprietary suite TXTPERFORM includes TXTCHAIN, a webbased platform for advanced supplier relationship management (SRM). TXTCHAIN includes ERP-to-ERP communication, frame contract management, purchase order negotiation, order tracking, outsourced production tracking and WIP management, document exchange management, supplier rating. 17

18 REFERENCES & CASE HISTORIES AgustaWestland FAST JV The FAST program of AgustaWestland has been developed to provide the company with a comprehensive, effective set of tools to manage the industrialization, production and assembly of helicopters according to a digital manufacturing paradigm. The related FAST JV ( Joint-Venture ) program is specifically intended to extend the capabilities of the FAST applications to the collaboration with external partners and joint-venture companies, while keeping the full control over sensitive, proprietary technical documentation, information and know-how. The FAST JV application allow to share technical data Master Indexes and job cards in an easy, controlled way with AgustaWestland partners outside the company. Master Indexes and job cards for specific tail number configurations are created and managed through the master FAST applications of Agusta- Westland and selectively copied in an AgustaWestland FAST JV area that is kept synchronized with the partner FAST JV area. The user of the partner FAST JV application can then access the avaible technical data and declare their progresses, which are communicated back to the AgustaWestland FAST JV application. The user interface is completely web-based and may integrate graphical environments (CADRA, 3D-VIA Composer). The FAST JV application is being progressively extended to the AgustaWestland partner collaborations and joint-ventures, e.g. in China. Dana Corporation Web Supplier Management Dana Corporation is a world leader in the supply of driveline products (axles, drive shafts, and transmissions), power technologies (sealing and thermal-management products), and genuine service parts for light and heavy-duty vehicle manufacturers. For the Client s Italian subsidiary, TXT has developed a web-based solution to accomplish a collaborative planning with its main suppliers, so to allow a better sharing and collaboration on the definition of mid-term purchasing plans and to timely manage delivery issues and exceptions. The solution involves four plants and about fifty suppliers. 18

19 Semikron Supplier Collaboration Semikron is a leading power electronics manufacturer. It is the market leader in the field of diode/thyristor semiconductor modules, with a 30% share of the worldwide market. Semikron technology can be found in almost half the wind power installations operating worldwide today. With headquarter in Germany and production sites in 10 countries worldwide, the company has to manage a complex supply chain, with a wide network of suppliers. Semikron has adopted TXTCHAIN part of the proprietary TXTPERFORM suite from TXT for the management of all processes involving suppliers. Through the TXTCHAIN web platform, users can negotiate quantities and deliveries with suppliers, agree on contracts, monitor the status of deliveries, evaluate the performances of suppliers. On the other hand, suppliers have complete visibility over their orders, can notify the progress status of supplies and share relevant documents. The system automatically identifies critical issues, helping all participants to find the fastest resolution. Today Semikron is handling the majority of its purchases with TXTCHAIN. 19

20 SUPPORTING THE PRODUCTION DEPARTMENT THE CONTEXT Most companies in the Complex Manufacturing segment carry out some fabrication activities internally. Even in presence of extended outsourcing, companies often rely on internal capabilities for the production of specific components or parts. Typically, they have kept internal production capabilities in those areas in which they have developed a specific expertise or where they have historically invested in particular production processes and technologies. The interconnected business environment in which these companies operate, for instance in the Aerospace & Defence sector, implies a situation in which some companies are suppliers of others and vice versa, each capitalizing on their specific production strengths. Having the full control of the manufacturing execution activities as well as of the production environments i.e. machineries and processes is essential for any Production Department. The support of an advanced Manufacturing Execution System (MES), is therefore fundamental. Basically, a MES is in charge of managing the following information flows from/to the Production Department and the other company departments: Production capability information what is available to be used in production (e.g. machines, working centers, resources etc.) Product definition information how to make a product (e.g. working instructions, cycles, part programs etc.) Production schedule what to make, when and with which resources Production performance what has been made and with which materials The sophisticated requirements of a complex manufacturing environment can only be fulfilled by MES solutions able to fully cover production, quality, maintenance and inventory management processes. 20

21 TXT NEXT KEY OFFERING The Manufacturing SOA paradigm TXT NEXT adopts a manufacturing SOA paradigm for its MES solutions, based on a open SOA-based infrastructure and the interaction of proprietary and third-party functional modules. Adopting customers are able to grow and evolve their MES solutions, over time, coherently with their business drivers and investment capabilities, capitalizing on past investments. One of the main issues of the current market offering of MES applications is their monolithic architecture, that is a major obstacle for customers both to tailor solutions to their exact needs and to let them evolve in time according to their business dynamics. In order to overcome these limitations, TXT NEXT proposes to adopt a manufacturing SOA paradigm, based on a open backbone infrastructure (an event-driven communication middleware), with modeling and orchestrating capabilities: modeling means the capability to describe the underlying production processes and environment; orchestration is the ability to dynamically coordinate and control the overall process as described in the model, managing the interactions between functional components according to the production environment status. This approach allows to design MES applications from clear functional specifications through the composition and orchestration of services provided by several different application modules, both proprietary and from third-parties. TXT NEXT has developed several proprietary MES modules which distill its long-lasting experiences in the complex manufacturing environment on specific application needs. They have grown from the requirements of leading companies in that segment, mainly in the Aerospace & Defence sector, and incorporated the experiences and know-how coming from several large project in the area. Distinctive elements of the TXT approach to MES solutions are: Modularity solutions can grow and evolve over time, following customers business requirements and preserving their investments Knowledgeable the solution design process is such to deliver well documented applications, with a clear definition of included proprietary, distinguishing know-how and processes Completeness the solution covers all business processes, including detailed scheduling (usually not covered by other MES vendors) and advanced analytics & reporting capabilities (through the availability of proprietary and third-party BI & Reporting solutions) 21

22 Seamless integration it is easily integrated with SAP and other leading ERP, as well as with leading PLM/PDM applications Openness its open architecture allows for an easy integration with third party applications, in order to cover specific processes or functionalities REFERENCES & CASE HISTORIES Alenia Aermacchi Grottaglie Plant Automation Alenia Aermacchi is a first-tier supplier of Boeing for the new 787 Dreamliner. In its plant in Grottaglie, Alenia is in charge of the production of two carbon-fiber fuselage sections (barrels) and of the assembly of components (e.g. internal floors) in order to deliver sections ready for the airplane final assembly. The overall process adopt very innovative solutions, due to the large size of the carbon-fiber barrels (approx. 8,5x5,7 and 10x5,7 mt.). Barrels are formed in a special plant section (the clean room ) and stabilized in the autoclaves (at given pressure-temperature cycles). Barrels are then subject to cutting (e.g. window and door cutting) and finishing operations in several automated cells. Subsequent component mounting and assembly operations are carried out in several specialized assembly stations so to transform naked barrels into fuselage sections ready for final assembly at Boeing facilities. An automated system based on AGVs transfers the barrels between cells in the plant. TXT NEXT provides the production management system connecting the ERP and PLM levels with the shop-floor and supports the production activities through the Plant Automation (PA) application, developed in collaboration with other partners, which dispatches, supervises and monitors all operators activities in the plant cells and manages the automated moving line connecting them. Through the PA application, Alenia operators in the shop floor can see, select, execute and certify each phase of the complex production cycles, while the AGV-based moving line provide the optimized transfer of barrels between cells according to proper efficiency criteria. 22

23 Alenia Aermacchi PMS/SIPRO TXT NEXT has developed PMS/SISPRO, a production management system that has been adopted by Alenia Aermacchi as a standard in all its production sites. PMS/SISPRO connects enterprise ERP and PLM applications with the shop floor and manages the proper execution of production orders on the plant. The system provides the needed tools on behalf of: shift managers, to launch and assign work orders; operators, to select, see related work instructions, execute and check out their assigned job orders; quality operators, to execute their specific tasks. Moreover, PMS/SISPRO collects and organizes performed work and labor information for cost accounting. Dema Plant Management Dema is an Italian company acting as a first-tier supplier of components and complex sub-systems for the aerospace sector. TXT NEXT has provided Dema with a specialized Manufacturing Operations Management system, in order to manage and support all its production activities and to provide a comprehensive reporting system in a fully integrated way. Through the system, plant managers can upload and manage routing data, load and assign working orders, track production and workforce; operators can declare the progress on work orders; quality operators can manage exceptions. The system provides operational reporting and analytics through business intelligence (BI) tools. 23

24 SUPPORTING THE FINAL ASSEMBLY DEPARTMENT THE CONTEXT End-items of a complex manufacturing activity are highly complicated products: airplanes, helicopters, excavators, industrial vehicles, and so on. The final assembly process is an awkward activity, typically with a high level of manual work, bringing together thousands of parts and components, produced both internally and by multiple suppliers, where each component is possibly subject to engineering changes. Fundamental needs of the final assembly process are: Granting that operators carry out the assembly tasks in the correct way, according the updated instructions from the Manufacturing Engineering Department; Assuring that assembly operations, parts and components are aligned with the latest updates and changes from the Engineering Department; Documenting how the end item has been assembled, for customer and/or public authority (e.g. the Federal Aviation Administration FAA) references, e.g. through the maintenance of the as-built information (that is, a version of the M-BOM for the specific end-item, including the information of part serial numbers, collected in-process measures, process parameters and so on). The support to a paperless working environment (or, at least, a working environment with less paper ) is altogether important in that context. It is more that the automated construction of the required end-item documentation: indeed, the most important aspect of a paperless environment is its capability to reinforce and empower the respect of working instructions and procedures. The fact that operators can access and confirm to have read through a proper user interface the most updated working instructions, assembly drawings and other information directly related to the work they are carrying out at that moment, collect and contextually record process parameters, declare and manage possible non-compliances when detected all at real time is a way to reduce possible errors and omissions. 24

25 TXT NEXT KEY OFFERING The paperless paradigm A paperless approach in assembly and production processes implies more than supporting business processes without the support of papers. Indeed, it is related to empowering operators by providing them with updated, checked, pertinent information where and when needed, collecting process information at real-time, creating validated process documentation. All that is about quality, flexibility, control not just ecology. TXT NEXT solutions thoroughly support the paperless paradigm. The TXT NEXT experience in the field has grown in the most challenging segment, Aerospace & Defence, where the final product complexity, the tight connection required with the Engineering and Manufacturing Engineering Departments to grant the consistency of design, procedures, working instructions, cycles, the management of engineering changes, and non-compliances, the regulatory requirements for data recording and documentation are at top level. Following these experiences, in particular in Westland-Agust and Alenia Aermacchi, TXT NEXT has developed a version of its proprietary MES solution that is highly specialized to support complex assembly operations in tight connections with PDM/ PLM and ERP. The main features of the solution include the sophisticated tools to support complex assembly cycles with a high level of manual operations, the full support of online working instructions and drawing, the adherence to tight regulatory compliance procedures and an extended support to paperless processes and procedures. REFERENCES & CASE HISTORIES AgustaWestland FAST AgustaWestland has undertaken the FAST program with the goal to provide the company with a comprehensive, effective set of tools to manage the industrialization, production and assembly of helicopters according to a digital manufacturing paradigm. The TXT NEXT solution allows plant managers to efficiently manage customer orders with specific tail number configurations. FAST applications allow to reduce efforts and lead time related to the management of customer orders, supporting the preparation of the Master Index proposal for the configured helicopter, with the verification of the proper technical sequence (e.g. to assure a feasible assembly sequence of custom components as required by the specific tail number configuration). Shop floor operators can navigate through their assigned job cards, access related technical documentation and graphical aids and declare their progress. Plant managers can in turn oversee and control the work-in-progress status and carry out extensive analyses through available operation reporting capabilities based on BI tools. 25

26 The user interface is completely web-based and integrates graphical environments (CADRA, 3D-VIA Composer). FAST applications are progressively made available at the company plants of Vergiate, Philadelphia, Yeovil (UK), Brindisi, Swidnik (PZL), Tessera. Alenia Aermacchi PMS/SISCAM TXT NEXT has developed PMS/SISCAM, a specialized production management system that has been adopted by Alenia Aermacchi as a standard in its assembly sites. PMS/SISCAM connects enterprise ERP and PLM applications with the shop floor and manages the proper execution of job order on the plant. It provides the needed tools on behalf of: shift managers to launch and assign assembly orders; operators to select, see related work instructions, execute and check out their assigned job orders; quality operators to execute their specific tasks. Moreover, the PMS/SISCAM collects and organizes performed work and labor information for cost accounting. Alenia Aermacchi Grottaglie Plant Automation Alenia Aermacchi is a first-tier supplier of Boeing for the new 787 Dreamliner. In its plant in Grottaglie, Alenia is in charge of the production of two carbon-fiber fuselage sections (barrels) and of the assembly of components (e.g. internal floors) in order to deliver sections ready for the airplane final assembly. Component mounting and assembly operations are carried out on barrels in several specialized assembly stations so to transform naked barrels into fuselage sections ready for final assembly at Boeing facilities. An automated system based on AGVs transfer barrels between cells of the plant. TXT NEXT provides the production management system connecting ERP and PLM level with the shop-floor and supports the assembly activities through the Plant Automation (PA) application, developed in collaboration with other partners, which dispatches, supervises and monitors all operators activities in the assembly cells and manages the automated moving line connecting them. Through the PA application, Alenia operators in the shop floor can see, select, execute and certify each phase of the complex production cycles, while the AGV-based moving line provide the optimized transfer of barrels between cells according to proper efficiency criteria. 26

27 AgustaWestland Multimedia Assembly Routing Following specific requirements of AgustaWestland, TXT NEXT has developed a web-based system to support the operators activities on job orders with multiple, multimedia information. Operators can easily access to several different multimedia information e.g. 2D/3D drawings, textual instructions, movies, mounting schemes, tooling information etc. associated to job orders, by simply using a barcode reader on printed orders. 27

28 SUPPORTING THE CUSTOMER SERVICE DEPARTMENT THE CONTEXT The new role of Customer Support Departments Customer Support Departments are increasingly called to complement final products with additional tools and services to support products in their operating life. The new pay-per-use model Complex products (e.g. helicopters) are increasingly sold by operating hours and not as assets for final users. Customer Support Departments. are called to support this new business scenario. The final products from complex manufacturing operations are highly complex items requiring specialized maintenance and support tasks by the final customer: think, for instance, of commercial and combat airplanes and helicopters. The manufacturer is requested to provide its customers with all needed information and supporting tools to efficiently accomplish these tasks. The Customer Service Department is in charge of providing the required support and maintenance services. In order to accomplish its tasks in an efficient, profitable way, the Customer Service Department needs tools to access and manage the product-related information (e.g. the as-built BOM and the maintenance BOM a specialized product view for maintenance activities), specialized maintenance tools (e.g. based on sophisticated models of product behaviors under defined operating conditions) as well as tools to support the interactions with customers and final users (e.g. trouble ticketing, SLA management tools, support cost accounting). Typical of the complex manufacturing business scenario in particular in the aerospace & defence industry is the need to increase the offering portfolio complementing the final product with additional resources and services in order to support its operating usage, such as operating data collection systems, maintenance training tools and mission planning tools. Therefore the Customer Service Department is also involved both in the development and in the support of these additional resources and services. Finally, there is an emerging trend that impacts on the business scenario for customer support activities, namely the shift of the utilization paradigm towards a pay per-use model. For instance, final users like Fire Departments or Medical Emergency Services would not buy helicopters any longer, but rather flight hours in a given configuration (e.g. medical assistance, firefighting, mountain rescue). In that case, the helicopter remains an asset of its manufacturer, which operates a different business model (selling a service rather than selling a product). As a consequence, well suited supporting tools are required on behalf of the manufacturer itself. 28

29 TXT NEXT KEY OFFERING TXT NEXT is able to integrate proprietary and third-party solutions to sophisticated environments to support the activities of Customer Services Departments called to support complex products. In addition, TXT can support Customer Service Departments in their activities devoted to develop operation supporting systems and tools on behalf of final customers. The main differentiating points of the TXT NEXT offering are: Knowledge management solutions allowing Customer support services to easily navigate in the existing product support know-how; Analysis and development capabilities both for software solutions and for embedded systems on behalf of Customer Service Departments in charge of complementing final products with additional resources and services; Web-based portals for an easy interaction with customers and final users. REFERENCES & CASE HISTORIES AgustaWestland Logistic Ground Station TXT NEXT collaborates with the Customer Support Team of AgustaWestland for the development of the so-called Logistic Ground Station system for its helicopters. The system comprises a ground system to collect operating data from the aircraft (e.g. flight parameters, subsystem failures and operating data): data are then elaborated, providing information on behalf of maintenance personnel and of logistic persons in charge of providing spare parts and other maintenance materials. AgustaWestland Maintenance training TXT NEXT has contributed to the development of the Maintenance Training system, developed by the Agusta Westland Customer Support Service as a tool to support final customers in their maintenance training activities. The system comprises 3D virtual training tours for specific aircrafts as an additional training support for maintenance personnel as well as the capability to complement real helicopters with specific software applications in order to simulate scenarios requiring maintenance interventions. 29

30 AgustaWestland Mission planning The mission planning system from AgustaWestland is a typical example of additional resources that manufacturers of complex products are developing as an added-value around their products. It allows planning all the details related to an operating mission, such as routing and for military missions weapon load, possible enemy threats and so on. TXT NEXT has contributed to the project as a leading development partner. 30

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