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Ramp Technology and Intelligent Processing in Small ManufacturingTo address the issues of excessive inventories and increasing procurement lead times, the Navy is actively pursuing flexible computer integrated manufacturing (FCIM) technologies, integrated by communication networks to respond rapidly to its requirements for parts. The Rapid Acquisition of Manufactured Parts (RAMP) program, initiated in 1986, is an integral part of this effort. The RAMP program's goal is to reduce the current average production lead times experienced by the Navy's inventory control points by a factor of 90 percent. The manufacturing engineering component of the RAMP architecture utilizes an intelligent processing technology built around a knowledge-based shell provided by ICAD, Inc. Rules and data bases in the software simulate an expert manufacturing planner's knowledge of shop processes and equipment. This expert system can use Product Data Exchange using STEP (PDES) data to determine what features the required part has, what material is required to manufacture it, what machines and tools are needed, and how the part should be held (fixtured) for machining, among other factors. The program's rule base then indicates, for example, how to make each feature, in what order to make it, and to which machines on the shop floor the part should be routed for processing. This information becomes part of the shop work order. The process planning function under RAMP greatly reduces the time and effort required to complete a process plan. Since the PDES file that drives the intelligent processing is 100 percent complete and accurate to start with, the potential for costly errors is greatly diminished.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Rentz, Richard E.
(South Carolina Research Authority. Charleston SC, United States)
Date Acquired
September 6, 2013
Publication Date
April 1, 1992
Publication Information
Publication: NASA, Washington, The Federal Conference on Intelligent Processing Equipment
Subject Category
Engineering (General)
Accession Number
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
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