Configuration control is the organisation, management and tracking of product data throughout the lifecycle (e.g. design, analysis, manufacturing, testing, maintenance). It enables the product owner and others to trace the status of products, assemblies, modules and parts at particular moments in time or for particular deliveries.
Within IDEaliSM, configuration control is provided as part of the project’s Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) system, which is the EDMopenSimDM application from Jotne EPM Technology, a Norwegian SME. In the example shown below, IDEC, an SME based in Spain specialising in the manufacture of out of autoclave advanced composites, demonstrates how they are applying EDMopenSimDM for the configuration control of their products. It shows the application of configuration control for one product, from the initial design through two further design iterations, one resulting from an internal change and the second resulting from an external change (customer request).
The Tier 2 Design Department designs the 3D geometry of the part in a CATPart based on Tier 1 inputs, generating the 3D_v1.CATPart.
The Stress Department analyses the new design with a Finite Element Model (FEM), FEM_v1.db. An igs file, 3D_v1.igs, is generated from the 3D_v1.CATPart as input requirement for the FEM.
The MInst_v1.ppt Moulding Instructions are prepared for the Manufacturing Department. With this information the Manufacturing Department starts manufacturing the part S/N 01. They continue manufacturing part S/N 02, S/N 03… The documentation applied during this effectiveness is shown in figure 2_PLM_SN01_05_v2.
After manufacturing the part S/N 05, the Stress Department receives the results of the material characterization tests. In consequence, the Stress Department updates the FEM, generating the FEM_v2.db. This update includes a new stacking sequence optimization, generating an internal modification.
Due to the stacking sequence optimization, a new version of the Moulding Instructions is required, MInst_v2.ppt, to communicate the modification to the Manufacturing Department, which starts manufacturing the part S/N 06 with the new stacking sequence. However, the thicknesses are maintained equal and it is not needed to update neither the CATPart nor the igs file. The documentation applied during this effectiveness is shown in figure 3_PLM_SN06_07_v2.
After manufacturing part S/N 07, the customer (Tier 1) announces a new modification. In this case it consists in a small change in a stage position, which requires updating the Design and Manufacturing documentation. Hence, 3D_v2.CATPart is generated and the modifications are communicated to the Manufacturing Department with MInst_v3.ppt.
The Analysis documentation should not be updated, as it is a minor change that does not affect the FEM.
The Manufacturing Department continues the production with the new configuration in the part S/N 08, S/N 09, S/N 10…Right now they are manufacturing the part S/N 20 with the same documentation and they will continue using it until a new modification arises. The documentation applied during this effectiveness is shown in figure 5_PLM_SN08_20_v2.