Another engineering area highly dependent upon a well-defined Technical Data Package (TDP) is the creation of in-process inspection plans and manufacturing process plans.
DISCUS Desktop enables you to take a TDP and quickly create a consolidated master list of requirements (i.e., the Bill of Characteristics) for the finished part. The DISCUS Planner add-on module adds rich functionality to enable you to assign characteristics to operations, create in-process characteristics for operations, and develop operation-specific process illustrations. DISCUS Planner operates as follows:
- You start using DISCUS in the same fashion as used for ballooning of the final part drawing – that is, opening the drawing, dropping balloons, snapping rectangles, etc.
- DISCUS Planner adds user interface elements to manage characteristics for each operation in the routing. For example, DISCUS Planner adds a panel for the part routing, operation details, work instructions, etc.
- You then assign characteristics to specific operations, even changing the characteristic requirements at a specific operation. As needed, you may create in-process characteristics for an operation that don’t appear on the final drawing. You can create operation-specific illustrations of the ballooned part.
- When you’re done ballooning, you can export ballooned drawings and inspection characteristics specific to each operation. In addition, if you’re using DISCUS Planner for process planning, you can export the entire package – work instructions, process illustrations, and inspection characteristics – to a richly formatted process plan.
The primary output from DISCUS Planner is a structured and fully completed set of manufacturing planning documentation. This includes a summary routing – and for each operation – the work instructions, inspection sheets, and process illustrations. In addition to these primary features, DISCUS Planner automatically generates an operations analysis for the user to indicate characteristics where-used and “delta” values by operation. This helps to reduce errors by ensuring that all characteristics are addressed during the specific manufacturing steps. The use of DISCUS Planner has reduced the time involved in creating manufacturing planning documentation by upwards of 50%.