Implementation of the RuleSoft Pilot Project consists of 3 major areas:
- Product Knowledge requirements
- Software requirements
- Hardware requirements
The above 3 items will be described in greater details throughout this document.
Product Knowledge requirements
CAD software is used to design products with varying variability, in a range typically described on a five-point scale: (module classification)
• Standard Products like electrical saws; they may have variability but that variability is managed within the product development process and buyers have no ability to configure the product.
• Configure to Order like computers you customize through Dell’s Web site; you're not truly customizing them, just selecting options which drive you to a pre-engineered bill of material.
• High Complexity Assemble-to-Order like electrical transformers that contain a variety of standard parts in custom-designed sheet metal cabinets; the components are almost always standard, but the assembly configurations are almost always different
• Engineer-to-Order such as large boilers for power generation that require custom fabrication
• True Custom Products like one-of-a-kind motorcycles
Depending on the type of products gathering initial knowledge requirements can vary in complexity as you go down in the list but generally can follow a standardized process:
- High level selection guide on the product that you wish to automate
- Typically done in Microsoft Excel, if it exists already
- Possibly related to a ‘smart part number’ scheme
- Often called a ‘configuration checklist’ for CTO products
- 100% involved in the sales & marketing of the product
- For ETO & Custom products, this is often the ‘steps’ required to build the product
- General descriptive BOM’s (both manufacturing BOM and design BOM)
- High level BOM of product based purely on the descriptions of component systems
- Provides foundation for laying out proposed assembly structure
- Should include optional components, identified as optional
- Should not include all interchangeable components, just a general description is adequate but identified as interchangeable
- For ETO & Custom products, identify all possible new components that may be created during the design. Often these new components are categorized in groups, i.e.: valves, nozzles, sensors etc.
- General selection rules and options
- Identify rules for choices in Step 1 (selection guide), i.e.: if we choose this … then we can’t have this … etc.
- Identify ‘YES/NO’ optional components
- Identify components that can be replaced by each other:
- Functional equivalent i.e.: electric motor by GE, electric motor by Siemens
- Design equivalent i.e.: 18” tire by Michelin, 22” tire by Michelin
- Identify ‘on the fly’ new components, generally these components do not have a quantity limit and can be added as many times as required by design
- Design Structure Matrix (DSM - also known as the dependency structure matrix, dependency source matrix, and dependency structure method)
- This is a high level overview of the product logic, i.e.: formulas and calculations that simplify things before CAD such as equations, excel tables, cross reference lookups, charts, graphs etc.
- Identify any software tools used such as FEA, CFD, configurators, macros etc. used in the design
- If applicable, identify cost & price information
- Identify all deliverables required, i.e.: dxf’s, ordinate dimensions, 3D files, 2D files, CSV files, costing information etc.
- Creo models and drawings (how does the cascading effect of the above 4 alter the Creo models and drawings? This part can be very complicated but simplified below for each case)
- The BOM’s will dictate when to create new files, when to reuse files, and when to use library files etc.
- MFG compatibility will eliminate errors that could be introduced in the Creo models such as interferences, wrong parts, bad surface geometry and it will simplify the number of possible permutations in our results set once we are done the automation
- Design rules will DRAMATICALLY simplify the PDM and ERP problems because once we have the rules in the CPS automation database, we won’t need any rules in the Creo/Windchill system and all the models being produced by the CPS automation will be empty and clean of any dependencies and will be also created so they are independent files which Windchill will handle quite efficiently. Only NEW files will be marked as modified in the database and all existing files will be reused.
Typically, RuleSoft Pilot Project runs through the cloud server thus there is no requirement other than Microsoft .NET Framework 4.0
RuleSoft Pilot Project requires a client machine which has at least 8G of RAM and minimum Quad Core CPU, 2.13 GHz.
- Example Selection Guide for a product produced in Microsoft Excel, with selection rules described for each selection.
- Sample High Level Descriptive BOM’s produced in Excel …
- Sample GA (General Arrangement) drawing for quoting purposes … often called a Layout Drawing.
- Sample DSM (Design Structure Matrix) to analyze dependencies within 1 domain. The figure shows a simple process consisting of six tasks that are shown as a flow chart on the right hand side and a DSM representing that process on the left hand side.