How Establishing a Standard-Based Asset Management System Can Increase Manufacturing Efficiency

Commercial manufacturers have begun searching for ways to improve system and equipment availability, traceability, and real-time production monitoring while reducing the cost of operations. Major contributors to increased cost, inferior quality and reduced system utilization are unplanned outages, non-integrated processes and redundant capital and infrastructure costs. TechSolve can help manufacturers implement a standard-based asset management system that is not only cost effective, but also flexible enough to accommodate various technical requirements and changing business processes.

An Intelligent Manufacturing System

Under a cooperative agreement, TechSolve and the U.S. Army’s Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center (ARDEC) Benét Laboratories developed the Intelligent Manufacturing Applications and Practices (IMAP) system. The goal of the project was to establish a machining system that employs both pre-process and in-process technology applications to analyze the performance of machining-based manufacturing systems. This would therefore enable informed decision-making that can achieve greater efficiencies and cost savings in manufacturing facilities, while continuously supporting manufacturing process optimization.

The first demonstration of this state-of-the-art technology and process occurred with a U.S. Army mortar system component. Improvements to the manufacturing process for the mortar system component highlighted the importance of combining a variety of advanced machining technologies. In this instance, the time to machine one side of the component was reduced by over 70%.

Reduction in Cost, Cycle Time, and Scrapped Components

This collaboration between ARDEC Benét Labs and TechSolve showed the impact of developing methods to test and implement a unique combination of advanced technologies such as stability zone analysis, along with intelligent process planning, to yield a more favorable outcome than either technology could have provided separately.

Transition technology disseminated and developed under the Smart Machine Platform Initiative into a DoD production environment resulted in reduced costs, reduced cycle time and fewer scrapped components. It also:

  • Increased productivity through optimization of machining parameters;
  • Reduced part costs;
  • Enhanced facility efficiencies;
  • Brought safety improvements;
  • Established process verifications; and
  • Guided machinability testing and evaluations.

Project Impact

TechSolve’s IMAP project for ARDEC Benét Labs resulted in the following benefits:

  • Improved system availability with minimized unplanned outages. Operators are now able to plan their response to systems with unpredicted problems.
  • A reduction in catastrophic failures. Indicators of failing systems are now provided to system operators in time to take corrective action before catastrophic failures.
  • A decrease in downtime. Operators are able to fix problems while they are small, which is more efficient and less costly.
  • Improved maintenance and operations planning. Real-time data helps maintenance staff understand and respond to negative trends in system operations while migrating the company toward condition-based maintenance (CBM).
  • Retention of intelligence from the design model throughout the framework. Design intelligence will be retained from the part model for use in rule application and cost analysis.
  • Lean and green initiatives are now supported with dependable information. Reliable, historical process data is now available to identify continuous improvement projects and estimate a return on investment (ROI).

Project Task

Intelligent Process Planning

  • Part view – pre-process estimation
  • CAD CAM – simulation and post processor
  • Third Wave’s production module – cutting
  • Force prediction and optimization
  • Stability zone analysis
  • Machining simulation – vericut

On-Machine Verification

  • On-machine probing – set work
  • Machine super tuning – evaluate
  • Volumetric accuracy of machine tool
  • Create IMAP test-bed at TechSolve
  • Transition solution to DoD production sites

Selected Component

81mm Lightweight Mortar Base Plate

  • 7000 Series Aluminum
  • 2 Surface Finish

Manufacturing Process Solutions that Benefit Service Members

Now ARDEC Benét Labs is interested in continuing to develop and demonstrate similar combinations of advanced technologies. Research into new technologies and methods for improving machining processes is ongoing. Additionally, the technology developed through these efforts will continually be deployed into the Department of Defense (DoD) and public sector on components that will ultimately benefit service members.

Technology That Benefits the Bottom Line

At TechSolve, we help manufacturers understand technology so they can adopt it confidently—enabling you to manufacture parts more efficiently and benefit the customers you serve. Whether it’s gleaning data from your system to find improvements, conducting advanced sensor studies or running simulations without taking your process offline, contact us at  or complete the form below to find out how we can help.