NASA’s John Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, OH, uses configurable aircraft for research projects that require complex electronics and other high-tech systems. Aircraft modifications require that NASA Flight Operations prepare and obtain the necessary approvals on a flight work order, which is similar to an engineering change order. It contains CAD drawings, specs, and other instructions, and each package must be reviewed and approved before given to flight technicians.
Previously, NASA Glenn used paper processes to manage flight work orders, but this resulted in information being stored in many places and on many systems, making it time-consuming to locate data. These processes also lacked tight safety controls. Glenn automated their flight work order configuration control using ProductCenter PLM software. An application was developed to automate the process and integrate with the group’s Web browsers, e-mail systems, and CAD and office applications.
With the new software, reviewers are automatically notified via e-mail of the arrival of a work order. They open the e-mail and click on a URL to access the full review package. Current data is centrally located and immediately available so that NASA quality assurance personnel can see if there are outstanding work orders against an aircraft prior to releasing it for flight.
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