Welcome the the Manufacturing
Advisory Service (MAS) Basic Tutorial. This tutorial desribes
starting up the MAS, and how to do a simple search, using the example
of a prototype
mouse housing (the top portion).
that your screen may look different from the images on this page,
as certain Java GUI components appear different on different computer
Start Up the Applet
The web pages for the MAS
are design to be used with two widows. Open one window for the
applet, and move it to the side of the screen. Then, whenever
you click on any of the links at the bottom of the applets page, or
whenever you use the "Get Info" button, the document will open in
another window. This way, you don't lose track of your current MAS
project just to look up reference material. Here is a screen
shot of my computer using this method. Occasionally, the second
window will appear behind open windows. So if you click "Get
Info" and nothing appears, simply check the windows behind your current
windows. Start the MAS the by clicking here
(this will open a new window).
While the applet is loading,
the "Init Info" window will indicate the various initialization
steps. The database date gives
you an indication how recently the material and process capability
has been updated. You will now see a screen with a column
of buttons on the left hand side of the screen, which will be
refereed to as the 'button panel' or 'button column.' At the
very bottom of the applet is a message box that will sometimes display
important information (Initially is says " "Welcome to the Manufacturing
Analysis Service, v2.xx").
Click on the "Process
Search" button in the upper left to begin.
will now see five new columns. The two columns that you will be
clicking on a lot are the 'Requirement List'
column, and the 'Options List' column.
Facets are attributes of your part that the MAS uses to make
decisions and rankings. Possibilities are manufacturing
processes (or materials) that the MAS has classified in its database.
our prototype mouse housing, we'll only need a few to play around
with in the lab, so lets set our batch size -- how many parts we
want -- to four.Now,
let's look at the data entry area.
label identifies which facet you are currently editing. The
value shows what the numerical value of the current facet is.
Any value less than zero tells the MAS to ignore this facet.
The units shows what unit system the value is in. For
batch size, the value is simply a count of the total number of parts
to be manufactured. The scroll bar is used to dynamically
change the value of a facet. For some of the facets, the scroll bar
is on a logarithmic scale. You can use the scroll bar to change the
value, or type a value directly into the value box.
Since the scroll bar
ranges from 1 part on the far left to 15000 parts on the far right,
it's probably not the best way to specify the number 4. Instead,
click in the value box, and change the '-1' to '4' using
standard text editing methods (NOTE: Don't use commas when typing
in numbers!). As soon as you do this, you should notice that the
'O-rank' column has switched from an empty long blank black box
-- to being filled with some green bars.
colored bars represent the rank of the possible processes.
If a possible manufacturing process has a colored bar that completely
crosses the black region, it is ideally suited to make the part
you have described. You can display a numeric rank by clicking
the preferences button.So, even with only one piece of information,
you can look at the Options List and see that 'Closed Die
Forging' is not suitable for making four parts, while CyberCut milling
is ideally suited.
Exploring the Shape
But this isn't a particularly
complicated definition, let's get some more information in.
Click on 'Shape' in the Requirement List. The data entry area now contains
only the label 'Shape' and a choice box.
we select the shape we have to figure out what shape to choose.
With 'Shape' still highlighted in the 'Requirement List' column, click
the 'Get Info' button to find out more about choosing the right
shape. Looking down the list of shapes, Thinwall seems
to be the best match, as the phone housing has the same general
shape as the top portion of our mouse housing. So go back to the
choice box under the shape label in the data entry area, and select
Some of the rank bars
have disappeared. The rank bars now have grey bars directly above
them. The grey bars are the history bars -- which shows the ranks
of the processes before you modified the shape facet. The
grey bars are there to indicate how much the rank has changed, or
to indicate that your last change actually made it impossible
to make a part with a given process. If this is the case, there
will be a grey bar without a color bar underneath.
Finishing Up The Design
Box' from the Requirement List, and enter 3 cubic inches in the data entry
area. Skip the 'Material' facet, we don't really care what the material
is, we just want the component to do some rudimentary ergonomic
tests. Enter a dimensional tolerance of 50 inches^-3 (50 milli-inches),
a surface roughness of 15 microinches, and a wall thickness of 0.1
Sheet Metal Forming is the only process left! This confuses
you, because your engineering intuition thought that stereolithography
was the best choice. So let's do a little investigation to
find out what happened.
once on stereolithography in the 'Options List.' the ranks
in the 'O-rank' column have disappeared. Instead, look over
in the 'R-rank' column. What we now see is each one of the
facets you've specified being ranked individually for the stereolithography
process you have selected. Some facets are ignored ("Ig"),
and of the rest all but surface roughness should be equal to 100.
This means that only our surface roughness criteria (ranked at zero)
has made stereolithography invalid. So let's find out more
about surface roughness.
Click on Surface Roughness
in the 'Requirement List' and click 'Get Info'. The secondary
window now gives you some more info about surface roughness.
From the table, we can see that a normal good appearance is rated
Medium at 250 microinches. Our value of 15 is actually a Very
Fine Finish on the table, much more than we need. Click on
Surface Rough in the Requirement List and change the surface roughness
has been bumped up to 100 percent! You may need to click on
stereolithography again to update the R-Rank column. But now there
are other highly ranked processes you haven't heard anything about:
CyberCut Milling and ME3 Pseudo Diecasting. If you want to
find out more, select them and click 'Get Info.'
Exploring with the MAS
Remember, the MAS
is not a 'black box' tool that blindly chugs numbers. Its an exploratory
tool. If a possibility you feel is acceptable has a zero rank, click
on it to find out why it is being rejected. Then in the r-rank column,
it will show which facet(s) have a zero ranking. Go back to these
facets and explore how new readings on the slider bar or choices
give a non-zero rank.
One of the more common
tendancies when using the MAS is to start with the first facet in
the list, define it, and then march straight down the list of facets
defining them as you go. This robs you of the chance to discover
the individual facets' effects on the ranking. A lot can be learned
by allowing yourself to explore the effects on the possibility rankings
when you vary a single facet.
To examine the relationship
of a single fact to the Options List, click the 'Reset' button,
and then click 'Process Search.' Now, select the material facet,
and choose a material you aren't very familiar with. The listing
in the O-rank column now shows you the compatibility that your selected
material has with each one of the processes. You can do the same
kind of interaction with any of the facets, just remember to hit
reset, otherwise the O-ranks will be based on more than one facet.
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