Stone Aerospace

saves 12 weeks in cabling design using E3.series.

Stone Aerospace faced the pressure of a tight schedule in designing a one-of-a-kind underwater autonomous vehicle (AUV) capable of traveling 15km under the Antarctic ice shelf. The AUV acts as a testing ground to validate an aircraft-mounted radar system that will be used in a space mission. The time needed to design the wiring harness for the AUV was reduced by around 12 weeks and $20,000 was saved by using E3.series to automate many aspects of the design process, while integrating the logical and physical design on a single platform.

Stone Aerospace is a partner in NASA’s Europa Clipper mission concept. This includes a radar among its instrumentation that will penetrate Europa’s frozen crust and map the thickness of the ice shell. The company’s ARTEMIS AUV is designed to use the closest conditions on earth to Jupiter – deep under the Antarctic ice – to test the space-bound radar by flying gridded surveys over the Antarctic ice shelf. It is also designed to serve as a prototype of a AUV that could be deployed on a future mission to Europa.

Results

Huge cost cuts from cable rework and expedited delivery costs

Elimination of $20,000 in cable rework and expedited delivery costs.

John Harman, Electrical Engineer: “There’s no doubt in my mind that if we had used our previous design methods we would have run into many problems where the design did not exactly match the bill of materials. It would have required cables to be sent back for rework which would have involved considerable additional expenses and set the schedule back. With our new automated approach we got the design right the first time and did not have redo a single cable. We estimate that we saved about $20,000 in cable rework and expedited delivery costs. We also achieved substantial productivity gains because engineers had a very clear picture of what one another were doing and because of the automated checks performed by the software.”

Design cycle reduction by 12 weeks

The time needed to design the wiring harness for the AUV was reduced by around 12 weeks.

Stone Aerospace defined a common library of parts and engineers working on the project drew from this library to save time and ensure consistency. The software reduced the time to design the cables and greatly reduced errors by, for example, ensuring that the connectors mated with each other, that there were enough pins to handle each wire in the assembly, and that the right penetrators were used.

Design collaboration improved quality and reduced errors

Effective design team collaboration created common nomenclature improving quality and cutting errors.

Stone Aerospace defined a common library of parts, most of them simply copied from previous projects, and engineers working on the project drew from this library to save time and ensure consistency. The software reduced the time to design the cables and greatly reduced errors by, for example, ensuring that the connectors mated with each other, that there were enough pins to handle each wire in the assembly, and that the right penetrators were used.

Automated checks ensured correct connector selections

They achieved substantial productivity gains because engineers had a very clear picture of what one another were doing and because of the automated checks performed by the software. When they design ARTEMIS’ successor , it will be easy to repurpose the libraries and nomenclature as well as the design itself, which will provide additional efficiencies.

“We achieved substantial productivity gains because engineers had a very clear picture of what one another were doing, and because of the automated checks performed by the software.

John HarmanElectrical Engineer, Stone Aerospace

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