IMP Aerospace was awarded a contract to preform a conversion of data from SGML to XML format compliant to S1000D from Lockheed Martin Aeronautics for the C-130J Hercules. Since Atlas Dynamics is a provider of a COTS solution that delivers a repeatable and sustainable work flow process to manage projects with hundreds of schematic diagrams and publish reliable interactive IEWD content with powerful features, IMP and Lockheed sought out Atlas Dynamics for an IEWD solution using Atlas' tool suite Wiretrace Studio.
One critical requirement from Lockheed Martin was the need for effectivity management. Wiretrace Studio's systems layout tools played very well for this need, where each variation of a system and its diagrams can be defined, maintained and navigated. Additionally, IMP and Lockheed were looking for an automated and document management approach because of the hundreds of diagrams involved.
The technical challenges that IMP faced in transforming hundreds of static CGM diagrams to an effective interactive content was largely due to the fact that the information content such as component inter-connectivity, hierarchical component relationships, diagram circuits and cross diagram circuits where just line point data in CGM diagrams created from a raster to vector graphic scanning tool.
Atlas' tools were successful in removing the noise from the raster to vector conversion tools saving hundreds of hours if it were done with a CGM editor manually. Atlas' proprietary pattern recognition algorithms literally extract the actual contextual information from the schematics line point data. This is inclusive of detecting component identification text patterns and wire inter-connections. Effectively hundreds of diagrams can be batched processed in this way where CGM hot spots and colorization are applied to labels of components, wires and cross diagram link labels. Wiretrace Studio's automated tools can cope with difficult hot spotting issues such as wire bundles and connecting their branches. This saved IMP hundreds of hours of work effort where the schematics would otherwise have to be redrawn without the wire bundles.
Wiretrace Studio's circuit building tools form the intelligence that allow the IEWD solution to be circuit aware. Meaning the relationship of component hierarchies, inter-connectivity and the type of circuits, signal or power, as well as the type of wire, signal, power or ground, is a concept that can be queried and highlighted.
Wiretrace Studio produces data sets that can be queried that automate cross diagram circuit connections. Literally the tool can sync up connector pins across diagrams and makes the ability to build the cross diagram circuit traces almost effortless. This kind of automation speaks for itself and helped IMP reach its exploratory IEWD objectives.
Wiretrace Studio tools aided in integrating auxiliary data such as images, videos, PDFs and links to IETMs for circuits or components in a schematic. The tools suite also allows the ability to integrate the P2pViewer to just about any IETM or simulator on the market today. This removed the need for IMP to have to manage the auxiliary data or program interfaces to display the data as well as not having to program interfaces to their IETM or other applications external to the IEWD solution.
Exchanges were successfully performed between the P2pViewer and an S1000D compliant IETM and other applications. The exchanges involved navigating from component elements selected on the CGM diagram in the P2pViewer to the IETM descriptions or instruction documentation. Likewise they could use the IETM to navigate the P2pViewer to select components on the CGM diagram in the P2pViewer.
Wiretrace Studio has a very structured and repeatable machine assisted QA process where the tool suite can validate components, circuit types, links, cross traces, auxiliary data and program interfaces. This helped IMP insure the quality of each output diagram and detect early on any problem areas.
Once the diagrams passed QA S1000D modules can be generated and will interact with the CGM diagrams. This removed any need for IMP to manually create hierarchical component relationships, to from data sets for Wire lists, Equipment lists and tag templates. This feature alone can save thousands of labor hours!
Wiretrace Studio has a document management workflow, where every facet of building the IEWD content is monitored, even the editing of CGM diagrams within Wiretrace Studio is recorded by date, time, user and type of edit. The workflow process is segmented into phases and every system, subs-system and diagram is monitored for progress across the workflow phases. This helped IMP managed the project without having to build a workflow solution and build reports that reflect a project's progress. In addition, Wiretrace Studio has an immediate work phase progress GUI that gives a projects progress status spontaneously with just a click of a button. This allowed IMP to save time and effort by not having to dedicate labor hours to audit a projects progress. This is just another example where the tool suite's extended features add value that can dramatically drop costs.
Once all the diagrams where processed and passed QA the project was published by simply clicking the “Publish” button. The result is an installation package containing an IEWD viewer (P2pViewer), the diagrams, auxiliary data, S1000D wiring modules, indexed data and interface data for communicating with external apps such as IETMs. The package can be installed on a laptop or tablet. This feature allowed IMP to distribute IEWD content on demand to any client that needs the solution with no programming or extensive internal IT support.
With the basic feature list of Wiretace Studio:
System definition and effectivity(Applicability) management
Noise removal from CGM diagrams
Automated line point and text pattern capabilities
Circuit building intelligence tools.
Diagram batch processing
Machine assited QA suite
Auxiliary Data management
External Application interface capabilities
an organization can take on a work effort of a magnitude that has hundreds of complex schematic diagrams. Wiretrace Studio's feature list and the fact that there is no need for an organization to provide an internal IT support for the tools, one can clearly see that IMP's work effort without such a tool suite would literally have costs in the higher end of six figures if not more and require a delivery time in years instead of a few months! Wiretrace Studio provided IMP a very effective and efficient process that resulted in the delivery of a very compelling solution to Lockheed Martin for the C-130J Hercules.
If your organization is seriously considering a wiring diagram project, I suggest evaluating the benefits of the Wiretrace Studio tool suite. Wiretrace Studio is now available on the cloud with Microsoft's Azure Government platform.
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Disclaimer: Neither IMP Aerospace or Lockheed Martin Aeronautics endorse products or services. This article does not constitute any endorsement from IMP Aerospace or Lockheed Martin Aeronautics but simply describes how Atlas Dynamics Corp's tool suite was effectively used.