Browse Prior Art Database

Expert Systems and Multimedia in Manufacturing

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000103694D
Original Publication Date: 1993-Jan-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-18
Document File: 8 page(s) / 420K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Cheng, C: AUTHOR [+4]

Abstract

The purpose of this project is to develop more effective diagnostic and documentation tools for the manufacturing line. I. PROBLEM STATEMENT

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Expert Systems and Multimedia in Manufacturing

       The purpose of this project is to develop more effective
diagnostic and documentation tools for the manufacturing line.
I.  PROBLEM STATEMENT

      Documentation of equipment, processes, and procedures on the
manufacturing floor is, at best, inadequate.  Despite conscientious
efforts by some vendors and engineering labs to provide good
equipment documentation, spare parts information, and problem
diagnostic guides, the results have fallen far short of what is
needed on the manufacturing floor.  The lack of effective
documentation results in long learning curves for new equipment and
new technicians, increased equipment downtime, and equipment running
at less than full potential.  The scarcity of useful diagnostic aids
also increases the dependence of manufacturing on outside experts
(Equipment Assurance, Engineering, Vendors, etc.) who are not always
available.

      Unfortunately, the ongoing changes in manufacturing such as the
Manufacturing Technical Associates (MTA) program, group production
lines, and the Market Driven Quality (MDQ) program only aggravate
this problem.  To be successful, MTA will require far more effective
equipment documentation.  Group production lines will highlight the
weaknesses of the current system as essential equipment goes down and
requires an inordinate amount of time to repair.  MDQ will place more
and more pressure on manufacturing to produce defect-free product but
this will not happen unless both equipment and process are running
well and are understood by the people running them.

      Other areas of concern are the increasing sophistication of
manufacturing equipment and processes and the lack of diagnostic
skills available on the manufacturing floor.  The ability of even our
best maintenance personnel to diagnose and repair some of the latest
production equipment is being stretched to the limit.  Once again,
this situation directly affects equipment performance and
manufacturing output.  These problems will only get worse in the
future as manufacturing equipment and processes become more complex
and harder to trouble-shoot and repair.
II.  PROPOSED SOLUTION

      To address these problems, technology is being used to create
more effective diagnostic and documentation tools for the
manufacturing floor.  Primarily, the project uses two products: The
Integrated Reasoning Shell and The Audio Visual Connection.  The
Integrated Reasoning Shell (TIRS) is an expert system shell that
delivers diagnostic assistance.  The Audio Visual Connection (AVC) is
a multimedia product that provides greatly improved documentation for
the manufacturing floor.

      Used together, TIRS and AVC can provide a powerful aid for
maintenance technicians and operators.   TIRS can analyze user inputs
about equipment problems and, using knowledge gathered from experts,
recommend action to either solve or further investigate the problem....