Serenity Software Suite
Serenity is a collection of software services that enables complete vertical software visibility for aerospace and aircraft manufacturing environments.
This software suite enables the digitization and consumption of build plans as well as the command and tracking of manufacturing resources. Serenity provides dashboard monitoring features at all levels throughout the factory – from the factory floor all the way to the corporate enterprise network.
- Enterprise Services – the interface to your corporate manufacturing network (9-12)
- Web Service Technology – used for inter-service communication and browser user views (3-10)
- Build Plan and Maker – the plan for an assembly process, including plans for subassemblies (8-10)
- Cell Manager – orchestrates all services and main consumer of the digitized Build Plan (6-8)
- Op Services – the sequence of build instructions for subassemblies (4-6)
- Resource Services – a bridge from machines/resources to Serenity (2-4)
- Resource Tracker – provides positional awareness of physical resources within the factory (1-3)
- Network-enabled resources – tools, machines, employees, consumable material, etc. (1-2)
These screenshots show a sample airplane wing manufacturing work cell. The image on the left shows a visual representation of the work piece (the wing) along with data from Metric Services shown as a pie chart (displaying manufacturing time spent on steps such as set-up, operations, calibrations, etc.) The image on the right is similar, showing a histogram of historical manufacturing quality assurance data which was recorded on the fly during manufacturing.
Program and Process Management
Serenity provides full management and tracking of the following components within a Mini Flextrack deployment – assembly/drill processes, NC/part programs, and tool usage. Part programs and hole or stack processes are derived from the enterprise network and database using companynative CAD tools. These manufacturing production files are fully version-controlled and maintained within Serenity’s databases which can be tied back to the enterprise database infrastructure. Final delivery to machines, robots, or other resources is also managed through this controlled path.
Tool traceability is achieved with a tool database component to perform tool selection verification, storage of gauging information about tools, and activity logging to track lifetime usage. The following represent sample data components that are maintained by Serenity:
Tool selection verification
- Tool serial number
- Tool diameter
- Nominal countersink
- Countersink offset
- Overall tool length
- Gauge length
- Tip length
Tool lifetime usage
- Tool life consumed (used)
- Tool life remaining (remaining)
NC / Part Program Development and Machine Process Monitoring
Serenity provides an interface with CAD/CAM departments and software tools to facilitate NC/part programming of Mini Flextracks. This includes post-processor development, NC programming for first articles and follow-on runs, as well as the ability to produce NC programs off-line.
Using a combination of MFT software tools and Serenity components, the customer can perform NC programming with CATIA V5 / DELMIA V5 software. MTM can accommodate customer programming experts to organize meetings and reviews of programming solutions for validation. MTM provides example programs and all documentation regarding the machine and process capabilities (e.g. characteristics of motion axes, control limits, etc.) The documentation set describes all sub-routines and how G and M codes are used.
Additionally, key process and machine parameters can be made available over the Serenity infrastructure when MFTs are deployed. Examples of such parameters include:
- Current NC / part program being referenced
- End effector type
- Position of the system on or around the work piece
- Live action feedback
- End effector currently used, e.g. automated drill unit (ADU), fastener insertion, torque-down, etc.
- Quantity of holes drilled and remaining quantity of holes to drill
- Estimated time remaining and time consumed for the current drilling operation
- Process control (start, pause, restart, etc.)
- Remaining time until manual control or intervention
Coordination of Multiple Machines
Part program division, machine delegation, time / sequence planning, and collision avoidance can be seen here in the view of the work piece (left) and the deployment map which shows spatial layout and time slots (right).
Machine placement aids example shows green work envelope of machine to ensure all hole locations within a part program can be reached after placement. Also shown is an optional live video feed of the drilling end effector for visual feedback.
Serenity provides features for manufacturing planning when using multiple Mini Flextracks. This includes part program division and machine delegation, machine placement aids, time and sequence planning, and collision avoidance. Division of the work piece into sections allows specific Mini Flextracks to work in defined zones based on part program extents. This feature maximizes machine capacity on a work piece by allowing machines to operate in parallel to increase production rates.
Additionally, these operation zones can accommodate unique manufacturing requirements such as keep-out zones. Machine placement aids help reduce setup times by automatically guiding the Mini Flextrack into its work position or by providing spatial feedback to a human operator that reduces setup times. Time and sequence planning can be performed automatically with a scheduler using spatial inputs about the work piece and predicted completion times for jobs in each zone. Finally, with the known operational extents of the machines, Serenity can pre-plan to ensure no machine collisions. Additional layers of safety are also incorporated at the machine level to prevent collisions through the use of sensors on board the Mini Flextrack — this low-level collision system also reports upstream to the Serenity backbone. Thus, Mini Flextracks operating under Serenity benefit from two-way collision avoidance features at both the planning stage and the operational stage.
Preventive Maintenance, Predictive Diagnostics, and Key Performance Indicators
With the delivery of MFT machines, MTM provides estimations of preventive maintenance, including the number of hours and types of maintenance. The preventive maintenance (PM) package includes full documentation of PM operations as well as an option for customer training in PM tasks. In this way, the PM expectations can be anticipated by the customer and knowledge of specific PM operations is transferred to the customer.
Through the use of data collection, predictive diagnostics can be gathered to help schedule PM tasks for the customer. This allows the customer to conveniently schedule PM duties during beneficial times. For example, the customer can be notified of an upcoming requirement to perform routine maintenance on the MFT. Based on this notification, they can then work to schedule their assets to ensure their production capacity is not affected. MFT’s can be programmed with deployment-specific parameters that activate this family of notification-driven diagnostics.
Key performance indicators can provide an estimation of the overall equipment effectiveness (OEE). These key performance indicators are derived directly from the MFT’s metrics (“MET”) data component which is always available on the network and to the Serenity backbone. Examples of such performance indicators, or metrics, for the MFT machine include mechanic setup time, probing time, drill / run time, anticipated maintenance times, downtime for repairs, tear-down times, etc. Beyond MFT machines, broader categories of metrics can be created within Serenity, as shown in the example diagram above, to help calculate an OEE for the machine or set of machines. All MFT machines, combined with some Serenity software components, can provide this level of metrics reporting to ascertain OEE.