July 2005 
Volume 04, Issue 3 
Cover Story


Bryan AkeMost current Boeing products are designed on computer and have model-based definitions. For programs that don't have Computer Aided Design (CAD) definitions, thanks to work done by Boeing technologists, it's now possible to scan the part to get what Boeing scientists call its "DNA"— the information needed to create the digital CAD data of the item's actual state.

"A recent example of digital DNA processes is when we had to replace a vertical tail on an F/A-18 at Cecil Field in Florida," said Jeff DeGrange, senior manager, Accelerated Digital Design and Manufacturing in Phantom Works. "We used our optical technology to scan the aircraft's vertical tail and to scan the replacement parts in a warehouse." The team then performed a "best fit analysis" by comparing the actual state of the tail on the airplane when it arrived for repairs with the replacement products in the warehouse.

"Having predicted what our needs would be in advance, we ended up saving a lot of time and money," DeGrange said. This process is currently being used at Logistics Support System depots around the company and on the F/A-18 and T-45 programs.


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