The project converted more than 100,000 documents to digital XML format and elevated production standards support to a shared enterprise-level service operation.
Product Standards As Digital Data
Massive project cuts time-to-market, reduces errors
Aerospace companies depend on product standards to control quality, ensure traveler safety, meet regulatory requirements, and work with global partners. Although Boeing has been an early adopter of digital engineering and manufacturing technologies, the process of managing standards data as documents was essentially unchanged at the company for 75 years.
This meant that, until recently, product data had to be continuously converted from documents into multiple digital formats, an expensive and time-consuming process.
To integrate standards data with product data, Boeing moved from a document platform to a digital platform based primarily on XML and a vendor-agnostic catalog authoring and CAD model delivery tool. The Product Standards as Digital Data (PSDD) project affected all active commercial, defense, and space hardware product programs at all Boeing facilities globally, as well as parts of the supply chain that use Boeing-owned product standards in the design and manufacture of their products.
The PSDD project created a single source of authoritative data and made it available for different requirements like CAD models, databases, catalogs, documents, PDM item masters, and interactive process specifications. It also freed the company to design and build anywhere in the world without the time and expense associated with retraining or requiring employees to learn multiple design data environments. Furthermore, there’s no need to track and interpret documents and re-key information. This means shorter time-to-market and less chance of engineering or manufacturing errors.
The higher level of standardization reduces the number of software applications in use, thereby minimizing variation in engineering processes.
The massive undertaking involved converting more than 100,000 documents to digital XML format and elevating production
standards support to a shared enterprise-level service operation. The process consolidated nine product standards document libraries into one enterprise library, standardized the document formats of eight product standards collections into one, and retired more than 30 applications previously used for authoring and publishing product standards data.
“Product standards, which are often overlooked and taken for granted, are powerful elements of product definition,” says Alton Sanders, senior project manager in the Boeing Product Standards Office. “Boeing now has a significant advantage in this area.”