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Finding a part for a design?

Finding a part for a design?

Finding a part for a design?

Working for a major SDO, part of my job is helping others to make a query for parts in a design as efficient as possible. That is, I often hear "I'd like to be able to query against a lot of part attributes and get a table of part numbers that satisfy my constraints." Then the request I get is to do additional queries to further narrow the list. I've heard this from a handful of design engineers, and I'm curious as to how representative this is. Is this truly an issue when creating a design? Is a lot of time wasted looking for parts specs? From what I understand, the desire to look for parts listed in a spec is due to the belief that a part associated with a spec will cost less than one created without one.

RE: Finding a part for a design?

Not sure if this is a peculiar problem to the aircraft industry... lots of engineers need to keep track of lots of hardware & equipment, all with slight differences that require part numbers, dash number, configuration numbers and so on... It will also help if you narrow down just what kinds of parts and specs you're talking about.

You're asking a question that implies you already have a database at hand - but am I assuming the correct thing?
What software is the DB written in?
Have you tried using websites with good search engines, such as ASSIST, Aircraft Spruce, LISI, and Genuine Aircraft Hardware, to find parts and specs?

No one believes the theory except the one who developed it. Everyone believes the experiment except the one who ran it.

RE: Finding a part for a design?

This is an old recurring issue with me. Avoid 'exotic' parts - stick with common 'off the shelve' items that can be easily obtained. ... unless a specialized feature is critical in the design. The design aspect is only a 'partial' input into creating an acceptable and useful assembly. What good is a hydraulic pump if a critical seal is not available and grounds the aircraft for months. This will be the first component that the operator will attempt to replace with an acceptable alternate. (and/or the aftermarket guys will provide an alternate) Remember that this assembly will eventually have to be removed or repaired for a variety of reasons. Will your selection of 'special' parts hinder that? Manufacturers are notorious for 'specialization' of parts (& part numbers) so they can maintain a revenue stream selling parts that no one else can provide. ... & this reduces the reliability of their product overall. The smaller the production run of your product - the more 'generic' parts are to be. Will your company still be available to provide parts in 20 years? Or will this assy be a toss-out in 5 years??

RE: Finding a part for a design?

No database in in place as of yet. I'm part of an organization that creates specs used by the aerospace industry, and the parts of interest to the customers I have talked with range from everything to bolts (machine) to o-rings and rivets. The database is likely to be in both Oracle and SQL, and I'm not sure yet what language the GUI would be written in. I think I'm most concerned with whether this is an actual problem or not for a design engineer. A few of them have said it is as the specs list part numbers, but the spec format is pdf. Without purchasing and looking through a ton of specs, it becomes difficult. It is the querying against those part number attributes in the specs that they are asking form, but I still need a little more convincing.

As I'm not a parts supplier, but rather part of an organization that produces aero specs, I can't answer some of your questions. I agree with your logic that sticking with off the shelf items which likely are written to a spec will hold lower risk of part obsolescence. To expand on the requests I've been receiving, this parts Db based on parts out of aero specs would be tied to a customers's PLM and ERP systems so better business decisions can be made based on lead times, costs, SOP, etc. Any additional
feedback you have is appreciated.

RE: Finding a part for a design?

azieg... I'm a 'parts guy' and I'm confused as to what Your real issue/problem really is/are.

This could be as simple as an aircraft specific parts database... which starts with the parts manual [IPB]... then expands to include common Parts allowed in the AMM and SRM [for maintenance/repair]... or this could be a generic 'monster'... all inclusive for everything in aerospace database.

The direction I sense is that Your work is similar in intent to the monster-gorilla in the business... IHS... Standards Expert and HAYSTACK... which is massively encompassing and has ability to generate many segregated lists... and to a lesser degree... I think allows for imputing the variables mentioned... and being re-directed to specific generic specs. I don't think IHS has [nor could have] 'corporate standard parts' [see below]... but those could be added piecemeal at discretion.

OR is Your intent a focused/corporate-wide database for specific design styles... like my company which has a massive 'approved parts base' that includes generic and corporate standard parts across the spectrum... but limited for our business purposes.

Is your concern limited, to parts thus...
materials [metals, plastics, fibers, coatings, sealants, etc]

and/or is topic-specific technical data [analytical] also required?

Standard - generic
Stock-number or vendor procurable

standards - Corporate specific
[various fastener manufacturers, cherry, monogram, LISI Hi-Shear, etc]
[various bearing manufacturers, MBC, FAFNIR, etc]
[Various EE/EL components, AMD, INTEL, TI, etc]


NOTE. About 15-years ago I started a spreadsheet for parts I worked with all the time... my own format, short-hand, abbreviations, etc. suits my purpose... but it is no longer 'a baby'... topic areas, [in tab-order], thus...

NOTE. This is a ROAD-MAP ONLY... I know where to find the stuff... [I ironed-out all my personal abbreviations]

FH = Flush Head
PH = Protruding Head

Bolts, Blind, PH & FH
Bolts, Threaded ~ FH
Bolts, Threaded ~ PH
Clamps, Grommets
Fillers-Retaining Rings-Shims-Spacers-Washers
Bushes-Plain Bearings-Sleeves
Hi-Lok Collars
Hi-Lok Pins ~ FH & PH
Inserts ~ Threaded
Lock-Bolts ~ Swaged Collar ~ FH &PH
Panel & Cowl Fasteners
Pins, Spring-Pins
Rivets, Blind ~ FH & PH
Rivets, Blind ~ Non Structural
Rivets ~ Solid ~ FH & PH
Rods & Studs ~Threaded
Screws ~ Full Threaded ~ FH, PH, Set
Countersinks ~Rivet Head equivalent
Holes ~Bolts
Holes ~ Rivets
Drill Bit Data NAS907-932-937-965-J2122
Reamer-Bit Data [corporate]
Reamer-Bit Data ~NAS897-898-J2124
[several torque tables for many type fasteners for various situations... and s’more stuff]
Specifications Related to Listed Parts (a wild/hairy bunch of generic/fastener-related info... packed into-one-space)

Regards, Wil Taylor

o Trust - But Verify!
o We believe to be true what we prefer to be true. [Unknown]
o For those who believe, no proof is required; for those who cannot believe, no proof is possible. [variation,Stuart Chase]
o Unfortunately, in science what You 'believe' is irrelevant. ["Orion", Homebuiltairplanes.com forum]

RE: Finding a part for a design?

All great questions, and to be frank, this concept is very ill-defined at this point as I've only heard from some of our customers who simply want to query across attributes which are housed within the specs we have. We do work with IHS, so that solution may be appropriate for our larger customers. Likely not for our smaller customers. I believe the desire is to connect everything together for better decision making downstream. You have given me a lot to think about. Thanks for the input. It's very helpful.

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