Aerospace & Manufacturing

Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) is working on a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Open Manufacturing program. The project leverages SwRI expertise in uncertainty quantification, reliability analysis, decision support, data warehousing, and software engineering.

SwRI is developing a prototype system, known as the Bond Process Informatics System (BPIS), which incorporates these technologies to demonstrate the ability to quantify the reliability of airframe composite bonds.

image of a flow chart

Process and data flow schematic for BPIS

This system collects data throughout the manufacturing process, organizes this data for evaluation, and applies a predictive probabilistic model, known as NESSUS®, to establish the quality of bonded parts.

An initial prediction of the reliability of a bonded part, based on typical manufacturing parameters and conditions, is calculated and updated as production measurements are recorded and factored.

Bayesian updating is used to refine expected values for manufacturing variables over time. These expected values are represented by distributions. As experiments are conducted, newly observed values of individual parameters influence the corresponding distributions.

Bayesian graph

For a particular parameter, the distribution is refined through Bayesian updating.

This knowledge drawn from the manufacturing data can drive smart process control decisions. Also developed for the system is a powerful visualization tool to aid analysis by allowing users to easily investigate relations between various manufacturing parameters and testing outputs by filtering and plotting the data.

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Southwest Research Institute® (SwRI®), headquartered in San Antonio, Texas, is a multidisciplinary, independent, nonprofit, applied engineering and physical sciences research and development organization with 9 technical divisions.