Supplier Collaboration

Customer Supplier Interoperability

The Customer Supplier Interoperability (CSI) program was sponsored by the Department of Defense and the US Air Force Research Laboratory, ManTech division. The program’s goal was to develop software solutions for engineering inefficiencies associated with data exchange and to accelerate the adoption of Model-Based Definition (MBD) methodologies in defense supply chains.

CSI in Action

Through the automation of manual tasks, CAD validation and advanced toolsets, the CSI program paves the path toward MBD for the defense industrial base. Compared with current best practices, CSI technologies generate projected cost savings of approximately $50 million per year when fully adopted by all supply chain members in a large defense acquisition program. With major programs exceeding 20 years in duration, this equals more than $1 billion in projected savings.

CSI - Customer Supplier Interoperability

The CSI program was awarded the 2012 Defense Manufacturing Technology Achievement Award.  

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CSI Automation

CSI treats technical data exchange as a manufacturing process that can be improved through automation. This unique CSI approach automates mundane and tedious manual tasks associated with technical data exchange, allowing engineers to spend more time improving the nature of a design and refining its quality, and less time modifying fonts, colors, naming conventions, etc.

Preparation of TDPs for delivery
Ensures compliance with contract requirements to provide ready-to-use data with no or limited additional manual intervention.

Translation of CAD models
Translates CAD models into neutral STEP or directly into partner native CAD formats, including MBD with manufacturing information (PMI). Translation includes the resolution of common translation issues.

Validation of translated models
Ensures derivative models (neutral standards, visualization, etc., including MBD models) match the content of the original models.

Simplification of models
Reduces size and removes unnecessary/proprietary information.

Solutions to migrate from legacy to MBD-based models
Merges associative 2D GD&T into the model and produces associative 3D PMI. Also translates associative 3D models with PMI between dissimilar CAD environments.

Solutions to identify manufacturing issues early in design
Detects and resolves model issues through producibility rule sets; completed for machining operations.

Documentation for Engineering Change Orders (ECOs)
Documents model changes in a 3D format that greatly improves communication between customer and supplier.

Technical Data Packaging

Technical Data Packaging (TDP) using DEXcenter

The CSI process leverages the OSD 3D TDP Validation Team initiative:

  • Automatically generates 2D and 3D Technical Data Packages (TDP) in both neutral and native formats for exchange with collaboration partners

  • Can automatically validate 3D Technical Data Packages including PMI

  • Can stand alone as a Web application or as a complimentary tool with PLM

  • Enables robust translation functionality using CAD system standards and direct translators:
    - Native CAD to IGES, STEP, DXF
    - IGES, STEP, DXF to Native CAD
    - Native CAD to other Native CAD
    - 3D BREP and Feature Based

  • Automates validation of translations, packaging into container files (ZIP, GZIP)

  • Secures delivery of packages to collaboration partners, notification to collaboration partners, confirmation of partner receipt, SSL encryption (https, sftp)

  • Includes detailed reporting of all transactions

  • Has ITAR compliance and Intellectual Property protection

  • Supports 3D Model-Based Design (MBD) and Model-Based Enterprise (MBE) initiatives