PLM Services Standardization - A Leap forward in Product Data Communication
PLM Services is a standard of the Object Management Group (OMG) and is the latest achievement in standardizing product data communication mechanisms of the European car manufacturing industry. It is the result of the XPDI project organized by the ProSTEP iViP association. As an comprehensive framework based on the OMG model driven architecture PLM Services provides a solid foundation for collaborative engineering scenarios like browsing in distributed product data structures, design in context, product data visualization, and others. This paper presents an overview on the standardization process of PLM Services, describes the application and dissemination dimensions of the specification itself, and illustrates them by two ready to use standard compliant implementations – the reference implementation by ProSTEP iViP association, and the product OpenPDM by PROSTEP AG.
The PLM Services standard of the Object Management Group is a milestone for system integration in a structured and flexible manner. By providing a sound information model and a well-performing interface for synchronous and asynchronous access to product data, we now have the chance to avoid proprietary integration solutions. Based on the standard and a modular approach with reusable components we can push the integration task into another dimension: The High-Level Integration presented in this paper does not concentrate on low level problems such as connecting to heterogeneous systems or mapping of data types. The companies now can focus on the business logic – as demanded by the end-users.
Integrating Tools for Collaborative Product Creation
Today multilateral cross-domain collaborations play an increasingly important role with regard to product creation. In order to increase the efficiency of such collaborations, processes need to be supported with powerful IT tools, integrated in the collaboration environment of virtual companies. This paper will first of all deal with certain aspects of collaboration. The technological environment for collaborative product creation will be described, with special reference to integration aspects. Furthermore, a number of tools especially geared to support product creation collaborations will be introduced, followed by a description of their integration into a collaborative product development environment. In this environment a virtual PDM system provides the product developer with all the product data needed for the collaboration process, even from heterogeneous data sources. The integrated teleconferencing tools enable virtual ad-hoc conferences for the immediate solution of problems. Besides multimedia communication the participants in these virtual meetings have a digital mock-up of the distributed model data, unified by the virtual PDM system. In an extended solution the usage of virtual reality technologies is supported to achieve a more realistic feedback with the model. The requirements for these tools will be derived from application scenarios in shipbuilding and automotive domains.
Requirements Management for the Development of Mechatronic Products
Growing cost and time pressure on the development of products lead to a significantly raised application of mechatronic systems in the last decade. These mechatronic systems integrate mechanics, electrics/electronics and information technology in a previously unparalleled density. Examples for such devices are anti-lock braking (ABS), electronic vehicle control (ESP) or engine control units (ECU). Numerous products were developed by specialized departments and external suppliers, who start from requirements by OEM. Therefore fulfilling the requirements as well as the integration of software and subsystems is the primary driver of innovation in this area. Today, it is the key challenge for companies to cope with the differing work flows, methods and tools of this interdisciplinary product development throughout the product life cycle. Hence, the necessity for requirements engineering and management is obvious. However, a unique and integrated methodology for Requirements Management is still missing in this multi-disciplinary development process due to its complexity and the high degree of informal aspects.
The Functional Product Structure as Backbone of the Early Product Development Process
The optimization of the early phase of the product development process (Ä Frontloading) is the inevitable and consistent extension of the product development methods, which results from the importance of this phase at the expense specified in the product. The conceptional product structure is a substantial contribution to implement Frontloading. An integrated digital project, product and a processing concept is based on the requirement management as the first formal description. The result of the final construction process is the so-called Engineering Bill of Material (EboM). In this article the conceptional product structure is introduced to the product development process as a bridge between requirement management in the early phases and the resulting Engineering Bill of Material.
Natural Perspective for Requirements Management and Integrated Product Development
Requirements management gains more and more importance in the automotive industry. A product well-defined as early as possible brings competitive advantages and saves development costs. But even if requirements management is an accepted discipline in modern vehicle development processes some general issues are still unresolved. The major challenges are the integration of requirements management in the vehicle development process, balancing concurrent and competing requirements and the transformation of “soft” requirements into technical requirements. New methods will: create a tighter integration of product definition and validation with respect to parallel sub-processes, improve the dependencies between requirements, last but not least, simplify how to manage different levels of product and requirement abstraction. Natural development processes, especially “evolution” and “growth”, can deliver new perspectives for integrated product development.
Challenges of Systems Engineering for Mechatronics
Engineering Cooperation on OEM Level – Challenge for Collaborative Engineering Solutions
Development expenditures are increasing in the automotive industry due to the amount of variants for the coverage of niche segments. One approach is the cooperative development with other OEM’s in order to turn non-rentable niche products into profitable ones. Today’s solutions for collaborative engineering are mainly developed for the integration of non-OEM partners and are only partly acceptable for cooperation between OEM’s. The requirements for collaborative solutions for OEM cooperation are pointed out, a possible scenario with existing solutions is elaborated and a vision for future solutions is developed.
Collaborative Product Visualization
The increasing international competition forces enterprises to introduce their products faster to the market. Therefore enterprises foster distributed product development with suppliers and service providers with increased requirements on the product development process. With the visualization of product data, engineering and non-engineering members are integrated earlier in the product development process esp. with respect to cross-enterprise development teams. The importance of standardization and its impact on the product visualization process will be outlined.
Knowledge Representation in PDM-Systems
Increasing industrial competition and continuous pressure on product development cycles strongly impact the engineering disciplines of product development. As most of the development objectives aim at adaptation or generation of product variants, the role of engineering knowledge increases significantly. Engineering knowledge is generated during the product development process using different systems or applications like CAD, FEA and PDM-systems. Engineering knowledge is spread incoherently among different application systems and therefore typically engineering knowledge is not integrated into an appropriate knowledge pool. This paper outlines an approach to integrate the discplines of knowledge management and product data management to manage engineering knowledge from different applications.
Enhancing Product Data by Engineering Development Context Information
The increasing establishment of horizontally distributed development and of multi-tier supply chains within the aircraft industry requires new technologies for the information handling. Presently, many companies implement product data management environments in order to improve the shared access to engineering information content. Current engineering data management tools – such as PDM systems – however support the sharing of resulting product information only, not the provision of the context this information was developed in. A concept for the expression of an “engineering development context” is proposed. It provides a means to combine conventional product information as well as references and interrelations between with knowledge and process information in order to describe the rationale behind the product development. Similar to the Semantic Web approach of annotating web content to enable software understanding it, today’s engineering data can be enhanced by semantically much more rich information about how it was created – such as rules and dependencies - and by information about the objective behind it – like the engineering intent. This allows not only to provide information representing the result of an engineering activity but also the context it was created in – in an either descriptive way or - more advanced - in a format that can be processed.
A Metric System for the Process Performance of Product Data Technology
Enhanced Virtual Reality-Models for Design and Improvement of Manufacturing Systems
Virtual Reality (VR) based engineering provides a powerful means for the reconfiguration of manufacturing systems. Important for the usability of VR are appropriate models meeting the demands and goals of the VR-based reconfiguration processes. To improve reconfiguration processes, VR-models need to represent single work places as well as the linkage between them. Furthermore, a reconfiguration process accelerated by means of VR-technology requires a VR-model with integrated knowledge such as the history of change measures or the behaviour of manufacturing system elements. The resulting demands to appropriate VR-models are described in this paper based on the specific characteristics of a VR-improved reconfiguration process. Furthermore, enhancements for conventional VR-models to support the reconfiguration process of manufacturing systems are proposed.
Towards Desktop-based VR for Engineering Environments Driven by Autostereoscopic Technology
Current engineering requirements focus on the integration of different services, technologies and products. Especially within the CAD/CAE domain the different disciplines of construction and analysis are traditionally separated. An integration of the process chain being complemented by innovative technologies such as Virtual Reality (VR) is one of the challenges that is addressed in this work. We set the foundations for an integrated CAD/CAE environment covering such topics as small feature identification, interactive mesh refinement, and interactive feature dragging. Interactive 3D real-time graphics is one way to analyse and interact on the ever growing CAD/CAE data more efficiently and more intuitively. VR applications have shown its power in this respect already. However, compared to desktop systems the number of VR installations in the industry is still low – this is on the one hand due to high investment costs and space demands of typical VR hardware and on the other hand due to the users’ lack of acceptance for entirely new 3D user interfaces. In this work we use low-cost desktop VR systems based on autostereoscopic displays (Hybrid Desktop) together with a concept of 2D/3D interaction that promises a higher user acceptance.
An Explorative Approach to the Virtual Prototyping of Self-optimizing Mechatronic Systems
Future systems in the area of mechatronic systems will show an inherent partial intelligence. A so called self-optimizing system is constantly evaluating its compliance to the objectives beeing setup using model-based and behavior-based optimization techniques at runtime. This paper presents a virtual prototyping environment for the analysis of these intelligent mechatronic systems. Special emphasis is placed here on the explorative analysis of the prototype by using simulation and visualization techniques. We also present a prototype implementation and case studies.
For a smooth and fast workflow of the incoming orders up to the delivery of a product the integrated information supply of production-means (in particular of tools) is very important. 2D and 3D data of the manufacturing tools required in the process are fundamental for companies with machining. Reliable production processes require NC simulation and collision checks based on accurate, true-to-scale 2D or 3D tool models. This article describes the situation, where tools for a specific machining process are ordered from the tool manufacturer and how these 3D models could be used in subsequent processes at the client side.
Data Transformation from ISO6983 Data to ISO14649 to Obtain Machining Knowledge Using EXPRESS-X
Traditional NC data (ISO 6983) contain technical information implicitly. Because of this, it is impossible to manage, modify, and verify NC data easily and avoid human error. Moreover, we were not able to obtain machining knowledge from NC data. Technical information, such as machining feature, type of machining operation and machining condition, should be integrated into one data structure with some relation between the information. In this research, technical information is extracted from NC code, and is transformed into a next-generation CNC control language (ISO 14649) which contains technical information. The ISO 14649 data are then stored in XML using STEP technology, such as EXPRESS, EXPRESS-X, and Part28ed2 XML representation. In this report, workingstep is constructed from a machining feature and machining strategy which are extracted from NC code based on a form-shaping function.
Information System for the Engineering of Automotive Assembly Lines
DaimlerChrysler España has recently started the production of the new VITO model in a new production plant. Production engineering staff is responsible for integrating personnel working in different sites, namely, product developers, external engineering companies and people in charge of production. This paper will make a review through the steps covered in the development of the Digital Factory concept and point out the relevant elements of the conceived solution; major topic to be considered will be the change management problem and the adopted solution.
Track-and-Trace for CAD Models in Distributed Engineering
In the context of global engineering supply chains the virtual product is subject to a constant risk of espionage, fraud and sabotage. Beside other security technologies, digital watermarks are one approach to raise the security level in a company. In this article we concentrate on embedding digital watermarks into 3D product models. A digital watermark can be used to store and retrieve information such as the originator or the legitimate receiver of the model. We give a short overview of existing watermarking technologies for polygonal and parametric models and a more detailed description of an algorithm that is well suited for the track-and-trace scenario. Concrete usage scenarios illustrate technical alternatives and the integration in the product creation environment.
Virtual Prototyping of Garments
This paper presents a system for virtual prototyping of garments. The garments are constructed using standard 2D tools for pattern design. We present data structures for representing virtual garments, which are used for creating an interface between the 2D pattern construction and 3D garment simulation. The clothing is visualized three-dimensionally on virtual humans. Our system allows interactive draping and adjustment of the virtual garments. The system creates cost savings by reducing the number of real prototypes and decreasing the time-to-market.
Virtual, Physical and Parametric Prototypes in the Product Development Process
Successful product development means to develop products in lowest time and cost and high quality. To achieve this, fundamental strategies for the product development process must be respected and a sufficient support with computer based tools and methods must be given, in particular for product modelling, product data management, product visualisation and prototyping. Various prototyping techniques are used to derive prototypes and mock-ups of the entire product or selected parts of it. These prototypes can be virtual mock-ups as well as physical mock-ups, generated e.g. with rapid prototyping techniques. The application area of these prototypes and their purpose of use depends on the development phase or level of development of the product and the attended conclusion by the prototype. The fast change between virtual and physical prototypes and their reference to the integrated product model are thereby a crucial factor. At the Department of Computer Integrated Design (DiK), the parametric prototype has been developed as a new tool for the concept phase of the product development process. The contribution presents the methods and tools of virtual and rapid prototyping technology and their use in industrial applications in the product development processes. The parametric prototype is explained and its future application potentials are discussed.
A Systematic Approach for Efficient Collaboration of Creating Geometry and Numerical Simulation
Approaches to integrate CAD and CAE environments have often focused on particular issues of engineering, omitting the holistic aspect of this multi-levelled issue. Regarding all different dimensions of integration (product, people, tools, data), a detailed insight into the interrelations of these aspects is established in this paper through a process analysis of an exemplary design process. A procedural model systematizing all given elements of the CAD-CAE-process is presented, classifying them and their relations according to a particular pattern.
Collaborative European Networks of Excellence
The workshop on Collaborative European Networks of Excellence aims at the identification of synergy potentials that will arise from the cooperation of different NoEs by joining their efforts with respect to integrating activities, joint research work and dissemination. This also includes the involvement of industrial companies which are supposed to be the beneficiaries of NoEs. The workshop is initiated by the NoEs “Aim@Shape” and “VRL-KCiP”, but it is open for all other NoEs active in the area of production technology.
Knowledge-based 3D-CAD - Meeting the Challenge Between Increasing KBE-Capabilities and the Need for Standardization
Current research and development trends aim to enhancing parametric and feature-based 3D-CAD systems towards representing, processing and distributing knowledge. The integration of geometrical and non-geometrical information into the 3D-CAD model allows embedding product specific knowledge and design know-how into the models. Proprietary 3D-CAD-systems already offer sophisticated capabilities in the field of knowledge-based engineering (KBE). Many companies become more and more aware of the potential offered by knowledge based engineering. Furthermore the effective implementation of an integrated process chain is primarily based on data, information and knowledge represented in the 3D-CAD model. The workshop covers the basis of KBE technology in knowledge-based 3D-CAD-systems as well as state-of-the-art knowledge integration in the field of parametric 3D-CAD systems. It also addresses the need for integrating even more advanced KBE capabilities and methods from the research field of knowledge based systems. The need for integrating knowledge processes and 3D-CAD-based knowledge representations is covered in the workshop. Transferring scientific KBE-methods into customer-driven design processes is important for gaining product and process innovations, user acceptance, and savings potential. For example by means of knowledge based automation and intelligent design templates, 3D-CAD models can be modeled, applied, configured and subsequently enhanced. The reusability of the knowledge bases is of utmost importance for maximizing savings potentials. In the workshop the topic will also be discussed that the powerful and increasingly specific KBE capabilities of the different proprietary CAD-Systems lead to a growing diversity of knowledge representations and KBE-functionality. Therefore besides the requirements for rapidly enhancing the KBE-level in CAD-systems the need for standardizing knowledge representations as well as KBE-interfaces for accessing knowledge-based systems arise. Especially in the interactive part of the workshop topics dealing with different knowledge types for KBE representation, the demand for harmonizing KBE interfaces, the use of KBE meta structures and the requirements for user-friendly knowledge integration will be processed. The workshop concludes evaluating current KBE-capabilities in knowledge-based CAD-Systems, identifying future KBE-requirements as well as requirements for knowledge deployment and possible synergy effects with standardization activities.
Networked Design of Mechatronical Products – Challenges, Tools and Methods for an Efficient Cooperation
Current and future products fulfill their functions by combining mechanics, electronics and software – the so called “domains” (e.g. chips, sensors are embedded in mechanical components). The development of such products requires a close cooperation between the stakeholders involved in the design and the fabrication (experts from the different domains as well as from manufacturing, quality or purchasing). Up to now, the three domains (eCAD, mCAD, SW) are developed simultaneously but mostly separated from each other. Therefore, new tools and methods have to be investigated and implemented to promote cooperation during the development of such products. In the last few years, some firms implemented commercially available software and developed new methods to support cooperation in virtual product development teams. The usage of such tools and methods allow the different stakeholders to bring their know-how together and lead to an earlier maturity through the early detection of potential problems. However, the focus is on the development of mechanical products where disciplines like simulation, purchasing, manufacturing planning, quality or prototyping are able to use different tools (conferencing, virtual project room or 3D viewing). The next challenge will be to provide relevant tools and methods to the development teams of mechatronical products.
This workshop aims at highlighting the challenges of integrating the CAx/VR chain and providing an abstract level of information that can be used within different application domains such as design and analysis in order to enhance the turn around cycles. Semantic based modelling as one of the challenges will be one focus of this discussion. Specific modelling, analysis and visualisation techniques will be another one. How can semantics enrich the data models existing in CAD/CAE/VR systems? How should new modelling and analysis methodologies be enhanced in order to decrease the CAD/CAE turn around cycles ? What does a domain specific analysis imply to a standardised data models ? Is the way of following a pure data model based approach not taking into account the semantics of the models and engineers the right way to establish an efficient data retrieval in collaborative environments split over different enterprises? And last but not least, how can new technologies be incorporated into an existing engineering environment consisting of different CAx tools and an underlying PDM system? Participants will have the chance to discuss new developments within the area of semantic based engineering analysis, the problems encountered, the systems already used within enterprises and to elaborate a strategy which could push innovative tools into market.
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