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White Paper for the Use of Standards-based Data Communication Methods in the Automotive Industry

Format: PDF (19 pages)

Language: EN
Publication date: 7. 2003



Projectgroup: PDTnet

PDTnet Project, PDM data exchange - White Paper for integrated product development and manufacturing


In the world-wide automobile industry one of the goals is to reduce development time and costs. The complete development and simulation of the manufacturing resources and factories for a new product on a computer is the first step towards achieving this goal. The computer model of the "digital plant" can be used to perform trials and calculations for which expensive physical trials are still needed today. This computer model is created by the combined effort of a number of developers using different Data Creation systems.

Due to the fact that each system defines its own data format the communication process along the computer-aided process chain today is tackled by duplicate data creation, redundant data management and expensive data conversion processes.

In order for the vision of “Digital Plant” to become reality, a neutral representation of the digital plant is needed, which can be processed by all the partners involved irrespective of data creation system used. This is why the car industry has been investing a great deal of time and money in the development and application of the neutral product data description in accordance with ISO 10303 (STEP) for several years.

However, the standardized data model is only one precondition to allow data sharing, exchange and transfer in a heterogeneous data creation systems environment. A common understanding about processes and operations creating and processing product and manufacturing data as well as standardized implementation methods are required in addition.

In addition, an increasing portion of engineering development work is given out by OEMs to suppliers. This requires a stronger integration of processes, information and systems between OEM and supplier. In order to cope with this, various IT solutions were developed during the last years. They can be generally classified into four groups:

  • Asynchronous file-based data exchange
  • Data integration based on Web-clients
  • Synchronous data sharing
  • Small-sized concepts and solutions, that are based on the techniques listed above.
  • Encouraged by the progress made with the digital car vision, automotive companies started to continue this work in the production planning area. Starting with a PDTnet application project between SCANIA and ABB, the Interest Group Digital Plant was initiated.

    This paper provides an overview on the factory processes, discusses the data requirements and emphasizes the relevant standards. It also presents a concept how the concept can be brought into praxis.

    In a nutshell, the goals of the Interest Group are:

  • Preparing solutions for the integrated development of products and manufacturing resources
  • Enabling and accelerating the collaboration between vehicle manufacturers and manufacturing equipment suppliers
  • Providing access to actual product, resource and process data in a heterogeneous system environment (PDM, CAx, process and manufacturing resources planning systems)
  • Enabling the coupling of systems
  • Driving vendors to develop interfaces
  • Establishing flexible and comprehensive data communication based on international standards
  • To reach these goals the following approach will be taken:

  • Definition of application and system scenarios for the exchange of product and resource data (resource data: product data of manufacturing equipment)
  • Definition of use cases
  • Definition of recommendations for the use of ISO 10303 and related standards for the exchange of product and resource data
  • Definition of implementation guidelines
  • Portrait

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