Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Towards cost-effective product lifecycle management

An integrated software solution enhances knowledge-based CAD interoperability and downstream applications for strengthening collaboration across the enterprise and supply chain.
Towards cost-effective product lifecycle management
Most of the conventionally used Computer Aided Design/Manufacturing/Engineering (CAD/ CAM/CAE) products involve a large variety of proprietary solutions for parametric characteristics, associative features and design-focused capture. Thereby, sub-tier suppliers need to optimise compatibility and maintain a large variety of different solutions to satisfy customer needs. However, possible inefficiencies would result in great economic losses unless collaboration across the enterprise and supply chain could be technically achieved.

To answer the interoperability problem in engineering software applications, an Israeli SME offers an innovative knowledge-based feature recognition and design-intent regeneration software application. Employing standard Application Programming Interfaces (APIs), it is currently installed as a plug-in for existing CAD systems. It involves a sophisticated feature recognition tool for making standard representations of data and native formats of CAD/CAM interoperable. This can result into significant reduction of time-to-market and can facilitate deployment of cost-effective Product Lifecycle Management (PLM).

This knowledge-based layer allows improvement of design intent of parts for full compliance to company design standards as well as downstream applications. The feature-based design capability consists of a modelling technique for optimising further development and reusability of a product design. This is achieved by capturing design intent and maintaining parametric definitions, as there is automatic/interactive identification of topology and decomposition of a solid model into form features, such as holes.

The new software solution offers full interoperability of knowledge and data related to product design between manufactures and suppliers. Unlike other similar applications, this innovative application has been designed on the basis of user-defined and knowledge-based sets of rules. Thus, it allows an extensive control of design-intent regeneration that limits manual intervention in the downstream (manufacturing) design process at the minimum. OEM partners specialised in PLM, CAD, CAM and CAE solutions are sought for integrating the application with their products.
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