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Neutral Product Definition Database for Large Multifunctional Systems


The objective of this project is to develop standardised methods for the storage and exchange of data defining shipbuilding and ocean engineering products as representative examples of large multifunctional systems.
The developments and results for a neutral product definition database for large multifunctional systems are described. The database development is based on the product modeling methodology of the evolving International Standards Organisation (ISO) standard STEP (ISO 10303) and its information modeling language EXPRESS. The main application areas envisioned for the database are ships and other maritime products as representive prototypes of large and functionally very diverse systems. The emphasis is placed on methods for describing the structural systems, the spatial arrangements, and the multitudinous outfitting systems in this type of product. The neutral database formats are intended to serve for purposes of file data exchange between heterogenous computer aided design (CAD) or computer integrated manufacture (CIM) systems as well as for data sharing by means of a dynamic access neutral database. The results of the project include concept designs and sprcifications for the product information models and for the database components.
Building on the work of ESPRIT project 322 (CAD*I) and CAD interface formats such as STEP and PDES, the project will define the principles of application-oriented reference models relating to complex maritime products, which include many services and machinery systems within a constraining steelwork envelope.

A Neutral Product Definition Format will be defined to serve as an exchange and archiving medium for the complete standardised product definition model. In order to verify the validity of the basic principles which would be adopted in the preparation of the specification, the project will include the development of the part of the database concerned with the modelling of the steel structure, with tests simulating actual exploitation conditions.

The availability of a neutral product definition format will encourage the development of new applications and significantly assist cooperation between the large number of designers, manufacturers and subsystem vendors typically involved in marine engineering projects. A number of software products incorporating the product definition format are expected to be exploited as a result of the development.

It is also expected that the project will provide a valuable contribution to international standardisation in the area of product data exchange technologies and will serve as a test case for the viability of the ISO/STEP/CADI approach for complex multi-functional products.


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Institut de Recherches de la Construction Navale
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1 rue de la Noël
44071 Nantes

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Participants (18)