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Integrated Modelling of Products and Processes Using Advanced Computer Technologies


The objective of this project is to develop and demonstrate a new generation of integrated modelling systems for product design and process planning, including machine control data generation.
A reference model as a general approach for deriving specific software development strategies has been constructed. A flexible, adaptable architecture has been used, open for the integration of future software components. The integrated product model contains all information about the product and its production processes.

The main functional improvements have been to combine solid and surface techniques for all planning stages to offer practice oriented unfolding techniques for 3-dimensional models and to combine generic and knowledge based process planning to offer full automated numerical control (NC) part programming.

By simulation and evaluation, the capabilities of machining have been used to optimize the product. Know how gained is made available as feedback information by knowledge based modules cooperating with the product and production process model. The economic objectives are to become more competitive on time and to cut costs by increasing quality and productivity.

Results have been demonstrated in the application areas of sheet metal parts manufacturing for aircraft spares and complex shape parts manufacturing for ship propellers.

Each action, whether performed by man or machine, is a combination of objects and information. Which items of information and how many of them are needed depends on the smoothness with which this communication process takes place. Information should not have to be requested or searched for, but should active and make itself available. This has been achieved by integration on the application level. The use of features supports integration on a semantical level. This facilitates communication between business activities.
The two main goals are to improve the efficiency of software vendors by making software easier to integrate, and to improve the user's efficiency by enhancing the functionality of existing CIM modules.

Current limitations of integration, caused by the use of specific data representations for different CIM modules, will be overcome by a conceptual approach using features in all stages of the manufacturing process of a product.

IMPPACT aims to improve the understanding of the integration of successive production phases by recognising that the information system needs feedback loops.

The reference model to be specified serves as a general approach for deriving specific software development strategies for different application areas. It helps build the framework and ensures a reduction in the gap between the user's requirements and the software developed.

A flexible, adaptable architecture will be used, capable of handling software packages with individual structures and environments while running on different hardware. The architecture is open for the integration of future software. The integrated product model will contain all necessary information about standards and processes.

The main functional improvements will be to:

- combine solid and surface techniques and make these available at the process planning stage
- offer practice-oriented unfolding techniques for 3-D models to create flat patterns
- combine generative and knowledge-based process planning
- offer fully automated NC-part programming, including feature recognition with advanced nesting facilities.


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Krupp GmbH
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Altendorfer Straße 103
45143 Essen

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Participants (13)