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Agent based engineering in a cost estimation model for composites (ECOMP)


The scientific challenge of this project lies in the application of agent-oriented software engineering to cover the real need of computing time and cost estimates in the expanding market of composite designs, as well as assisting designers in evaluating cost reduction strategies based on advanced computing techniques, which can be easily and readily accessed and used by SME's in their efforts to remain at the forefront of technological developments and to be well-positioned to compete on the global scene . The technical objectives of this project lie in the development, verification and validation of a web-based multi agent-based infrastructure that will assist composite manufacturers, equipment and tooling manufacturers, product designers and process engineers in developing new and better products, optimising processes, choosing equipment configurations and materials from a wide range of suppliers by providing them with a tool to assist them in evaluating cost reduction strategies so that they can con fidently make decisions early on during the design phase. Initial market research will be required to identify the needs, technological level, foreseen benefits, etc. of potential users of the proposed technology. This will be achieved through an extensi ve mailing (ordinary mail and via Internet) and personal interviews. The knowledge base will span the production tasks of materials selection, process selection, and process design and will encompass the experience of seasoned designers as well as theore tical models based on first principals. Composites technology knowledge will be gathered mainly from partners and RTD performers. The research seeks to capture the human solving knowledge used in composites, organise this knowledge and other numerical comp uting required for the control and design activities, and provide the computer software frameworks to strategically exercise this knowledge. This will result in the development of a cost estimation model for composites and bio-composites, providing users w ith a sufficient knowledge base to resolve problems and assist decision-making in composite cost issues. The proposed system will be validated among the partners and other applications will be analysed.

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