The final results of the FEAST project have proved the following prime objective extracted from the original proposal:
The adoption of advanced feature modelling techniques in support of the engineering assembly process will improve the quality of engineering products and reduce the cost of customisation and fault rectification by eliminating assembly problems at the design stage.
Although the research was undertaken by leading members of the European Aerospace industry, the final results have substantiated earlier claims that the practical adoption of advanced feature modelling in support of the assembly process is equally applicable to the general engineering sector of European industry.
Experience has shown that technologies emanating in the aerospace industry are quickly cascaded into suppliers, partners and general engineering (SMEs).
The adoption of advanced modelling techniques by the engineering sector of European industry has increased dramatically during the 1990's with full computerised product models now being achieved by a large number of engineering firms.
Within this rapidly changing environment it is now clear that the exploitation of features to support the engineering process is a key element of ensuring the future competitiveness of the European industrial sector.
Traditionally, users of CAE systems have had minimal involvement with vendors during the development phase of new systems resulting in the delivered system usually falling short of user expectations.
The approach taken during the FEAST project, particularly the demonstrator and prototype development tasks, will ensure that the next generation feature based modelling systems satisfy user expectations.
The proposed research is directed at developing techniques for generating and exploiting a complete digital model of a engineering product,comprising complex assemblies of structure,piping,electrical wiring and other equipment. The model will extend the representation of product data currently held in Computer-Aided Engineering systems to include tolerancing,product configuration options and other essential relationships between components.
The techniques will exploit the additional information held in feature based definitions to:
1)simplify and automate subsequent analysis and production engineenring;
2)improve quality and reduce the cost of subsequent rework;
3)provide the basis for making more effective use of the skills required for assembly tasks and introducing automated assembly.
The major research tasks are:
1)Identification of requirements for features to support assembly processes of different classes of component;
2)Definition of the features required to support assemblies;
3)Development of a demonstrator to simulate and validate the concept;
4)Specification of assembly modeller;
5)Development of a prototype assembly modeller and testing in a realistic operational environmental.
It is anticipated that savings in assembly cost of some 50% could result from the implementation of the results of this research in any industrial sector involved with assembly of engineering products. The feature definitions developed in the project will also be submitted for adoption as part of the ISO STEP standard for product data.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
80038 Pomigliano D'arco