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Content archived on 2024-05-27

Combined Internet Based Market And Engineering System For (Laser) Job Shops


Sheet metal processing SME are important suppliers for European industry. Transactions on markets for sheet metal processing are impeded by the exchange of incomplete and faulty CAD-data what causes information losses. Furthermore, the suppliers' strike rate for orders is mostly lower than 20%. Time for quoting is therefore costly. Finally, the markets of SME are national. International business-to-business relations, which become increasingly important for suppliers of bigger companies, are inhibited by language barriers and different trading behaviours.
To overcome these deficiencies, an Internet market place for suppliers and their customers is proposed. The market place consists of a multi-lingual negotiation system for creating standardised inquiries, offers and orders. The system furthermore has an Internet based engineering workbench, which is used to exchange and interpret product and technology data. To enable confidential handling of product know-how, CAD data are encrypted via a set of product describing characteristic numbers. This number enables job shops to make inquiries without initial CAD file. Repair routines for faulty CAD data complete the system.

Sheet metal processing job shops are important suppliers for European major industries. The goal is to form an Internet market place open for job shops with lasers and conventional machinery and their industrial customers.

Objectives are:
i) to give job shops a chance to offer their services European wide,
ii) to make job shops performance comparable from the viewpoint of customers,
iii) to speed up negotiation processes,
iv) to ease the exchange of CAD data between businesses,
v) to make the system a European wide used market place.

The market place meets the specific needs of technological demanding processes.

The job shops benefit is: easy access to potential customers, minimum time for quoting, use of high-end Internet CAD tools for exchanging CAD data.

The customers benefit will be to simplify inquiring using standardised inquiry forms, to receive many offers for one inquiry without additional efforts and to directly compare the performance of different job shops.

Work description:

The work is divided into the following 4 parts:

1) Internet presence of job shops: standardised homepages for participating job shops are designed. Job shops can easily register and set-up their own homepage. Yellow pages are created to enable efficient search for job shops. Additionally, an information forum for job shops and customers is created. The systems will be multi-lingual.

2) Internet CAD/CAM workbench: Negotiations for sheet metal processing services rely on exchange and interpretation of product and technology data. To enable confidential handling of product know-how, simply exchanging CAD files between numerous market participants must be avoided. Thus, an Internet based CAD workbench will be designed that enables encryption of CAD data via a set of product describing characteristic numbers. The number sets give all information necessary for pre-calculation but don't identify the product. As a half-automatic system, the workbench enables to load and view CAD files, to generate characteristic numbers and to repair faulty CAD data.

3) Internet negotiation system: The negotiation process is supported by standardised forms for inquiries, offers and orders. The Internet server provides functions for administration of customers, job shops, inquiries, offers and orders. Data of the negotiation process are saved on the Internet server. Negotiation processes are multi-lingual. The CAD/CAM workbench is integrated to support negotiation processes.

4) An communication strategy is developed to overcome the critical mass for e-commerce systems to become successful. The work comprises design tasks (appearance, convenience, information appropriateness, speed, additional benefits) to make the web system attractive to users and activities to inform potential users about the system.

Call for proposal

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Participants (11)