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Integrated engineering environments for large complex products

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Graham Coates, Professor Ian Ritchey, Professor Bill Hills MBE, Dr Robert Whitfield


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An introduction is given to the Engineering Design Centre at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, along with a brief explanation of the main focus towards large made-to-order products. Three key areas of research at the Centre, which have evolved as a result of collaboration with industrial partners from various sectors of industry, are identified as (1) decision support and optimisation, (2) design for lifecycle, and (3) design integration and co-ordination. A summary of the unique features of large made-to-order products is then presented, which includes the need for integration and co-ordination technologies. Thus, an overview of the existing integration and co-ordination technologies is presented followed by a brief explanation of research in these areas at the Engineering Design Centre. A more detailed description is then presented regarding the co-ordination aspect of research being conducted at the Engineering Design Centre, in collaboration with the CAD Centre at the University of Strathclyde. Concurrent Engineering is acknowledged as a strategy for improving the design process, however design co-ordination is viewed as a principal requirement for its successful implementation. That is, design co-ordination is proposed as being the key to a mechanism that is able to maximise and realise any potential opportunity of concurrency. Thus, an agent-oriented approach to co-ordination is presented, which incorporates various types of agents responsible for managing their respective activities. The co-ordinated approach, which is implemented within the Design Co-ordination System, includes features such as resource management and monitoring, dynamic scheduling, activity direction, task enactment, and information management. An application of the Design Co-ordination System, in conjunction with a robust concept exploration tool, shows that the computational design analysis involved in evaluating many design concepts can be performed more efficiently through a co-ordinated approach. © 2000 Technomic Publishing Co., Inc.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Coates G, Ritchey I, Duffy AHB, Hills W, Whitfield RI

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Concurrent Engineering Research and Applications

Year: 2000

Volume: 8

Issue: 3

Pages: 171-182

ISSN (print): 1063-293X

ISSN (electronic): 1531-2003

Publisher: Sage Publications


DOI: 10.1177/1063293X0000800302


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