Seeking intelligent product development - an integrator environment based on STEP

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Abstract

Rapid Prototyping (RP) is an emerging technology with different applications in the cycle of product and process development used during the conceptual and specification phases. To support it, the usage of a Data Base Management System (DBMS) and an Expert Systems (ES) are important to manage the data, support the identification of errors and check product conformance and production viability during this cycle, seeking intelligent product development. The underlying concept of RP and ES is very straight forward, but still exists a major problem that concerns the integration in the CAD/CAM environment. CAD data can have a variety of formats depending on the model used in the CAD system, as well as on ES' data and knowledge structure, that usually relies on the expert system shell's where it was developed. To support and speed up the integration process of these tools in a manufacturing environment, is essential to have an integrator environment where a standard is adopted for the data and knowledge exchange process, providing the software applications with a neutral format interface, becoming these tools open and standard compliant, ready to be used in any other standard environment. UNINOVA, in the scope of European and National projects, developed a STEP-based Platform for Integration of applications (SIP) to support and aid the software integration in industrial environments using the standard ISO10303-STEP, already used in different industrial domains. This paper addresses the integration aspects using STEP within industrial environments from the technical point of view, and proposes an architecture and a toolkit for the integrator environment, highlighting the implementation efforts to required to have RP technology, ES and DBMS focused towards a STEP-based intelligent product development.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)313-321
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Intelligent Manufacturing
Volume10
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1999

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