Integrating vendors into cooperative design practices
Eskil, Mustafa Taner
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This paper describes a new approach to cooperative design using distributed, off-the-shelf design components. The ultimate goal is to enable assemblers to rapidly design their products and perform simulations using parts that are offered by a global network of suppliers. The obvious way to realise this goal would be to transfer desired component models to the client computer. However, in order to protect proprietary data, manufacturers are reluctant to share their design models without non-disclosure agreements, which can take in the order of months to put in place. Due to bandwidth limitations, it is also impractical to keep the models at the manufacturer site and do simulations by simple message passing. To deal with these impediments in e-commerce the modular distributed modelling (MDM) methodology is leveraged, which enables transfer of component models while hiding proprietary implementation details. MDM methodology with routine design (RD) methods are augmented to realise a platform (RD-MDM) that enables automatic selection of secured off-the-shelf design components over the Internet, integration of these components in an assembly, running simulations for design testing and publishing the approved product model as a secured MDM agent. This paper demonstrates the capabilities of the RD-MDM platform on a fuel cell-battery hybrid vehicle design example.