Integration of design and process planning

In Concurrent engineering (CE), augmented effort is invested in the integration of the different engineering processes applied in the manufacturing cycle of a product. In CE, emphasis is put on a simultaneous execution of shared tasks by separate departments and on the control of co-operative decision making. Therefore, it is important to understand the need for interaction and communication between the diverse disciplines involved in the product development cycle. As a matter of fact, the possibility of communication is based on both the availability and the accessibility of coherent information. Instead of merely exchanging data, it is desired to have access to meaningful representations of the existing product data, reflecting the current state of design. Access to significant historical data may also be of significant help. If this data is available (in a so-called product information structure), it can be used as a basis for the control of the design and engineering processes, including the required communication.

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