The Engineering Service Bureau- Empowering SMEs to Improve Collaboratively Developed Products
Scholand, A. J; Peak, R. S.; Fulton, R. E.(1997), CALS
Expo USA, Track 2, Session 4.
Although the development of major engineering products currently depends on small manufacturing enterprises (SMEs) for over 50% of the design/manufacturing effort, SMEs are typically unable to afford sophisticated analysis, such as FEA. Since often only the SME has sufficiently detailed product and process knowledge to carry out meaningful analysis, the engineering knowledge of the entire development team is diminished. The Team InteGrated Electronic Response (TIGER) Project addressed this issue, developing an Engineering Service Bureau (ESB) concept as a means of empowering SMEs with advanced analysis capabilities. An ESB provides a fee-for-service analysis service, ranging from consulting to 'self-service analysis', where engineers at the SME interact with pre-developed analysis modules directly. This highly automated plug-and-play self-service analysis is enabled by usage of STEP rich product models and design-analysis integration techniques. Example services an ESB might provide and guidelines for establishing such a service are also discussed.