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The Analyzable Product Model Representation to Support Design-Analysis Integration


Tamburini, Diego R. (1999) Doctoral Thesis, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta.


Despite the number of sophisticated CAD/CAE tools available, collecting the product information needed for engineering analysis often poses a significant challenge. Contributing to this is the fact that there is rarely an integrated source of analysis information, since the product development normally involves designers from several disciplines using a variety of independent computing and manual systems. In addition, analysis models need idealized product information, which may require significant simplification or transformation of the design data. Some point-to-point solutions exist that integrate specific design and analysis tools, but the knowledge used to combine and idealize design information for analysis purposes is normally not captured in an explicit reusable and traceable form.

This thesis introduces a new representation of engineering products - termed Analyzable Product Model (APM) - aimed at facilitating design-analysis integration. This representation defines formal, generic, computer-interpretable constructs to create and manipulate analysis-oriented views of engineering products. These views help bridge the semantic gap between design and analysis representations, providing a unified perspective more suitable for analysis which multiple analysis applications can share. They are obtained by merging design representations from multiple sources and adding idealized information.

This thesis presents test cases and a prototype implementation used to validate the APM Representation. These test cases, which come from the electronic packaging and aerospace industries, utilize commercial CAD/CAE tools and STEP information exchange standards.

As these test cases demonstrate, APMs provide a stepping stone between design and analysis which absorbs much of the complexity that would be otherwise passed to analysis applications, resulting in leaner analysis applications. Another key APM distinctive demonstrated is the ability to formally represent the knowledge required to combine and idealize design information for analysis. While such knowledge is critical to achieving repeatable and automatable analysis, it is largely lost today.

Manuscript: pdf (5400 KB)

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