Virtual Prototyping of Product Structure in Product Data Management

        Product Data Management (PDM) systems are beginning to be deployed for organizing, accessing, and controlling data about products throughout their life cycle. In general, thse systems lack integrated tools for prototyping suitable portions of PDM data, such as the Product Structure. Product Structure (PS) encompasses broadly the hierarchical organization of parts, typically defined by the bill of material, that describes the product from a variety of (e.g. design, manufacturing) views. consistent maintenance and constant evaluation of the evolving PS is vital during iterative design, particularly when parts are shared across different products. The first major contribution of this paper is a framework for understanding how PS/PDM fits whithin the broad context of mechanical design, leading to the identification of key desirables of PS prototypes. This second major contribution is a system architecture for PS prototyping that satisfies these desirables. The system conveniently accesses different version sof the PS stored in the IBM ProductManager PDM system, and supports virtual prototyping of the PS using real-time interactive visualization in the IBM 3D Interaction Accelerator (3DIX) environment.

By: Jai Menon and William Horn

Published in: RC20378 in 1996

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