From CAD/CAPP/CAM/CNC to PDM, PLM and Beyond

From CAD/CAPP/CAM/CNC to PDM, PLM and Beyond

Xun Xu (University of Auckland, NZ)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-714-0.ch016
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Abstract

Companies that have been practicing CAD, CAPP, CAM, and CNC integration have now realized that there is a need to operate in a much broader scope with wider boundaries and more functionality. To foster innovation in a product development lifecycle, change in the early stage is good, and, in fact, should be encouraged. The more iteration a product design can experience at this stage when change is inexpensive, the lower cost our final product will become. At a later stage when hardware set-up is committed against a design, change becomes expensive and should be discouraged. Therefore, there is a need for an effective way of managing product-related information as well as the product development action flow, which captures actions that need to be done, have been done, and what other parts are affected. Engineers that subscribe to a portion of a design also need to be working with other collaborators and then automatically be notified when changes occur. This leads to increased implementation of Product Data Management (PDM) and Product Lifecycle Management (PLM). PDM systems are used to control information, files, documents, and work processes required to design, build, support, distribute, and maintain products. Using PDM, people can contribute at the early stages of product design and development. In addition, PDM can be seen as an integration tool connecting many different areas, which ensures that the right information is available to the right person at the right time and in the right form throughout the enterprise. In this way, PDM improves communication and cooperation be tween diverse groups in an organization, and between organizations and clients (Peltonen, Pitkanen & Sulonen, 1996, Liu & Xu, 2001). PDM is strongly rooted in the world of CAD, CAPP, CAM, and CNC in a more specific sense as well as in the world of engineering and design in a more general sense. In recent years, more focus has also been on the improvement of the entire product lifecycles. The major concern here is time-to-market, as it reflects the competitiveness of a company. In response to the new area of focus, new generation PDM systems are developed to support the entire product lifecycle; from the initial concept to the finishing product. This has subsequently led to the birth to PLM systems. From the information context, PLM should cater for the management of the information throughout the lifecycle of a product, including multiple domain views, different business processes scattered across enterprises and different representations of a multitude of native product-, resource- and process-models (Stark, 2004, Rosén, 2006). This chapter starts with introduction to and discussions about product data management systems. Topics covered include PDM’s capabilities, its benefits, Web-based PDM and PDM standardization. The concept of integrated and extended PDM is also introduced. This is followed by discussions on product lifecycle management, for example definitions of PLM, its solution model, benefits, and implementation are among the topics covered. Like PDM, issues regarding PLM standardisation are also addressed. Share-A-space™ is a practical case of PLM. The core features and its architecture are discussed. Toward the end, the concept and some of the techniques of “grand” integration are introduced.
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Pdm’S Capabilities

In terms of capabilities, five basic user functions should be supported by a PDM system,

  • Data vault and document management, which provides for storage and retrieval of product information;

  • Workflow and process management, which controls procedures for handling product data and provides a mechanism to drive a business with information;

  • Product structure management, which handles bills of material, product configurations, associated versions and design variations;

  • Parts management, which provides information on standard components and facilitates re-use of designs; and

  • Program management, which provides work breakdown structures and allows co-ordination between processes, resource scheduling and project tracking.

There are some other utility functions that can enhance a PDM system. Communication capabilities such as links to e-mail provide for information transfer and event notification. Data transport functions track data locations and move data from one location or application to another. Data translation capability exchanges files in a proper format. Image services handle storage, access and viewing of product information. Administration functions control and monitor system operation and security.

The PDM user can search company’s data or information through his or her desktop computer. The actual searching and finding process are handled by the server, using the meta-database search engine. The files are stored in the managed files or data vault. The server finds the specific information and then transfers it back to the user’s screen with a proper format. The functional view of a PDM system is shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1.

Functional view of a typical PDM system. ©2001 Elsevier Limited, used with permission.

Evolution of PDM Methodology

CAD systems originally provided electronic drawings, but then evolved to creating designs in 3D. In the 70’s and 80’s, CAD users can build a 3D virtual prototype and with digital mock-up interactively simulate product performance and check for system interferences. Since the late 80’s, other product development functionalities such as manufacturing have been introduced to CAD systems to provide manufacturing industry with tools doing design, process planning and manufacturing all under the same roof, hence the birth of CAD/CAM systems. It is however worth noting that the focus has been mainly on managing part geometry and other geometry-related information. For example, when assembly modelling is done, there is little to manage elements like versions and configurations, maturity and affectivities’, or the relationships and links to other information that is being generated during the innovation phase of the design process.

Many large corporations, often the leaders in manufacturing industry, soon found their efficiency severely downgraded by the abovementioned insufficiency. CAD systems did not provide secure locations for others to universally access product data. There was not support for structured workflows with which to evolve a product design through its lifecycle, and share it with downstream manufacturing and other legacy applications. With no commercially available systems at that time, they started to develop their own data management solutions. Some were successful, others not. Meanwhile, a number of software companies started to realise the problems associated with so-called “automation islands” (e.g. CAD and CAM tools) and the potential market of efficient data management methodologies. They began to introduce the first generation commercial PDM systems. The majority of those vendors were already involved in the CAD/CAM/CAE software market. They focused on developing the data management solutions, and added PDM to their product lines.

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Benefits Of Pdm Systems

In general, organisations that successfully implement PDM can achieve multiple advantages in terms of productivity and competitiveness. The benefits can be summarised as follows (Hameri & Nihtila, 1998).

Complete Chapter List

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Dedication
Table of Contents
Foreword
A.Y.C. Nee
Acknowledgment
Xun Xu
Chapter 1
Xun Xu
One of the key activities in any product design process is to develop a geometric model of the product from the conceptual ideas, which can then be... Sample PDF
Geometric Modelling and Computer-Aided Design
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Chapter 2
Xun Xu
Today, more companies than ever before are involved in manufacturing various parts of their end products using different subcontractors, many of... Sample PDF
CAD Data Exhange and CAD Standards
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Chapter 3
Xun Xu
Products and their components are designed to perform certain functions. Design specifi- cations ensure the functionality aspects. The task in... Sample PDF
Computer-Aided Process Planning and Manufacturing
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Chapter 4
Feature Technology  (pages 75-89)
Xun Xu
Throughout the course of the development of CAD, CAPP, and CAM systems, unambiguous representation of a design’s geometry and topology remain an... Sample PDF
Feature Technology
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Chapter 5
Feature Recognition  (pages 90-108)
Xun Xu
Conventional CAD models only provide pure geometry and topology for mechanical designs such as vertices, edges, faces, simple primitives, and the... Sample PDF
Feature Recognition
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Chapter 6
Feature Interactions  (pages 109-125)
Xun Xu
Feature interaction tends to have a wide range of consequences and effects on a feature model and its applications. While these may often be... Sample PDF
Feature Interactions
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Chapter 7
Xun Xu
Integrated feature technology promotes a closer connection between design and manufacturing through features. When machining features are... Sample PDF
Integrated Feature Technolog
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Chapter 8
CNC Machine Tools  (pages 165-187)
Xun Xu
The introduction of CNC machines has radically changed the manufacturing industry. Curves are as easy to cut as straight lines, complex 3-D... Sample PDF
CNC Machine Tools
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Chapter 9
Program CNCs  (pages 188-229)
Xun Xu
A CNC machine can be programmed in different ways to machine a workpiece. In addition to creating the cutting program, many other factors also need... Sample PDF
Program CNCs
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Chapter 10
Xun Xu
Technologies concerning computer-aided design, process planning, manufacturing and numerical control, have matured to a point that commercialized... Sample PDF
Integration of CAD/CAPP/CAM/CNC
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Chapter 11
Xun Xu
The integration model (Model B) as discussed in the previous chapter makes use of exchangeable neutral data formats such as IGES (1980). Neutral... Sample PDF
Integration Based on STEP Standards
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Chapter 12
Xun Xu
Function blocks are an IEC (International Electro-technical Commission) standard for distributed industrial processes and control systems (IEC... Sample PDF
Function Block-Enabled Integration
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Chapter 13
Xun Xu
In order to prepare manufacturing companies to face increasingly frequent and unpredictable market changes with confidence, there is a recognized... Sample PDF
Development of an Integrated, Adaptable CNC System
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Chapter 14
Xun Xu
A logical step after CNC machining is inspection. With inspections, Closed-Loop Machining (CLM) can be realized to maximize the efficiency of a... Sample PDF
Integrating CAD/CAPP/CAM/CNC with Inspections
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Chapter 15
Xun Xu
Today, companies often have operations distributed around the world, and production facilities and designers are often in different locations.... Sample PDF
Internet-Based Integration
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Chapter 16
Xun Xu
Companies that have been practicing CAD, CAPP, CAM, and CNC integration have now realized that there is a need to operate in a much broader scope... Sample PDF
From CAD/CAPP/CAM/CNC to PDM, PLM and Beyond
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Chapter 17
Key Enabling Technologies  (pages 354-393)
Xun Xu
While computers have proven to be instrumental in the advancement of product design and manufacturing processes, the role that various technologies... Sample PDF
Key Enabling Technologies
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