An Integrative Approach to Engineering Data and Automatic Project Coordination
A new approach to integration of automation environments is necessary in order to overcome some fundamental limitations of current methods. The most common request for integration comes when an organization fords itself with many designsystems and representations most of which cannot communicate directly. Solutions to this problem have required either a proliferation of translations between systems, or the provision of a central data base with which all applications must communicate. Another aspect of integration is the provision of mechanisms which keep track of the status of design. The working-release method along with version control techniques is well known but does not directly address the compatability issue and provides only a partial solution to status keeping. Another approach to integration is to exploit the underlying structure of an engineering project. This method can result in improvement in both realms of integration described above. The potential results of such an approach include the following, each of which is described in this paper. Firstly, this approach provides a new mechanism for providing design team independence and a better definition of design team responsibility. Secondly, the concept of inter-verification is introduced as a way of providing a continuum of representations which can be kept consistent through the project structure. Thirdly, automatic conflict detection and coordination mechanisms can be implemented, eliminating much of the delay usually associated with design changes. The final portion of this paper indicates some of the other areas influenced by the use of project structure in the computational environment. This includes subdivision of verification processes, documentation systems, external object integration and automatic design systems.
KeywordsDesign Team Project Structure Automatic Documentation Automatic Design System Design Operation
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