Inderscience Publishers

Philosophies for integrated product development

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Integrated product development occurs when the different disciplines in an enterprise, whether real or virtual, collaborate to design and produce parts. This paper presents a concept and architecture for an Integrated Tele-Cooperative Manufacturing (ITCM) environment. The ITCM concept is a new approach to product development, where parallel interactions among the various disciplines in an enterprise, such as marketing, business, design and production, are organised to establish a time-ordered application of people, methods and tools. This would ensure a thorough understanding of the product and process information that can be shared by all members of the product development team. The ITCM architecture is a new infrastructure that handles heterogeneous data, and integrates software applications using web servers, databases, document conferencing software, operating systems and integration utilities. It consists of a resource manager, a supervisory manager and a database manager who work together to enable concurrent multi-user and multi-application interactions. The ITCM concept and architecture will allow cooperation by people, resources and applications who are geographically distributed to work concurrently on a shared database of the design to produce a part successfully. A pilot ITCM scheme is planned in the Singapore context. It is a joint project with industry and a research institute.

Keywords: integration, concurrency, manufacturing, product development

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