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Title: Distributed and collaborative product development and manufacturing knowledge management
Author: Cheung, Wai Ming
ISNI:       0000 0001 3543 4368
Awarding Body: Durham University
Current Institution: Durham University
Date of Award: 2007
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A major challenge facing industry nowadays is the adoption of current information sharing and collaboration technologies for early design and manufacturing phases to enable collaboration for product development through information distribution. Furthermore, product development process displays ever growing complexity and dynamic behaviour due to both increasing product complexity and distributive and collaborative engineering demands. in order to overcome these issues, advanced strategic corporate alliances must share knowledge, expertise and resources in an increasingly competitive global market. The principal hypothesis of the research is that, at present there is a disconnection between the early stages of communicating design concepts and potential manufacturing scenarios which could be bridged by using internet-based Product Data Management (PDM) systems with techniques and methods for design conceptualisation, aggregate factory modelling and manufacturing knowledge management. The main objective of this research is therefore to investigate and develop methods for the effective management of the internet-based process of communicating new product requirements and manufacturing performance evaluations. In particular, the investigation is focused on the early stages of product development throughout the product life cycle using PDM, Enterprise Resource Planning systems and Web-based technologies. The tools used to explore the feasibility are the utilisation of Web-centric supporting technologies such as extensible Markup Language, Resource Description Framework and ontologies for manufacturing knowledge management. The Unified Modelling Language and Object- Oriented based Java Programming Language are used to further develop and facilitate an early process planning evaluation system. In addition, a new framework using Peer- to-Peer technology as a subset of the product development integration architecture to support smaller companies and large corporations has also been developed. This thesis presents the contributions and the development of novel methods which include: 1. The aggregate manufacturing models, 2. New methods in relation to knowledge management of design and manufacturing,3. A client/server product development integration architecture, and 4. A decentralised production network for smaller and larger companies using 'open source' solutions. These will facilitate the communication of early design and product development within a distributed and collaborative environment. Two case studies are presented to verify the demonstrations. The first case study replicates a centralised client/server environment supporting the design of steel panel bridges for rapid assembly on-site. The second case study is focused on creating a virtual enterprise collaboration to compare the applications of a centralised PDM and decentralised open source solutions. Overall results have indicated that: 1. The opportunity of early collaboration in product design can be maximised, prevent poor decisions, enable the design to be right first time, and2. Elimination of bottlenecks in bandwidth and resources, reduce centralised administration cost and empowering of collaborators within networks to control the knowledge they create. Therefore, with proper technologies, methods and techniques to share knowledge, expertise and resources, can enhanced the three critical factors in product development, namely: reduction of cost, time-to-market and quality of product.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available