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Title: The exploration of a category theory-based virtual geometrical product specification system for design and manufacturing
Author: Xu, Yuanping
ISNI:       0000 0004 2686 0981
Awarding Body: University of Huddersfield
Current Institution: University of Huddersfield
Date of Award: 2009
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In order to ensure quality of products and to facilitate global outsourcing, almost all the so-called “world-class” manufacturing companies nowadays are applying various tools and methods to maintain the consistency of a product’s characteristics throughout its manufacturing life cycle. Among these, for ensuring the consistency of the geometric characteristics, a tolerancing language − the Geometrical Product Specification (GPS) has been widely adopted to precisely transform the functional requirements from customers into manufactured workpieces expressed as tolerance notes in technical drawings. Although commonly acknowledged by industrial users as one of the most successful efforts in integrating existing manufacturing life-cycle standards, current GPS implementations and software packages suffer from several drawbacks in their practical use, possibly the most significant, the difficulties in inferring the data for the “best” solutions. The problem stemmed from the foundation of data structures and knowledge-based system design. This indicates that there need to be a “new” software system to facilitate GPS applications. The presented thesis introduced an innovative knowledge-based system − the VirtualGPS − that provides an integrated GPS knowledge platform based on a stable and efficient database structure with knowledge generation and accessing facilities. The system focuses on solving the intrinsic product design and production problems by acting as a virtual domain expert through translating GPS standards and rules into the forms of computerized expert advices and warnings. Furthermore, this system can be used as a training tool for young and new engineers to understand the huge amount of GPS standards in a relative “quicker” manner. The thesis started with a detailed discussion of the proposed categorical modelling mechanism, which has been devised based on the Category Theory. It provided a unified mechanism for knowledge acquisition and representation, knowledge-based system design, and database schema modelling. As a core part for assessing this knowledge-based system, the implementation of the categorical Database Management System (DBMS) is also presented in this thesis. The focus then moved on to demonstrate the design and implementation of the proposed VirtualGPS system. The tests and evaluations of this system were illustrated in Chapter 6. Finally, the thesis summarized the contributions to knowledge in Chapter 7. After thoroughly reviewing the project, the conclusions reached construe that the III entire VirtualGPS system was designed and implemented to conform to Category Theory and object-oriented programming rules. The initial tests and performance analyses show that the system facilitates the geometric product manufacturing operations and benefits the manufacturers and engineers alike from function designs, to a manufacturing and verification.
Supervisor: Jiang, X. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: T Technology (General) ; TJ Mechanical engineering and machinery