A framework for concurrent engineering - ToCEE

Robert Amor, Peter Katranuschkov, M. Clift, Raimar Scherer, Žiga Turk, Matti Hannus

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference article in proceedingsScientific

Abstract

The construction industry has been moving towards concurrent engineering for many years. However, in practice, the degree of success achieved through the application of concurrent engineering varies considerably. Organisational factors, especially with respect to information management methods and techniques, coupled with different levels of training and experience of personnel, place considerable limitations on the level of concurrency and collaborative work that can be achieved. Information technology has an enormous potential to improve both the organisational and the technological infrastructure of construction projects and thus to facilitate the effective application of concurrent engineering methodology. In the application of IT for concurrent engineering in the building industry valuable steps have already been achieved: in product model based integration, by STEP (ISO 10303-1), with parts 41-45, 103, 106, and APs 225, 230 and 231 and by several EU projects, e.g., ATLAS (Bshms and Storer, 1994), CIMsteel (Watson and Crowley, 1995), COMBI (Scherer and Sparacello, 1995) and COMBINE (Augenbroe, 1995) in process modelling, e.g., by the CALS initiative in workflow developments and electronic document management, by the WfMC (Jablonski, 1995) as well as in several commercial and research based EDM systems. In spite of these achievements, concurrent engineering issues, such as the management of the process, product, documentation, and communication, are still being handled in a fragmented manner, as individual, mutually independent, or at best only partially interrelated systems. Interoperable environments have yet to be developed which can fully integrate into practice and increase the uptake of concurrent engineering. To help tackle these issues the EU ESPRIT project ToCEE (Towards a Concurrent Engineering Environment in the Building and Engineering Structures Industry) was inaugurated in 1996 (ESPRIT IV-20587 ToCEE). ToCEE will contribute to the improvement of the organisational infrastructure for concurrent engineering by utilising the opportunities offered by IT. The primary objectives of the ToCEE project are the development of an overall conceptual framework, as well as specific software tools, for concurrent engineering support. Some of the results are intended to be applied directly in the current software environments utilised by end-users. Other results will be developed and tested as prototypes leading to a more long term development approach.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEuropean Conference Product Data Technology Days 1997
Place of PublicationSandhurst
Pages15-22
Publication statusPublished - 1997
MoE publication typeB3 Non-refereed article in conference proceedings
EventProduct Data Technology Days 1997: European Conference - Sophia Antipolis, France
Duration: 15 Apr 199716 Apr 1997

Conference

ConferenceProduct Data Technology Days 1997
CountryFrance
CitySophia Antipolis
Period15/04/9716/04/97

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