Today Europe’s high-tech industries like the automotive and the aerospace industry face fierce competition from around the globe. In the same time, the high-tech industries have to partner with customers and all kinds of industrial partners from around the globe which are involved in multiple projects that involve the collaboration of multiple sites and multiple companies. In such global collaborations, each partner needs to be able to supply the other with specific engineering and manufacturing services.
Our European companies need therefore a concept that could be called High Performance Engineering: a coherent set of methods and tools to generate, apply and re-use their engineering knowledge to deliver fast, robust and low cost product development and manufacturing services. Such future high performance engineering capabilities will enable Tier 1 and Tier 2 companies in high-tech engineering to capitalize on their corporate design knowledge and allow for significant cost reductions in derivative design within product families. The objective for these companies is
- to realize an efficiency gain of 50% and
- time to market reduction of 50%
through the automation technology and innovation potential presented in this proposal. Such ambitious objectives can only be obtained by maximizing the level of design knowledge re-use by knowledge-based automation techniques and by the maximizing the utility of tools and technologies available via a generic framework that allows the seamless interoperability of the required methods, tools and people.
Leveraging the corporate knowledge in engineering will require a paradigm shift in product development: On one side, organizations will be driven to further specialize on their core business. Design and manufacturing companies are forced to increasingly organize their expertise and know-how on their core business in cost-efficient and productive ways like competence centers and distributed development Teams. This will allow them to effectively manage their valuable resources and share knowledge, methods and tooling across multiple projects and customers in parallel to boost productivity and cost-efficiency. It will also enable them to leverage their know-how and reduce the dependency on critical human experts by offering their specialized knowledge based software tooling as plug-and-play engineering services.
At the same time, deeper specialization will require a more flexible collaboration and a higher level of integration throughout the design chain, on all levels of people process and technology. Continuous integration of highly specialized design teams, production sites and supply chain partners will be the standard way of collaboration between highly-specialized engineering teams and departments. Driven by the stringent time-to-market deadlines, the distributed development teams are working concurrently, continuously sharing a single source of up-to-date product data.
IDEaliSM aims to drastically improve the time-to-market and development cost of high-tech structures and systems through a radical change in the Product Development Process by enabling continuous integration of distributed and highly specialized development teams. To this purpose the project will deliver a new distributed flexible and service-oriented development framework for multi-disciplinary design and optimization that is capable of integrating people, process and technology. To achieve these goals, the project will rely on software solutions for knowledge management, knowledge-based engineering, seamless process integration, design automation and optimization technologies.
The overall IDEaliSM aim can be divided into three main-objectives:
- An advanced integration framework for distributed multidisciplinary design and optimization enabling Competence Centres to offer and share engineering services and to collaborate in Distributed Development Teams.
- An Engineering Language Workbench: a set of domain specific and high-level modelling languages, ontologies and data standards to enable flexible configuration of engineering workflows and services and enable straightforward integration into distributed the advanced integration framework.
- A methodology for service-oriented development processes to redefine the product development process and information architecture to enable collaboration between service-oriented Competence Centers in Distributed Development Teams.
The resulting development framework will support European industries to enhance their level of integration and flexibility in product development to reduce the effort, cost and time-to-market in designing innovative aircraft and automotive structures and systems. As such, IDEaliSM fits well within the ‘Engineering Technology’ field identified in the ITEA2 research roadmap and the challenges within the Systems Engineering and Software Engineering domains.