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Product range models in injection mould tool design

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posted on 19.11.2010, 11:10 by Carlos Alberto Costa
The use of information models, which may be shared by many different software applications to support activities throughout the whole product life cycle, is recognised as a powerful approach to support integrated, team based product development. While much work has been done into the concepts of Product and Manufacturing Models, there is a need to explore the definition of information models to support reuse of design information. The research reported in this thesis explores the structure of a Product Range Model, which can capture information and knowledge, based on design history, of the range of ways in which a product can be designed. The work uses injection mould tooling as a type of product against which to pursue the research. The relationships between design functionality and potential solution sets for injection mould tool designs have been explored. Major emphasis has been placed on understanding the interactions, which take place between the range of potential solutions and the requirements of each particular design. A Product Range Model structure has been defined based on four main interacting classes; Functions, Design Solution, Interactions and Knowledge Links. An experimental object oriented system has been produced which comprises a Product Range Model, a Product Model and related decision support applications. Experiments have been performed to demonstrate how a Product Range Model can offer valuable support to designer re-use. The research contributes to the understanding of the general structural requirements of such model based information systems. It shows how valid design options can be provided through the definition of the Interactions class. It also shows how Knowledge Links can be defined and used to provide a mechanism to identify critical information in a Product Model needed by each Interaction element.



  • Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering


© Carlos Alberto Costa

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A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.

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