Tuesday , December 11 2018

Intelligent System for Assisting Decisions in Advanced Product and Process Planning and Design

C. V. KIFOR, C. OPREAN, D. D. M. BANCIU
“Lucian Blaga” University of Sibiu
10 Victoriei Blv., 550024, Sibiu, Romania

Abstract: The current planning and advanced design systems of the products and processes require a higher complexity and this necessitates more than a single designer to accomplish it. The collaboration and teamwork represent the optimal way by which all the activities linked to the decision process can be realized. The current decision-assistance systems are designed to improve the efficiency and the effectiveness of the decision-makers by facilitating the information exchange, the way the information is accessed and used, the diminution of the specific deficiencies related with the design activities, the key-presence of some members, the social pressure, the inhibition of expression and so on. The IDDesign project presented in this paper aims at improving the decision – making process in advanced product and process quality planning and design, from identifying customer requirements, product / process planning, to prototype validation and production. It is our purpose to use modern tools that are related to intelligent decision support systems, and integrate them in process / product planning in order to reduce or eliminate the existing deficiencies, such as the geographical distribution of meeting participants, the subjectivism, and the dominant characters of some members, the social pressure, and the constraints.

Keywords: Design, APQP, Collaborative Decisions, FMEA.

Claudiu V. Kifor was born in Avrig, Sibiu county, Romania in 1970. BSc in Mechanical Engineering (1994), PhD in Industrial Engineering (2000) from “Lucian Blaga” University of Sibiu. Currently he is professor at Lucian Blaga University of Sibiu in the field of Quality Management and Engineering and also PhD advisor in Engineering and Management. He is author of 10 books and over 70 papers in the field of Industrial Engineering, Quality Management and Engineering. Mr. Kifor coordinated also 11 research projects in these fields. Invited professor at Aalbog University, Riga Teacher Training and Educational Management Academy, IUT Rennes.

Constantin Oprean was born in Spring, Alba County, Romania, in 1948. He graduated as an engineer in Mechanical Engineering in 1971, gained his doctorate in Industrial Engineering in 1985 at the Polytechnic University Bucharest. He became professor in 1978 and PhD adviser in 1985 at “Lucian Blaga” University of Sibiu (LBUS), Sibiu, Romania, after gaining experience as an engineer in the industrial production field between 1971 and 1978. In 1992, Prof. Oprean was promoted to the position of Vice – Rector for Quality Management and Scientific Research at LBUS. In 2004 he was elected as Rector of “Lucian Blaga” University of Sibiu. Prof. Oprean is a recognized specialist in the fields of quality management, university management, strategic management and technological transfer. Prof Constantin Oprean is a member of the editorial and advisory boards of many international journals, and he has written over 24 books/handbooks and published 276 scientific papers, 82 of them being presented at international conferences. He is the author of 24 inventions and has coordinated over 50 scientific research projects at the national and international levels.

Dorin D. M. Banciu obtained his BSc. in Transport Engineering from the Technical University “POLITEHNICA of Bucharest in 1999 and his Master in Public Administration (MPA) from The National School of Political and Administrative Studies in Bucharest in 2003. He is currently a PhD student in Industrial Engineering at “Lucian Blaga” University of Sibiu, Romania. His research interests include: quality and strategic management, intelligent transport systems and traffic management.

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CITE THIS PAPER AS:
C. V. KIFOR, C. OPREAN, D. D. M. BANCIU, Intelligent System for Assisting Decisions in Advanced Product and Process Planning and Design, Studies in Informatics and Control, ISSN 1220-1766, vol. 18 (3), pp. 247-254, 2009.

1. Introduction and General Framework

Globalization tends to produce a new industrial revolution leading to unprecedented scale of production, product and service distribution. All countries and economic regions, even the emerging ones are affected, the competition becoming very harsh. There is a powerful development of knowledge-based economies, with radical effect on markets, society and technology. This determines a new approach on production, based on high added value and knowledge involvement at all levels.

The European Technology Platform on Future Manufacturing Technologies for 2020 (www.manufuture.org), referred to within Europa Report of the high level group, must restructure its related industry by taking over the new business models that might induce a new understanding of products and services functions. There is a proposition for remodelling the industrial processes in order to introduce new models of knowledge management and manufacturing technologies, to move from a cost based competition to a value added one. Similar approaches are to e found also in the EpoSS platform. http://www.smart-systems-integration.org/public

In the past years, the Romanian economy has undergone major changes, being oriented on “loan” based production, implying a reduced contribution of know-how. A lot of Romanian organizations have given up product planning, the project coming from the customer or being bought from specialized institutes in exchange for large sums of money. There are very few foreign companies coming to Romania that have also planning, research and development departments; the majority have oriented towards production, due to the law labour costs; their expected migration will leave an empty space that will be hard to fill.

Considering the international challenges, and the Romanian economic and research area realities, the Romanian research strategy for 2007 – 2013 defines the following strategic objectives: knowledge creation, increase in Romanian economy competitiveness, and increase in social welfare. These are the lines based on which the National Plan for Research, Development and Innovation II was set up, and the Partnership Programme has as a general objective: increase in RD competitiveness through stimulation of partnerships in leading areas, translated in innovative technologies, products and services for solving complex problems and creating implementation mechanisms.

The current planning and advanced design systems of the products and processes require a higher complexity and this necessitates more than a single designer to accomplish it. The collaboration and teamwork represent the optimal way by which all the activities linked to the decision process can be realized. The current decision-assistance systems are designed to improve the efficiency and the effectiveness of the decision-takers by facilitating the information exchange, the way the information is accessed and used, the diminution of the specific deficiencies related with the design activities, the key-presence of some members, the social pressure, the inhibition of expression and so on.

There are nowadays many information and distributed computing systems that have been built to support the collaborative design and decision-making process. According to their different purposes and/or focuses, these systems can be generally grouped into the following categories: collaborative product data / information management systems for engineers to timely obtain the necessary product data and knowledge; network-based collaborative design systems (web-independent and web-dependent); process-centered collaborative design and workflow management systems; conflict detection, management and resolution systems for collaborative design; flexibility and security focused collaborative design system; interoperability approaches in heterogeneous collaborative design systems. Since most of them are developed for the needs of collaborative design, current systems can assist designers in one way or another in collaboration. Of those collaborative design information and support systems, notable ones include SHARE, NEXTLINK, DIS, DICE, EDN, MADEFast, NIIIP, RaDEO, etc. Other typical proof-of-concept systems include NetFeature, CooperativeARCADE, WebSPIFF, CSCW-FeatureM, TOBACO, CyberCAD, etc. [7]. There are also a number of commercial software packages purporting to perform many of the services that the system described supplies. Examples include: Alibre (http://www.alibre.com), Co-Create (http://www.cocreate.com), NexPrise (http://www.netprise.com), CollabCAD (http://www.collabcad.com), etc. Modern product data management (PDM) systems such as PTC Windchill and UGS Teamcenter (iMAN) also provide some of the functionality described for collaborative design and development.

4. Conclusions and Future Developments

The IDDesign project presented in this paper aims at improving the decision occurring in product and process advanced planning and design, from identifying customer requirements, product / process planning, to prototype validation and production. It is our purpose to use modern tools that are related to intelligent decision support systems, and integrate them in process / product planning in order to reduce or eliminate the existing deficiencies, such as the geographical distribution of meeting participants, the subjectivism, and the dominant characters of some members, the social pressure, and the restraint. We identified the 1st stage of the project, the decision fields from APQP process and we are working now to integrate iGDSS in the FMEA process.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

The paper was published with support of ANCS / CNMP – Partnership Programme, 12092 / 2008.

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