A new approach towards systems integration within the mechatronic engineering design process of manufacturing systems
International Journal of Computer Integrated Manufacturing, 26, 2013, 8
Creating flexible and automated production facilities is a complex process that requires high levels of cooperation involving all mechatronics disciplines, where software tools being utilised have to work together as closely as their users. Some of these tools are well-integrated, but other tools can hardly exchange any data. One of the main barriers impeding the implementation of existing integration solutions relates to the mutually diverse requirements of the mechatronics disciplines involved. In order to overcome these barriers, this research study approaches systems integration from a data modelling view point. A middle-in data modelling strategy is presented, which goes beyond present strategies in fulfilling multidisciplinary requirements and in maintaining data model consistency. Such an approach has been successfully applied within the engineering design process concerning body shop production lines for the automotive industry.