Integrative Engineering Design using Product Data Management Systems in Education

Year: 2009
Editor: Clarke, A, Ion, W, McMahon, C and Hogarth, P
Author: Gerhard, Detlef; Grafinger, Manfred
Page(s): 79-84


Today's students get a fairly good education in engineering methods such as Computer Aided Design IK(CAD) or Finite Element (FE) based analysis and simulation tools. All these methods are required to meet industry needs and expectations on future engineers. Still, engineering design education requires even more. Teams, developing innovative products, typically consist of members with multidisciplinary background, i.e. electrical, software, and mechanical engineers. Future engineers have to solve problems within collaborative work environments where each member has a certain role, has to deal with information and results of other members and has to share information like CAD models or simulation results. Furthermore, design work within companies reuses knowledge of formerly conducted projects, is guided by internal processes and workflows, and limited to external regulations or required standards. The main driver behind our research work is the question how to represent these industrial work environments described by the stated observations properly and how to overcome the fact that engineering design education is still too much bounded by the narrowing views of different university departments. The idea of our courses and methods presented in this paper is to create an environment within a university's "ecosystem" which matches closely to the processes and structures of today's engineering departments. Our approach is to implement and use a Product Data Management (PDM) system - widely deployed in industrial environments - as collaborative work environment serving a as an integration platform for all used applications, supporting team oriented work and enabling us to educate in a case study oriented manner with proper roles and processes.

Keywords: PDM, multi-disciplinary and integrative design

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