In this thesis, the management of product information in concurrent design systems has been investigated with particular reference to product development in small and medium enterprise (SME) industry and design education at polytechnic level in Singapore. From a critical review of the relevant literature on product design and development processes, concurrent engineering, concurrent design systems, product data management and related methods, it is found that there is a clear need for a new design of a system for organizing and managing product information in a concurrent design environment in the above contexts. This finding has led to the development of a conceptual rationale, termed the Design Tensor Method, and the design and development of an innovative product information management system called PRIMAS. PRIMAS is a systematic methodology for the classification, organization, integration, communication, storage and management of product information in the product development process. A software prototype based on PRIMAS has been subsequently developed. PRIMAS along with its conceptual principles have been applied and tested in a product design project in a tertiary educational institution and in two significant industrial product development projects based respectively in two SMEs. Positive evaluation feedback on PRIMAS has been obtained in these studies. The product development projects investigated with PRIMAS have also produced outcomes that meet the original specified design requirements. The findings from this research have led to the conclusion that PRIMAS is a viable product information management system that can be used effectively for managing product information in concurrent design projects in SME industry and design education. Substantial PRIMAS databases of useful product information have been compiled for the product development projects investigated with PRIMAS. Finally, recommendations are made for future research.
|Date of Award
|Livio Bonollo (Supervisor) & Don Carson (Supervisor)