Paradigm shift: Unified and associative feature-based concurrent and collaborative engineering

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With widely used concurrent and collaborative engineering technologies, the validity and consistency of product information become important. In order to establish the state of the art, this paper reviews emerging concurrent and collaborative engineering approaches and emphasizes on the integration of different application systems across product life cycle management (PLM) stages. It is revealed that checking product information validity is difficult for the current computer-aided systems because engineering intent is at best partially represented in product models. It is also not easy to maintain the consistency among related product models because information associations are not established. The purpose of this review is to identify and analyze research issues with respect to information integration and sharing for future concurrent and collaborative engineering. A new paradigm of research from the angle of feature unification and association for product modeling and manufacturing is subsequently proposed.

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