What if we could help your product reach the market faster by adding a provenance management to your existing PLM-system? And during this process take an important step on your digitalization journey. For the past five years, Industrial PhD student Iman Morshedzadeh has been working on developing a tool doing just that.
When we meet with Iman Morshedzadeh from the University of Skövde he is planning the defense on his thesis. It all started five years ago with a request from Powertrain Engineering Sweden. They needed to find a way to structure and manage the data and information related to a product’s life cycle, and in this structure include virtual models. Iman immediately sought to use the PLM system as a platform.
- The PLM system is the perfect place to manage data. First, it is already in place at the majority of companies, second it is the place where all important data and processes that have to do with the product is stored, says Iman.
Iman started by analyzing the PLM system to make sure the platform would work for what he had in mind. Next, he studied the process phase of a product lifecycle and clarified the role of process data in product development.
Benefits of PLM
If you have many varieties of a product or taking custom orders, you know the product development is more complicated, and with a product life cycle management system you can shorten the time to market. Integrated product and process development is one of the main issues in a business, and there is a constant race to shorten product development time. A strategy that does not only reduce costs, but also open up for taking market shares.
- Another benefit of the PLM-system is the increasing use of virtual models. In the future entire factories will have a virtual twin, a place where you will do all experiments and simulations to avoid unnessecary stop in the actual production. But, a virtual factory cannot exist without virtual models, which are stored in the PLM-system, says Iman.
System to handle virtual models
A virtual model is a conceptualization of an artifact, which is commonly used today, but much can be gained by switching to virtual models. But why hasn’t this technology developed faster?
-Designing a virtual model is quite time consuming, and R&D departments still have much to learn before companies are fully ready, but there is no doubt it is the future, says Iman.
To handle all data related to virtual models, the existing system needed an improve infrastructure. This is where the provenance management system (PMS), also called ManageLinks, come into the equation. It is develop at the University of Skövde and designed to manage provenance information, making it possible to save and present historical information about a virtual model.
Tested and ready for implementation
To enable a smooth integration between the softwares, the University developed a tool that connects; Computer-Aided technologies (CAx), PLM-system, Provenance Management System (PMS) also called ManageLinks, and Virtual Engineering Ontology (VE Ontology).
See figure, in the first layer engineers use CAx for their daily activities. PLM systems used for managing input and output data and models of engineering activities. PMS (ManageLinks) as an extension to the PLM is used for managing provenance and historical data about activities and at the last layer, ontology developed and used for knowledge management in the virtual engineering domain. The tool, as described, has also been tested in several application studies.
- The tool and its included systems is ready to be implemented in the industry. I am sure it will make it much easier for users in the R&D departments, and others, to handle and retrive the data, concludes Iman.
The connecting tool, and ManageLinks developed at The Univsersity of Skövde can be integrated into any PLM-system on the market. Through this tool, you can search, retrieve and reuse product data from different studies and experiments. All to improve the process, put products on the market faster and take one step further on your digitalization journey.
Are you interested to know more about this tool? Don't hesitate to contact us via our contact form.