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Design coordination for enabling concurrent engineering

Coates, G. and Duffy, A.H.B. and Hills, W. and Whitfield, R.I. (1999) Design coordination for enabling concurrent engineering. In: 6th ISPE International Conference on Concurrent Engineering, 1999-09-01 - 1999-09-03.

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Concurrent Engineering has been identified by many as an approach which can lead to improved product quality in less time at reduced cost. In this paper, we go further by recognising that coordination is a critical means by which Concurrent Engineering can be successfully achieved. A design coordination methodology, generic in nature, is described which allows the maximum permissible design activity to be performed simultaneously. An implementation of the proposed methodology, termed the Design Coordination System, has been developed to assist the designer in performing computational analysis in a distributed computing environment. The Design Coordination System employs a collection of agents that act as members of a multi-functional team operating in a cooperative and coordinated manner in order to satisfy the objective of efficiently performing the design analysis. This involves agents seizing the opportunity to perform activities concurrently when and where possible.