J. Comput. Inf. Sci. Eng. 2005;5(3):169-170. doi:10.1115/1.2031087.

We are pleased to bring out this special issue of JCISE to provide both a retrospective and a snapshot of key areas in computing and information science as they relate to electro-mechanical product development. We invited some of the leading researchers from areas of current interest to write survey articles about their respective fields. While this issue does not cover all of the areas encompassed by CIE, either from a historical perspective or at the current evolutionary point of the Division, it offers a unique view of what is quintessential to the technical domain of CIE.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster


J. Comput. Inf. Sci. Eng. 2005;5(3):171-181. doi:10.1115/1.2013289.

The field of computational design synthesis has been an active area of research for almost half a century. Research advances in this field have increased the sophistication and complexity of the designs that can be synthesized, and advances in the speed and power of computers have increased the efficiency with which those designs can be generated. Some of the results of this research have begun to be used in industrial practice, yet many open issues and research challenges remain. This paper provides a model of the automated synthesis process as a context to discuss research in the area. The varied works of the authors are discussed as representative of the breadth of methods and results that exist under the field of computational design synthesis. Furthermore, some guidelines are presented to help researchers and designers find approaches to solving their particular design problems using computational design synthesis.

Topics: Design
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Comput. Inf. Sci. Eng. 2005;5(3):182-187. doi:10.1115/1.1979508.

Computer-aided design (CAD) systems have become parametric, basing shape design on constraints and design feature operations. We review the development of constraint-based parametric CAD, explaining some of the foundational issues as well as giving an outlook on possible future directions of development.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Comput. Inf. Sci. Eng. 2005;5(3):188-197. doi:10.1115/1.2033009.

The vision of fully automated manufacturing processes was conceived when computers were first used to control industrial equipment. But realizing this goal has not been easy; the difficulties of generating manufacturing information directly from computer aided design (CAD) data continued to challenge researchers for over 25 years. Although the extraction of coordinate geometry has always been straightforward, identifying the semantic structures (i.e., features) needed for reasoning about a component’s function and manufacturability has proved much more difficult. Consequently the programming of computer controlled manufacturing processes such as milling, cutting, turning and even the various lamination systems (e.g., SLA, SLS) has remained largely computer aided rather than entirely automated. This paper summarizes generic difficulties inherent in the development of feature based CAD/CAM (computer aided manufacturing) interfaces and presents two alternative perspectives on developments in manufacturing integration research that have occurred over the last 25 years. The first perspective presents developments in terms of technology drivers including progress in computational algorithms, enhanced design environments and faster computers. The second perspective describes challenges that arise in specific manufacturing applications including multiaxis machining, laminates, and sheet metal parts. The paper concludes by identifying possible directions for future research in this area.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Comput. Inf. Sci. Eng. 2005;5(3):198-213. doi:10.1115/1.2031269.

A survey on the evolution of modeling and simulation (M&S) technologies related to multiphysics systems is presented. The concept of a context space for M&S is defined in terms of coexisting fields, domains of interaction, length scales, and computational technologies. Past and present efforts comprising this context space are described as well as their relationship to product development [i.e., efforts of ASME’s Computer and Information in Engineering (CIE) division]. A retrospective of general procedures for developing multifield and multidomain formulations is elucidated for the case fluid-structure interaction pertaining to linear and nonlinear aeroelasticity and aerothermoelasticity as they mostly relate to aerospace applications. Multiscale methodologies and computational technologies associated with M&S generation follow. The evolution of computational and information technologies are also described as they relate to multiphysics M&S. Future potential trends associated with all of these areas conclude this work.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Comput. Inf. Sci. Eng. 2005;5(3):214-226. doi:10.1115/1.2013290.

The widespread availability of affordable high-performance personal computers and commercial software has prompted the integration of structural analyses with numerical optimization, reducing the need for design iterations by human designers. Despite its acceptance as a design tool, however, structural optimization seems yet to gain mainstream popularity in industry. To remedy this situation, this paper reviews past literatures on structural optimization with emphasis on their relation to mechanical product development, and discusses open research issues that would further enhance the industry acceptance of structural optimization. The past literatures are categorized based on their major research focuses: geometry parameterization, approximation methods, optimization algorithms, and the integration with nonstructural issues. Open problems in each category and anticipated future trends briefly are discussed.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Comput. Inf. Sci. Eng. 2005;5(3):227-237. doi:10.1115/1.2031270.

The past three decades have seen phenomenal growth in investments in the area of product lifecycle management (PLM) as companies exploit opportunities in streamlining product lifecycle processes, and fully harnessing their data assets. These processes span all product lifecycle phases from requirements definition, systems design/ analysis, and simulation, detailed design, manufacturing planning, production planning, quality management, customer support, in-service management, and end-of-life recycling. Initiatives ranging from process re-engineering, enterprise-level change management, standardization, globalization and the like have moved PLM processes to mission-critical enterprise systems. Product data representations that encapsulate semantics to support product data exchange and PLM collaboration processes have driven several standards organizations, vendor product development efforts, real-world PLM implementations, and research initiatives. However, the process and deployment dimensions have attracted little attention: The need to optimize organization processes rather than individual benefits poses challenging “culture change management” issues and have derailed many enterprise-scale PLM efforts. Drawn from the authors’ field experiences as PLM system integrators, business process consultants, corporate executives, vendors, and academicians, this paper explores the broad scope of PLM, with an added focus on the implementation and deployment of PLM beyond the development of technology. We review the historical evolution of engineering information management/PLM systems and processes, characterize PLM implementations and solution contexts, and discuss case studies from multiple industries. We conclude with a discussion of research issues motivated by improving PLM adoption in industry.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Comput. Inf. Sci. Eng. 2005;5(3):238-246. doi:10.1115/1.2033008.

The paper discusses the evolution of product information exchange from point-to-point exchange of geometry between computer-aided design tools through today’s suite of tools and processes of computer-aided product development (CAPD) to the future fully integrated computer-aided product realization (CAPR) process. The categories of processes and the layers of information exchange are reviewed. The current practice in product information exchange, the relevant information exchange standards, and near-future plans for improvements are presented. The major recent demands on more comprehensive product information exchange are discussed in terms of the exchange of nongeometric information and support of feature-based design, knowledge-based engineering, and management of product variety. Two conceptual frameworks for the support of CAPD and CAPR, representative of current research, are briefly sketched. Finally, a conceptual model of product information exchange is presented so as to define the range of implementation and standardization paths that may be taken in the future.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Comput. Inf. Sci. Eng. 2005;5(3):247-256. doi:10.1115/1.1979509.

This paper reviews four major methods for tolerance analysis and compares them. The methods discussed are: (1) one-dimensional tolerance charts; (2) parametric tolerance analysis, especially parametric analysis based on the Monte Carlo simulation; (3) vector loop (or kinematic) based tolerance analysis; and (4) ASU Tolerance-Map® (T-Map®) (Patent pending; nonprovisional patent application number: 09/507, 542 (2002)) based tolerance analysis. Tolerance charts deal with worst-case tolerance analysis in one direction at a time and ignore possible contributions from the other directions. Manual charting is tedious and error prone, hence, attempts have been made for automation. The parametric approach to tolerance analysis is based on parametric constraint solving; its inherent drawback is that the accuracy of the simulation results are dependent on the user-defined modeling scheme, and its inability to incorporate all Y14.5 rules. The vector loop method uses kinematic joints to model assembly constraints. It is also not fully consistent with Y14.5 standard. The ASU T-Map® based tolerance analysis method can model geometric tolerances and their interaction in truly three-dimensional context. It is completely consistent with Y14.5 standard but its use by designers may be quite challenging. The T-Map® based tolerance analysis method is still under development. Despite the shortcomings of each of these tolerance analysis methods, each may be used to provide reasonable results under certain circumstances. Through a comprehensive comparison of these methods, this paper will offer some recommendations for selecting the best method to use for a given tolerance accumulation problem.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Comput. Inf. Sci. Eng. 2005;5(3):257-263. doi:10.1115/1.2005327.

The Computers In Education (CIEd) technical committee focuses on educational issues and advances related to the usage of computing technologies in mechanical engineering courses and curricula. This paper provides a retrospective on CIEd activities, issues, and advances beginning with its formal start in 1983 and continuing through the present. Throughout the years, many different topics were explored, new technologies emerged while others disappeared, and many issues were investigated. Current CIEd activities are in six areas: CAD in higher education, robotics in higher education, software tools in the classroom, mechatronics and data acquisition, multimedia for higher education, and the role of the internet in higher education. The first four areas date from 1983, while the last two emerged in the late 1990’s. Future trends and issues are proposed to stimulate further investigations.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster

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