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Automation is nothing new to industry. It has a long tradition on the factory floor, where its constant objective has been to increase the productivity of manufacturing processes. Only with the advent of computers could the focus of automation widen to include administrative and information-handling tasks. More recently, automation has been extended to the more intellectual tasks of production planning and control, material and resource planning, engineering design, and quality control. New challenges arise in the form of flexible manu­ facturing, assembly automation, and automated floor vehicles, to name just a few. The sheer complexity of the problems as well as the state of the art has led scientists and engineers to concentrate on issues that could easily be isolated. For example, it was much simpler to build CAD systems whose sole objective was to ease the task of drawing, rather than to worry at the same time about how the design results could be interfaced with the manufacturing or assembly processes. It was less problematic to gather statistics from quality control and to print reports than to react immediately to first hints of irregularities by inter­ facing with the designers or manufacturing control, or, even better, by auto­ matically diagnosing the causes from the design and planning data. A heav- though perhaps unavoidable - price must today be paid whenever one tries to assemble these isolated solutions into a larger, integrated system.

Inhaltsverzeichnis

Frontmatter

1. Significance of Engineering Databases

Abstract
What has often been overlooked is that scientific and technical problems spawned the invention and development of digital computers to aid in the search for numerical solutions to these problems, i.e., to facilitate the execution of complex calculations. It was not only Konrad Zuse’s idea to work on the development of computers to improve computer routines; in fact, it played a dominant role with all American pioneers of the 1940s. In the 1950s universities, public and industrial research centres, and the armed forces were the main purchasers of the first generation of engineering-scientific mainframes, and it was only towards the end of the decade that it became clear that the new computers could be used not only for numerical calculations, but also for a wider range of tasks, e.g., for non-numeric applications.
José L. Encarnação, Peter C. Lockemann

2. Database Technology

Abstract
If there was one single cause that precipitated the development of database systems, it was the large-scale introduction of cheap direct-access mass storage in the form of magnetic disks. Up to then all mass-storage handling was in the form of sequential file processing. With the advent of disks, index-sequential files appeared at first, to be followed within a few years’ time — at the end of the 1960s — by the first database systems. Since then, database technology has gone through a period of steady evolution towards mature software products as we know them today. And more importantly: the technology is well-prepared not only to survive all the new trends in hardware and system software such as novel processor architectures, workstations, computer networking, high-resolution screens, windowing and high-density magnetic and optic disks, but also to make the best possible use of these trends. The “best possible use” will, of course, be dictated as much by an application as by the underlying technologies. It is the first aspect, the usefulness to the application world, and in particular to engineering applications, which is the subject of Chap. 2.
José L. Encarnação, Peter C. Lockemann

3. Utilization of Engineering Databases

Abstract
The difference between requirements of engineering databases and those of more traditional applications together with the different database concepts to satisfy them have already been discussed in detail in Chap. 2. As we have seen from Sect. 2.4, a variety of proposals for their solution exist in modern database research, but no systems are as yet available in the marketplace.
José L. Encarnação, Peter C. Lockemann

4. Case Studies

Abstract
This chapter shows an actual approach to engineering database systems in the area of the design of integrated circuits. First, an overview is given of the research project E.I.S., sponsored by the German Ministry of Research and Technology, and the situation of a non-commercial open toolbox is outlined. Next, the representation of design information in databases is explained by introducing a data model for design objects and an interface to a relational database system. Finally, an EDIF-oriented database scheme and the adaptation of a tool to this scheme is represented.
José L. Encarnação, Peter C. Lockemann
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