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Über dieses Buch

In recent years, the importance of Internet and World Wide Web (WWW) technologies in manufacturing industries has been rising very rapidly in a global context, the impact of which is deemed most profound ever since the Industrial Revolution. The waving interests in the electronic commerce and electronic business (e-commerce / e-business) have spread, from the heartland (product development) to the battlefield (shop floor), of manufacturing enterprises. The number of web applications is ever on the rise, and many practitioners are keen on trying these remote systems through web browsers to support their decisi- making activities. Indeed, product design and manufacture professionals will soon be able to benefit from such remote services and supports commercially available on the Internet. The practice and performance of product development and realization are expected to make immense progress. Web applications in product design and manufacture signals the beginning of a new era of the digital manufacturing enterprise. However, many loopholes are found in the development and application processes because of domain complexity and technology sophistication, thus generating new challenges to both the developers and practitioners. A simple example is the difference in the user interfaces between web applications and traditional applications. Indeed, abundant issues need to be resolved before the full launch of digital manufacturing can come into being.

Inhaltsverzeichnis

Frontmatter

1. Introduction

Abstract
The Internet technology, with its capability of accommodating multimedia functions, has evolved rapidly during the last decade, and the World Wide Web (WWW or web) is the most popular and visible component among the multifarious devices in Internet technology. The client-server architecture also offers more channels for the sharing of information among project groups that are disparate in time and/or space. Indeed, the web has been widely employed in business, industry, the government, and academia.
George Q. Huang, K. L. Mak

2. Recent Developments of Web Applications in Product Design and Manufacture

Abstract
Product design and manufacture has been traditionally an area for intensive research and extensive application of computer systems. Early developments in Computer Numerically Controlled (CNC) and programmable machinery and devices have brought significant improvements in productivity and product quality. An issue of “Islands of Automation” had emerged before further potentials could be achieved. By the late 70s, the need for integration was recognised and one of the major challenges faced by the CIM (Computer Integrated Manufacturing) research was to address the conspicuous lack of standards for communication capability among computers and programmable devices. Later on, MAP (Manufacturing Automation Protocols)/TOP (Technical and Office Protocols) were proposed and gradually developed as international standards (Jones, 1987).
George Q. Huang, K. L. Mak

3. Challenging Issues

Abstract
The impact of the e-commerce/e-Business market force has initiated rapid development in terms of the technology advancement and public/professional awareness. A pace of rapid progress in practice can be achieved and sustained only if the “inertia” issues are resolved surrounding the development of web applications, deployment of web applications to form enterprise portals, and operation of web applications to support business activities. This chapter attempts to identify some of these limiting issues while their solutions are yet to be explored by both the research and practitioner communities in the near future. Some of the questions that will be addressed in this chapter include:
  • Are changes in business operations necessary?
  • When and where web applications are applied most effectively and efficiently?
  • Computation shared between the server and the client
  • Interactivity and security
  • Convert existing legacy systems into web-based on the internet
  • Choose appropriate web applications
  • Decision traceability
  • Individual versus common working memories
  • Collaborative workflow management
  • Synchronous versus asynchronous
  • Difficulties in web application development
  • Business models of digital enterprises
  • Information overflow
  • Enterprise portal servers
George Q. Huang, K. L. Mak

4. Development and Deployment of Web Applications

Abstract
There have been a considerable amount of interests in providing the state-of-theart product design and manufacture techniques and methods accessible on the Internet from web browsers. This chapter concerns with the process of building web applications for product design and manufacture. The focus is on how such systems are being developed and implemented. However, there have been considerable difficulties in the design, development, and implementation of web applications in product design and manufacture. The complexity can be understood in several ways. For example, there is no rigorous and systematic approach to the development of web applications at present. Current web application development and management practices are mostly ad hoc, heavily dependent on the knowledge and experience of individual developers.
George Q. Huang, K. L. Mak

5. Synchronization of Web Applications

Abstract
As discussed in previous chapters, the Internet and web have been regarded as one of the most promising technologies that are expected to have profound impacts on product design and manufacture. Though significant progress has been made, the developments are still at the starting phase. Conventional web applications generally address two dimensions of distribution, namely geographical and specialisation. However, they do not sufficiently address the time dimension of distribution. This is mainly because the traditional approach of the Internet technology does not directly support the collaborative forms of information sharing (Bentley et. al., 1997). Accessing information on the web is unidirectional, asynchronous, and limited by a simple client/server model in which only predefined data are provided (Frivold et. al., 1995). Obviously, this kind of information flow is not suitable for supporting the geographically distributed working teams. Instead, bi-directional, synchronous web-based design tool is necessary for providing awareness inside and outside the group and discussing the concept in different geographical locations simultaneously (Tuikka, 1997).
George Q. Huang, K. L. Mak

6. Business Models of Digital Manufacturing Portals

Abstract
The Internet and the web are playing increasingly important roles in business, leading to the emergence of digital enterprises. The industry of digital enterprises has developed drastically in the last decade or so, and there have appeared a number of business models. However, these business models have not been scrutinized at the similar pace. Despite of some investigations, there is no formal definition of a business model. Furthermore, consultants and practitioners have often resorted to using the term “business model” to describe a unique aspect of a particular Internet business venture. In this respect, these attempts are neither complete nor robust. Questions remain to be addressed, for example,
  • Can we apply the existing theories or frameworks to analyse the business models of digital enterprises?
  • Are the business models of digital enterprises really different from those of traditional enterprises?
  • What kind of new dimensions should be incorporated into the business models of digital enterprises and what should be the scope?
  • How are the business models of digital enterprises related to those of the traditional enterprises that extensively employ the digital approach?
  • Are existing business models of digital enterprises adequate to serve the industry, and/or do we need new models to cater the new developments?
George Q. Huang, K. L. Mak

7. Search Engine of Web Applications in Product Introduction

Abstract
There have been widespread interests in the development and application of webbased systems to support decision-making activities in product introduction/innovation process. An increasing number of web applications are emerging and a large number of practitioners are keen on trying these remote decision support systems (TeleDSS) through the web browsers. In the meanwhile, it becomes increasingly difficult to surf for appropriate web applications on the Internet with general-purpose search engines.
George Q. Huang, K. L. Mak

8. Web-Based Design for Manufacture and Assembly

Abstract
Design for Manufacture and Assembly (DFMA) has received widespread attention from both the research and practitioner communities. As a result, there have appeared a number of well-known techniques, accompanied by computer-aided systems. This chapter is concerned with providing DFMA techniques on the Internet. The DFMA analyst user simply uses an HTML (HyperText Markup Language) browser to connect to an appropriate DFMA web site and starts analysis immediately. If necessary, a subscription is done in advance or on-line. With this web-based DFMA, no installation is needed at the client (analyst) side, nor is maintenance which is done at the server side.
George Q. Huang, K. L. Mak

9. Failure Mode and Effect Analysis (FMEA) Over the WWW

Abstract
Over the last two decades or so, good design practices have been formalised into a suite of techniques and methods — design tools. Some examples include Quality Function Deployment (QFD), Functional Analysis (as used in Value Analysis), Failure Mode and Effect Analysis (FMEA), Fault Tree Analysis (FTA), Design for Manufacture and Assembly (DFMA), and Morphological Chart Analysis. This chapter reports on another early attempt of the authors on using FMEA as an example to demonstrate how such design tools can be made available on the Internet through the web browsers. The purpose was to gain some insights concerning the strengths and weaknesses of the various approaches to the implementation of web-based design tools. Indeed, experiments have been carried out on at least three versions of the web-enabled or web-based FMEA.
George Q. Huang, K. L. Mak

10. Web-Based Engineering Change Management

Abstract
Engineering Changes (ECs) are a kind of modification in forms, fits, functions, materials, dimensions, etc., of products and constituent components. Indeed, the agility of an enterprise of today is best demonstrated by its ability to manage changes efficiently and effectively, and Engineering Change Management (ECM) poses a direct effect on the enterprise's product development process. However, ECs involve considerable complexity, and recent investigations in numerous manufacturing companies have revealed that the number of ECs active at any one time reaches a level that makes management by a paper-based system and by an ad hoc procedure incompatible. Although sophisticated computer aided systems with comprehensive functionality are available in the market, such systems have not been utilised to facilitate EC management (ECM) activities. Indeed, standalone computer aided systems are limited in supporting the multi-disciplinary teamwork in ECM, especially when they are distributed in terms of location and time.
George Q. Huang, K. L. Mak

11. Web-Based Support for Early Supplier Involvement in New Product Development

Abstract
In the last decade, the significance of concurrent engineering and supply chain management has been widely acclaimed, as evidenced in the bountiful support to research and project development from both the government research councils and industrial bodies all over the world. Indeed, one common finding is that greater benefits can be accrued from supplier involvement in the more initial stages of new product development process. The rationale is that suppliers usually possess vital product and process technology that can lead to improvements in product design and the New Product Development (NPD) process itself. For example, it has been found in a cross-national study of 29 NPD projects that much of the Japanese advantage in concept-to-market time was attributable to supplier involvement in the NPD process (Clark, 1989). Indeed, it is not exaggerating to say that there exists infinite potential from the suppliers in impacting on the quality and cost of new products (Burt, 1989).
George Q. Huang, K. L. Mak

12. Web-Based Collaborative Product Definition

Abstract
The process of product design and development process generally consists of four main stages: namely (1) planning and task clarification, (2) conceptual design, (3) embodiment design, and (4) detailing phases (Pahl and Beitz, 1984). In this research, the first two stages are considered as the early phase of product definition and the last two stages as the detail phase of product definition. As the names imply, the early product definition mainly concerns with establishing key characteristics of a product under development while the detail product definition deals with concrete descriptions of the subject product.
George Q. Huang, K. L. Mak

13. Web-Based Collaborative Product Design Review

Abstract
Design review is a vital control point for a design project to transit from one stage to another. It involves gathering and evaluating details of a product design and the concrete plans for realization and it, suggesting improvements, and confirming that the process is ready to proceed to the next phase. Design ideas that are generated from one design stage are first submitted to the design review system. If they are confirmed to be good design ideas, then they will be are released to the next stage for further development. However, if shortcomings are identified in with these ideas, then they will be are revised and refined. This review-revise-release cycle is shown in Figure 13.1.
George Q. Huang, K. L. Mak

14. Online Courseware Engine for Teaching by Examples and Learning by Doing

Abstract
During the last a few years, there have been significant developments in the online course tools over the world wide web (WWW or web). WebCT (http://www.webct.com), e-Teaching and e-Education (http://www.ecollege.com; http://www.e-education.com), and Course Info (http://www.blackboard.com) are some of the examples widely used at colleges. These tools host teaching and learning materials for both the teachers and students while provide facilities to enhance and improve the interactivity between the teachers and students. Typical online facilities provided in these tools include syllabus tool, calendar of events, email and live chat boxes, threaded discussion forums, tests and exams, announcement bulletin boards, study journals, feedback questionnaires, etc.
George Q. Huang, K. L. Mak

Backmatter

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