J. L. Mitchiner, S. D. Kleban, B. V. Hess, K. W. Mahin
SmartWeld is a concurrent engineering system that integrates product design and processing decisions within an electronic desktop engineering environment. It is being developed to provide designers, process engineers, researchers and manufacturing technologists with transparent access to the right process information, process models, process experience and process experts, to realize "right the first time" manufacturing. Empirical understanding along with process models are synthesized within a knowledge-based system to identify robust fabrication procedures based on cost, schedule, and performance. Integration of process simulation tools with design tools enables the designer to assess a number of design and process options on the computer rather than on the manufacturing floor. Task models and generic process models are being embedded within user friendly GUrs to more readily enable the customer to use the SmartWeld system and its software tool set without extensive training. The integrated system architecture under development provides interactive communications and shared application capabilities across a variety of workstation and PC-type platforms either locally or at remote sites.