The research reported in this thesis is focused on the creation of a CAE system to
support Reverse Engineering. It is centred around the computational representation of
products (Product Model) and manufacturing capabilities (Manufacturing Model).
These models are essential for modem and future software systems aimed to assist the
design process, enabling data sharing among the participants who use various
computational tools. Reverse Engineering is employed as a particular context and
motivation for exploring the application of the models.
The research builds on the achievements of the recently finished Model Oriented
Simultaneous Engineering System (MOSES) project, undertaken jointly by Leeds
University and the Department of Manufacturing Engineering of Loughborough
University. MOSES' work on information modelling was analysed and combined
together with the original proposals of the author to elaborate a suitable support to
Reverse Engineering, applicable to redesign in general.
A process for Reverse Engineering is proposed and documented and a data model
driven CAE system to support it is specified. The CAE system includes a Product
Model, a Manufacturing Model and two software application environments. The
Product Model of the system is based on the information requirements of the Reverse
Engineering process and is suitable for representing multi-component products, from
different perspectives through its life cycle. The applications assist the characteristic
activities of Reverse Engineering. In particular, the system is used for exploring the
application of Product and Manufacturing Models in supporting Design for
The theoretical research is tested by the use of a case study which explores the Reverse
Engineering of a component. This work is supported by a prototype software instance of
the CAE system. The case study component is an axle which forms part of a product
designed and manufactured by a collaborating company.
A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.