A characteristic of concurrent engineering is the intensive information
interchange between areas that are involved through the product life cycle.
Shared information structures to integrate different software applications have
become necessary to support effectively the interchange of information. While .
much work has been done into the concepts of Product and Manufacturing
Models, there is a need to make them able to support Assembly related
The research reported in this thesis explores and defines the structures of a
Product Model and. a Manufacturing Model to support assembly related
information. These information models support the product development
process, especially during the early stages of the product life cycle. The
structures defined for the models allow information interactions between them
and with application software; these interactions are essential to support an
effective concurrent environment. The Product Model is a source and repository
of the product information, whilst the Manufacturing Model holds information
about the manufacturing processes and resources of an enterprise. A
combination of methods was proposed in order to define the structure for the
An experimental software system was created and used to show that the
structure defined for the Product Model and the Manufacturing Model can
support· a range of assembly-related software applications through the
concurrent development of the product, system and process, from conceptual
design through to planning. The applications implemented in the experimental
system were Design for Assembly and Assembly Process Planning. The real
data used for the tests was obtained from an industrial collaborator who
manufactures large electrical machines.
This research contributes to the understanding of. the general structural
requirements of the decision support systems based on information models, and
to the integration of Design for Assembly and Assembly Process Planning.
A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.
Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, CONACYT, Mexico, The Foreign and Commonwealth Office of the United Kingdom through
a British Chevening Scholarship.