Contribution to sustainable product development by means of knowledge assets integrated into a PDM System

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1 PLM11-8th International Conference on Product Lifecycle Management 127 Contribution to sustainable product development by means of knowledge assets integrated into a PDM System Kai Lindow 1, Hoai Nam Nguyen 1, Haygazun Hayka 2, Rainer Stark 1,2 1 Technische Universität Berlin Institute of Machine Tools and Factory Management Pascalstr. 8-9, Berlin, Germany Tel. +49 (0) and Fax +49 (0) Fraunhofer Institute for Production Systems and Design Technology Divison Virtual Product Creation Pascalstr. 8-9, Berlin, Germany Abstract: This paper describes the need of sustainable engineering derived from the principle of sustainable development. The main goal is to present a new approach where knowledge, especially sustainable product and process knowledge, can be organized and provided efficiently for the user. This is type of a straightforward approach. Earlier work results are directly included and experiences from basic and applied research are transferred. The knowledge is deposed in knowledge assets which are assigned to the product structure. The solution approach is implemented into a Product Data Management (PDM) system. Eventually, a case study provides an overview of the approach s benefits. Keywords: Sustainable Product Development, Design Process, PDM System, Knowledge Management, Knowledge Assets 1 Introduction The implementation of the concept of sustainable development requires, among other issues, the use of appropriate methods and tools in product creation processes. Nowadays, engineers have to rely mainly on their product knowledge even though various tools and approaches for sustainable product creation are developed and investigated in academia. Incorporating sustainability issues into design considerations requires the integration of product-related sustainability knowledge into the working environment of the engineer. In particular, companies have to practice an effective and efficient knowledge management. For this reason, many companies launch sophisticated knowledge management systems beside other engineering tools and thus operate several complex and care-intensive systems. In addition to high maintenance costs this causes additional work for the engineers who constantly need to switch between different systems. Figure 1 provides an overview of the current IT working environment in engineering. IFIP Working Group 5.1, 2011

2 128 Kai Lindow, Nam Hoai Nguyen, Haygazun Hayka, Rainer Stark Product Planning Product Development Production Planning Computer Aided Design CAE, CFD Vertical Collaboration Digital Mock-up, Virtual Prototyping Virtual Reality Augmented Reality CAPP, CAM, CIM Product Data Management, Product Life-Cycle Management ERP Project Management CAE FEM CFD CAPP CAM CIM ERP Computer-aided Engineering Finite Elemente methode Computer Fluid Dynamics Computer-aided Process Planning Computer-aided Manufacturing Computer Integrated Manufacturing Enterprise Resource Planning Horizontal Collaboration Figure 1 IT-support across the product development process [1] The systems have BOM (Bill of Materials) or product structures as a backbone of product information retrieval in common. Within a Product Data Management (PDM) environment a product structure can be organized efficiently as logical dependencies between different product elements can be established. In doing so, a product s complexity can be handled efficiently along the different IT systems of a product development process. This paper presents how knowledge, e.g. about the product, organization, design methodology, can be provided in product development processes effectively for the user. For this reason, the creation of transparency of the product to be developed is an essential step for knowledge management. Knowledge is needed about both the structure of the entire product and of the individual elements of the product. Additionally, an approach how knowledge can be prepared, represented and visualized in a suitable way is shown. Finally, the product structure combined with a transparent knowledge structure is a first step towards integrated knowledge management in the field of product development processes. Basically, this paper presents an approach on how knowledge assets, especially sustainable knowledge assets, are characterized and how they are integrated into a PDM system. The basic idea of our approach is the coupling of knowledge to the product structure. In doing so, a structure of knowledge in product development is given. Hence, knowledge is directly integrated into the actual working environment of the engineer in order to support (sustainable) decision-making in design processes. Moreover, these systems are mostly rejected by the employees, for whom the new system at a first glance is perceived as a higher workload. On the other hand having fewer systems running saves both maintenance costs and human resources. 2 Research approach and need for sustainable knowledge 2.1 Research questions The main goal of this approach is to develop a new approach for knowledge organization and allocation, especially for sustainable product and process knowledge, in engineering design. For this purpose, the following research questions are pointed out: How can the engineer be qualified to contribute to sustainable value creation? What kind of (sustainable) knowledge is needed?

3 Contribution to sustainable product development by means of knowledge assets integrated into a PDM-System 129 How can the (sustainable) knowledge be organized and provided? How can customized IT systems facilitate the engineer s work? The following chapters describe the way from the principle of sustainable development to the need for sustainable design knowledge. It demonstrates the current situation in engineering design when it comes to knowledge acquisition and application to design projects and provides a suitable example from practice. 2.2 Sustainable development and sustainable product development The World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED) defined sustainable development as the development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs [2] already in the year The ecosystem of the earth and its natural resources form the basis for the fulfilment of human needs. Basically, resources form the basis of an extensive value chain whereas at the end products are designed to serve human needs. In order to maintain living conditions for future generations product development thinking has to be changed. To cope with the WCED principle of sustainable development, product development must create products with fewer resources and, at the same time, increase the product s value [3]. Thus, not only the product itself must be considered but also its value-adding environment, which consists of processes along the entire lifecycle. In fact, there exist many definitions of sustainable product development. All of them are based on the principle to align economical, ecological and social perspectives. Against the background of legislation and a growing awareness among the customers regarding a sustainable lifestyle the manufacturer s responsibility of its products grows throughout the product lifecycle [4]. Since essential properties and characteristics of products are already determined in the (early) stages of product development, it is necessary to integrate sustainable aspects into the product development process. Nowadays, product developers rely on their product knowledge and methods in order to evaluate the impact of design alternatives on the product lifecycle. But due to increasing product complexity and diversity this mission is rather impossible and one depends on supporting methods and tools. 2.3 Sustainable value creation Value creation is the basic intention of today s globalized production-oriented companies. Against the background of pure economical value creation, the principle of sustainable development refers to lifecycle thinking and thus lifecycle value creation.

4 130 Kai Lindow, Nam Hoai Nguyen, Haygazun Hayka, Rainer Stark Figure 2 Factors of sustainable value creation [5] From a production-oriented perspective, Seliger suggests the concept of sustainable value creation networks [5]. A value creation network consists of horizontally and vertically integrated value creation modules. Value adding tasks are divided among each value creation module according to different criteria which can be found in the factors of value creation. The factors of value creation represent the factors of industrial value creation which are inseparable tied to each other. These are products, processes, production equipment and organization as well as the humans involved (Figure 2). Hence, sustainable product knowledge can be deduced from the factors of value creation. 2.4 Multi-objective design Due to the complexity of today s products a multi-objective satisfactory design including not only physical performances but also sustainable aspects is necessary. When it comes to sustainable product development, decision-making at the early phases of design regarding economical, ecological and social aspects is important. Moreover, the sustainable product development contains multiple sources of uncertainties. Therefore, specific product and process knowledge of the entire lifecycle is of great importance. Various approaches for sustainable product development have been developed so far. The approaches can be classified into checklists and guidelines (e.g. material checklists, guide for environmental improvement [6]), rating and ranking tools (e.g. pre-specified scale system [7]), analytical tools and software systems (e.g. Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) through GaBI Software). However, the approaches require detailed knowledge in product design as well as manufacturing processes and logistics. This aspect can be confirmed by the authors of this paper who run several field and research projects, e.g. the previous series of our studies had proposed a preference set-based design (PSD) method that enables the flexible and robust design under sustainable aspects while incorporating designer's preference structure at the early phase of design. The proposed approach to sustainable product creation based on the PSD method offers the possibility to obtain the multi-objective satisfactory solutions beyond technical performances incorporating sustainable issues as well [8]. Eventually, well organized and specialized knowledge is necessary to proceed through the engineering and sustainability assessment processes. 2.5 Need for transparent (sustainable) design knowledge Industrial practice and research projects have shown that it is very complex to develop sustainable products. The following case exemplifies this issue by means of the development of a sustainable alternator. Knowledge, information and data about the alternator design, development process, manufacturing process and logistics have to be gathered and deployed. Table 1 lists an impression on the required knowledge, information and data input. In fact, the development project of the alternator was very time consuming due to heterogeneous data and information sources (such as literature, information from the Internet, documented fragments of activities and data of previous developed alternators as well as gathering knowledge from engineering and environmental experts). Additionally, the sources were distributed over different data sources and IT systems having partly incompatible data formats. From the engineering point of view the need for a transparent way to integrate knowledge into one system and at best into the actual working environment arises. Having the right knowledge at the right time under the right

5 Contribution to sustainable product development by means of knowledge assets integrated into a PDM-System 131 conditions at the right place for the right client (referring to the seven rights of logistics by Plowman [9]) must be guaranteed when it comes to sustainable product development. The authors of this paper suggest integrating so-called knowledge assets into a PDM System in order to accomplish the above mentioned demands. Table 1 Required knowledge, information and data input for alternator design (derived from [8]) Knowledge, information and data input Specification (examples) Development process Dimensioning the alternator design Establishing a list of sustainability indicators Calculation of environmental loads by means of a LCA Establishing different lifecycle scenarios Application of PSD to figure out the balance between technical and sustainable performance Sequence and dependencies of design and engineering activities Calculation of performance based on height of stator and rotor coil 31 indicators identified and classified into social, ecological and economical dimension Specific data regarding manufacturing such as embodied environmental loads intensities for energy and distribution such as embodied environmental loads intensities for transportation Part and material alternatives Balance CO 2 emissions and power output of the alternator 3 Solution Approach 3.1 Knowledge assets Usually, assets are known as an economic value from the stock market which are owned by an individual (or a corporation) and can be converted into cash. On the other hand, an asset can be defined as a general resource or item of value. That way, knowledge can be described as assets in engineering design. Table 2 provides an overview of different types of knowledge assets. Table 2 Selection of knowledge assets (classification derived from industry experience) Product knowledge Organisational knowledge Process knowledge... Requested specification Project team members Assembly collision... Feasibility study Quality Management plan FMEA results Mandatory specification Memos Crash test results Maintenance cycle s Process procedure Material checklists Minutes Test instructions

6 132 Kai Lindow, Nam Hoai Nguyen, Haygazun Hayka, Rainer Stark Furthermore, the various items or rather the assets of Table 2 can be structured according to the type of knowledge and the relations between the types and assets. Hence, a whole knowledge structure can be established (Figure 3). IT systems along the product development process have BOM (Bill of Materials) or product structures as a backbone of product information retrieval in common. In general, product structures and characteristics adequately define a product during the development process until a physical product is generated. Figure 3 Examples and Structure of Knowledge Assets Due to the need for a robust bill structuring process today s literature and standards recommend to describe products hierarchical and structure them into successive levels of systems, subsystems, assemblies, subassemblies and components [10]. Within a PDM environment a product structure can be organized efficiently as logical dependencies between different product elements can be established. In doing so, a product s complexity can be handled efficiently along the different IT systems of a product development process. It is thus evident to link knowledge assets with the product structure. That way, knowledge assets can be structured and organized according to the product hierarchy. Users have directly access to items (e.g. CAD part models) and their according knowledge assets (e.g. dimensioning and contact to expert). 3.2 PDM system as a platform for solution integration PDM is the holistic management of all data from both existing and new products that are generated within the product lifecycle. The use of this data can be controlled by predefined processes. The term "PDM" is often defined in the literature as the productspecific handling of engineering data [11]. The Association of German Engineers (VDI) has defined PDM, in the VDI guideline 2219, as technical databases and communication systems, which consistently store, manage and provide information about products and their development processes respectively lifecycle for relevant areas in the company. Furthermore, most systems offer the ability to navigate through complex product structures and documents, and to provide selected data for further processing. Although the popularity and the usage of the PDM systems increases constantly [12] and the providers offer more and more functions for them, there has not been done much in the field of the knowledge management in PDM systems. Few PDM system providers even list knowledge management as a feature of their product [13], but these are rather functions to manage requirements, development drawings, test results and specifications. For this reason, companies induce themselves to launch additional knowledge

7 Contribution to sustainable product development by means of knowledge assets integrated into a PDM-System 133 management systems. In many cases, these are stand-alone solutions, which are decoupled from the system landscape, the company processes and especially from the standard development environment (such as CAx and PDM systems). 3.3 Integration of knowledge assets into a specific PDM system The PDM system, which we have chosen for our research, is Teamcenter Engineering 2007 (TCE) from Siemens PLM Software. It provides the needed interfaces and tools for further development and customizing. The implementation of knowledge assets into TCE requires the deeper analysis of its system architecture and its data model. The basic architecture of TCE is the four-tier architecture. It consists of client-tier, web-tier, enterprise-tier and resource-tier (Figure 4). Client Tier Rich Client Thin Client WebDAV Client Web Tier Application Server - Teamcenter EAR Enterprise Tier Teamcenter Servers Server Manager Resource Tier Volume Database Figure 4 The basic system architecture of Teamcenter Engineering The client-tier consists of TCE clients that allow the interaction with users. The webtier is responsible for the communication between the clients and the server services in the enterprise-tier. Moreover, it allows the worldwide cooperation and communication over Internet on one PDM system instance. The enterprise-tier provides the actual functionality. The application logic is designed modular and is organized as server processes in this tier. Additionally, the resources for all active users are also managed in this tier, as well as the database operations such as selecting data from databases or rewriting data in databases. The resource-tier consists of the database server together with the databases, the file server and the file-vault. The data deposited here is divided into product data and metadata. Product data is stored in directories on the hard disc, metadata, on the other hand, is stored in database solutions such as Oracle or MS-SQL. The metadata has the function of describing, classifying, managing and organizing the product data. In this context, the following data is regarded as metadata: Folder, Item, Item revision, Dataset, Form and Item attribute. We classify the knowledge asset as metadata within the TCE-data modeling context due to its specifications. The implementation of knowledge assets requires a modification of the TCE data model. The new business object, which represents knowledge assets, needs to be added into the TCE data model. Business objects are fundamental objects of TCE which are used to model the business data. They represent product parts, documents, change processes, etc. After a

8 134 Kai Lindow, Nam Hoai Nguyen, Haygazun Hayka, Rainer Stark throughout analysis we detected that the native form business object, which is a child of the WorkspaceObject, provided by TCE already fulfils many of the requirements of knowledge assets as a business object and therefore can be used as a basis for the knowledge asset business object (Figure 5). Figure 5 Knowledge asset in the business objects hierarchy The knowledge asset business object was created using Business Modeler IDE which is recommended by Siemens PLM. After adding new attributes and relations to the new business object the knowledge asset was ready to be used on the client tier. Although the knowledge asset could be used on the client tier immediately, its distinction from other business objects is needed for efficient usage. Therefore, we used the Business Modeler IDE to set a unique icon for the new knowledge asset. The usage and the test of concept were then carried out in a project which is described in the next chapter. 4 Case study The aim of the project "Urban Mobility" was to develop a low-emission vehicle which can easily distribute goods through urban areas. The whole planning and development activities were supported by TCE. All documentation, including requirements, drawings etc. were entered and managed using TCE. The focus was on the use of knowledge assets during the design phase. During the design process, several conventional and unconventional decisions have to be made. In this situation, is important to provide decision-relevant knowledge. This can now be achieved with knowledge assets. Figure 6: Product/knowledge structure

9 Contribution to sustainable product development by means of knowledge assets integrated into a PDM-System 135 After the first draft of the project concept, product data was implemented into TCE. At the same time, the project team created knowledge assets according to the different items. The first knowledge assets have been implemented by the engineers classified into the category "Product knowledge Problem statement" (issue of technical feasibility and safety of the vehicle). Figure 6 shows how knowledge assets are implemented and linked to the product structure. Furthermore, an outlook of knowledge assets is provided by the example of Material Aramide (Figure 7). The implemented knowledge assets made the whole team aware of problems which can occur, e.g. in the field of sustainability feasibility. In particular, the problem regarding the LCA of the vehicle was a big challenge. Knowledge assets for technical properties and (manufacturing) process alternatives were created for each part. That way, different LCA approaches could be carried out more efficiently because all information needed was well structured and available. Eventually, the final sustainable prototype was quickly reached by the help of context-sensitive knowledge sharing. Figure 7: Example of the knowledge asset Material Aramide 5 Conclusion and outlook This paper describes an approach on how (sustainable) product and process knowledge can be organized and provided efficiently for the user in order to improve product development processes. The basic idea is to depose knowledge into knowledge assets which are assigned to the product structure. The solution approach is implemented into a Product Data Management (PDM) environment. A case study has shown that the approach has been implemented successfully in a practical project. Knowledge assets have been applied in order to share design, process and project knowledge between the different project partners. That way, the approach s benefits have been demonstrated. On the other hand, there are still huge gaps modern knowledge management in engineering has to face. Related to our project we identified three main research fields which we plan to investigate further:

10 136 Kai Lindow, Nam Hoai Nguyen, Haygazun Hayka, Rainer Stark 1. Implementation of relations between different knowledge assets to set up a knowledge structure. At this time, knowledge assets have to be assigned to each item of the product structure manually. There is no logic connection between the assets. 2. The knowledge assets and their content have to be standardized in order to work more efficient and more comfortable with the knowledge structure. 3. Definition and implementation of metrics between sustainable knowledge assets and their interaction with traditional design parameters (e.g. costs and quality) Finally, for efficient application customization of PDM environments is necessary and time consuming. Aside from research, a next step should be testing of knowledge assets in real industrial development projects. Acknowledgments We express our sincere thanks to the German Research Foundation (DFG) funding this project partly. The authors wish to acknowledge important professional contributions from Masato Inoue as well. Finally, we thank all readers and hope that we provided interesting and useful material. References 1 Stoeckert, H., Lindow, K., Stark, R. `Collaborative Engineering Issues and Evidence from Industrial Practice', Proceedings of the 11th International Design Conference, DESIGN 2010, May 17-20, Dubrovnik, Croatia. 2 World Commission on Environment and Development (1987) `United Nations General Assembly: Report of the World Commission on Environment and Development: Our Common Future', Nairobi. 3 Seliger, G., Weinert, N., Zettl, M. (2007) `Module Configurator for the Development of Products for Ease of Remanufacturing', Proceedings of 14th CIRP International Conference on Life Cycle Engineering, Tokyo, June 11st-13th 2007, pp Niemann, J., Tichkiewitch, S, Westkämper, E. (Eds.) (2009) `Design of Sustainable Product Life Cycles', Springer, Berlin Heidelberg. 5 Seliger, G. (2008) `Sustainable Value Creation Nets', Proceedings of the Global Conference on Sustainable Product Development and Life Cycle Engineering VI, Pusan, pp McAloone, T., Bey, N. (2009) `Environmental improvement through product development a guide`, Danish Environmental Protection Agency, Copenhagen. 7 Nissen, N.F., Griese, H., Middendorf, A. et al. (1997) `Environmental assessment of electronics: a new model to bridge the gap between full life cycle evaluations and product design` Proceedings of the IEEE International Symposium on Electronics and Environment, San Francisco, May 5th-6th 1997, pp Inoue, M., Lindow, K., Stark, R., Ishikawa, H. `Preference Set-Based Design Method for Sustainable Product Creation`, Proceedings of the 17th ISPE International Conference on Concurrent Engineering, Cracow, September 6th-10th Plowman, E.G. (1964) `Lectures on elements of business logistics`, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business, Stanford. 10 Garwood, D. (2007) `Bills of Material For a Lean Enterprise`, Dogwood Publishing Company, Marietta, Georgia.

11 Contribution to sustainable product development by means of knowledge assets integrated into a PDM-System Spur, G., Krause, F.-L. (1997) `Das Virtuelle Produkt: Management der CAD-Technik` (`The Virtual Product: Management of CAD Technics`), Carl Hanser Verlag, München, Wien. 12 N.N. (2010) `PLM Entwicklung und Potenziale in Deutschland 2010` (PLM Development and Potential in Germany 2010), RAAD Research, October N.N. (2010) `Marktübersicht` (Market overview), IT&Production, Issue April 2010.

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