Efficient management of product information is critical to the enhancement of corporate competitiveness. This paper explains the design and development of a distributed, open, and intelligent product data management system. First, the requirements for Product Data Management (PDM) systems are summarized and then explained using a design scenario. Since product data are often managed in distributed computing environments, Common Object Request Broker Architecture (CORBA) is employed to ensure interoperability among distributed objects. Standard formats of data and knowledge, such as STandard for Exchange of Product model data (STEP) and Knowledge Query and Manipulation Language (KQML), are used to achieve the openness. A workflow management system has been developed that provides integrated management of task processes and information flows. While designing the system, the main emphasis is placed on dynamic process adaptation which is demanded by product development processes. Use of intelligent agents is proposed to achieve the adaptation at run time. A method of agent cooperation and communication is described. The agents are also used to implement content search for enhanced product data services.
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Document Type: Research Article
Department of Industrial Engineering, Shillim, Seoul, 151-742, South Korea
Department of Mechanical Engineering, Yonsei University
Department of Automation Engineering, Inha University, Yonghyun, Inchon, 402-751, South Korea
March 1, 2001
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