To be successful in the international commercial competition it is necessary to develop new technologies considering current market demands like shorter product life cycle, reuse of materials or customized products. Simultaneous engineering is a method to increase competitiveness through fast and flexible product and process design.
The contributed paper discusses the major aspects of the research project Simultaneous Engineering System for Applications in Mechanical Engineering (SESAME) and outlines the results achieved so far. The aim of the SESAME project is to integrate all aspects of prismatic mechanical part development from design to process planning and NC-programming. The integration is achieved by using a common feature based workpiece model for all applications, i.e. design, process planning and NC-programming. Furthermore the geometry representation and functionality of all applications is based on the geometric modeller ACIS.
The use of features in the design process eases the incorporation of technological information into the workpiece model [1, 2, 3]. For the generation of feature based workpiece models, a 3D feature modelling system is being developed. The system allows the user to generate feature based 3D models and to specify geometric tolerances, which are defined as explicit feature interactions.
The output of the modelling system is a feature based workpiece description in a Component Description Language (CODL). The CODL file constitutes the input for process planning. Two approaches to feature based process planning, interactive and automatic, are realized within the SESAME project.
The NC-programming system based on a commercial machining software is driven by the process plans generated in process planning. The NC-system will prove the feasibilty of plans and produce the required NC-programs.