Integrated engineering environments for large complex products

G. Coates, I. Ritchey, A.H.B. Duffy, W. Hills, R.I. Whitfield

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
177 Downloads (Pure)


An introduction is given to the Engineering Design Centre at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, along with a brief explanation of the main focus towards large made-to-order products. Three key areas of research at the Centre, which have evolved as a result of collaboration with industrial partners from various sectors of industry, are identified as (1) decision support and optimisation, (2) design for lifecycle, and (3) design integration and co-ordination. A summary of the unique features of large made-to-order products is then presented, which includes the need for integration and co-ordination technologies. Thus, an overview of the existing integration and co-ordination technologies is presented followed by a brief explanation of research in these areas at the Engineering Design Centre. A more detailed description is then presented regarding the co-ordination aspect of research being conducted at the Engineering Design Centre, in collaboration with the CAD Centre at the University of Strathclyde. Concurrent Engineering is acknowledged as a strategy for improving the design process, however design coordination is viewed as a principal requirement for its successful implementation. That is, design co-ordination is proposed as being the key to a mechanism that is able to maximise and realise any potential opportunity of concurrency. Thus, an agentoriented approach to co-ordination is presented, which incorporates various types of agents responsible for managing their respective activities. The co-ordinated approach, which is implemented within the Design Co-ordination System, includes features such as resource management and monitoring, dynamic scheduling, activity direction, task enactment, and information management. An application of the Design Co-ordination System, in conjunction with a robust concept exploration tool, shows that the computational design analysis involved in evaluating many design concepts can be performed more efficiently through a co-ordinated approach.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)171-182
Number of pages11
JournalConcurrent Engineering: Research and Applications
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2002


  • design integration
  • design coordination
  • concurrent engineering
  • design engineering
  • large made-to-order products
  • integration
  • co-ordination
  • integrated engineering
  • environment
  • large complex products

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