“Collaborative Virtual Environments
to Support System Design and Manufacturing”
The 2003 International Symposium on Collaborative Technologies and Systems (CTS'03)
Key words: Collaboration, Virtual Environments, Product Development Collaboration, Future Combat Systems
Collaborative virtual environments are now being used for product and system design and manufacturing activities, permitting the simulation, viewing, reviewing, and iteration of parts, assemblies, and even entire systems. These environments create realistic 3-D (virtual reality) displays and provide a rotational capability for views inside, above, beside, or under objects and systems in reduced, normal, or large scale. Their use has resulted in the significant reduction of commercial new product time-to-market and military system operational readiness, and overall development and manufacturing costs. Collaboration virtual tools provide program, designers, engineers, developers, maintainers, trainers, and even eventual users with a greatly expanded capability to concurrently make more productive and effective design, manufacturing, and use decisions.
For example, within a military environment a high degree of early collaboration is imperative for the Army to rapidly develop and make operational a family of complex warfighting assets like the Future Combat Systems (FCS)--a networked system of system provided by multiple suppliers. Since the greatest payback occurs during initial conceptual design where errors are much easier and cheaper to correct, it is essential to create and use a 3-D integrated product/process development collaborative environment in this early life cycle phase. Resultant conceptual product designs can then be "manufactured" and "maintained" in virtual factories and depots throughout the extended enterprise to determine feasibility and costs early in the development life cycle. Similar needs and challenges exist for commercial product and system developers and providers, and as a result their use of virtual environments has become a reality. For each of these sectors, manufacturing resources models and virtual displays, can and are being used to determined if new capital equipment will be required or if existing equipment will be adequate. In this way, numerous design and manufacturing iterations can be accomplished without physical prototypes of systems or mockups of manufacturing layouts, fixtures, or tools.
A variety of knowledgeable industry, government, and academic panel participants will address their collaborative virtual environment experiences, lessons learned, and issues--each from their own perspectives, interests, and responsibilities.
Dr. Grace Bochenek, U.S. Army Tank-automotive and Armaments Command's Advanced Collaborative Environments Group
Bob Brown - DELMIA Corp
Ken Ciarelli or Dr. Grace Bochenek - U.S. Army Tank-automotive and Armaments Command's Advanced Collaborative Environments Group
Dr. Pat Banerjee - University of Illinois-Chicago
Dr. James Ragusa -
1-1/2 to 2 hours
Special Requirements (if any):
Overhead and computer data projectors, screen