SBIR Phase II: Rapid Application Development Architecture for Product, Process, and Cost Configuration Across Manufacturing Verticals

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: 0450308
Agency Tracking Number: 0339984
Amount: $100,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2004
Solicitation Year: N/A
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
1220 Potter Drive, West Lafayette, IN, 47906
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Nainesh Rathod
 (765) 464-1700
Business Contact
 Nainesh Rathod
Phone: (765) 464-1700
Research Institution
This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II project will develop prototype architecture of an engineering advisory system and validate its application. Although the cost of product design could be only about 5% of the total product cost, decisions made during the design stage can contribute as much as 70-80% to the final product cost. Inappropriate design decisions made without sufficient manufacturing knowledge, or information, increases iterations in the product development lifecycle, causing significant costs to both the original equipment manufactures (OEMs) and the lower tier manufacturers. A survey by Purdue University indicated that 90% of the engineers/designers had very little process knowledge, thus indicating that there is a serious design-manufacturing knowledge gap. The aims and responsibilities of the Phase II project are to bridge the design-manufacturing knowledge gap through the development of an engineering advisory system to be used in early design. The system would be analogous to a spell-checking tool, advising engineers/designers on manufacturability and cost. The system will perform Dynamic Design for Manufacturability (DFM) analysis, evaluate part geometry in order to provide advice on the manufacturing aspects of the part, especially tooling and process related parameters in part design, help in estimating relative manufacturing costs for a part by mapping the geometric and non-geometric parameters of the part to a cost-based manufacturing process model, integrate 3D Shape Search Engine (licensed from Purdue University) with Part/Tooling/Cost Advisor & Knowledge Reuse Agent, seamlessly integrate with commercial Computer-Aided-Design (CAD) system using sophisticated geometric reasoning algorithms and a hybrid B-rep-voxel approach, and extract manufacturing feature-based geometric information. If successful this product will enable engineers/designers make informed decisions early in product design about processes and part/tooling for manufacturability while serving as an on-demand manufacturing "what-if" educational tool for engineers/designers. It will reduce non-value added design features so optimal and economical processes can be considered, thus lowering tooling costs while minimizing the risk in the quotation process for both OEMs and tooling firms. The outcome of this research also have an educational impact in engineering schools by introducing students to manufacturing processes and design for manufacturability concepts. The company will provide the engineering advisory system to universities to use in their engineering curriculum. The outcome of the proposed research can improve product design, lower cost and positively impact the local economy by linking local suppliers in early design directly through an engineering advisory system.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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