Introduction of Concurrent Engineering Concepts into an Integrated Product and Process Model
Corresponding Author: Cutting-Decelle, Anne-Francoise
Author(s): Cutting-Decelle, A.F. (*), Anumba, C.J. (+), Baldwin, A.N. (+), Bouchlaghem, D. (+), Dufau, J. (*), and Mommessin, M. (*)
Organisation(s): (*) Université de Savoie-ESIGEC/LGCH, Domaine de Savoie-Technolac, LE BOURGET DU LAC (France), (+) Department of Civil and Building Engineering, Loughborough University, Loughborough (UK)
The aim of this paper is to analyse the consequences of the introduction of Concurrent Engineering (CE) concepts on an  integrated product and process model for life-cycle design and construction of steel structures. We will first describe the integrated product and process model currently developed by the authors within the framework of the ProMICE project. We will present the main features of the model and the UML modelling chosen both for product and process information.

CE features in the above model are introduced according to a three-stage methodology we developed for this project. The aim of this methodology is two-fold : first, we have to define the way of working, i.e. the stages of this introduction process. Another feature of this methodology is to provide a way of representing " CE knowledge ", that is how to describe CE specificity in order to introduce the related concepts in the model, but also to " translate "those concepts into the generic representation provided by the model resulting from the integration.

The three stages of the work are :
 - Stage 1 : description of the current situation (traditional approach) in terms of the actors involved in the construction process and in terms of the information flows, by means of description tools specifically suited to this purpose (behaviour graphs, matrices and forms to be completed for each actor at each stage of the design-construction process) ;
 - Stage 2 : description of a CE way of working (using the same tools as in the stage 1) ;
 - Stage 3 : define changes to facilitate the transition from the current situation to a CE way of working.
Those stages apply either to by-products or else to construction products.

The analysis of the results of the first two stages enables :
 - a comparison between traditional and CE approaches of the design-construction process ;
 - a comparison between UK and French ways of working.

The third stage will lead to the elaboration of a set of rules (guidelines), both for the actors (defining their role) and for the information flows (defining the type of information management to be dealt with by the actors).

One of the objectives of the ProMICE project is to identify the changes needed by this transition from traditional towards CE approach, then to represent those changes, notably in the domain of steelwork construction. We also intend to provide an industrial validation of the final model. Coupled with a comparison of those approaches within two European countries, this work constitutes an original, and innovative feature of the project.