Towards usage of simplified geometry models: business requirements and emerging opportunities

Volvo Aero is in the forefront of Knowledge Enabled Engineering which is a way to capture and reuse Computer Aided systems to reduce lead-times for engineering work. One way can be to use alternative visualization programs and file formats to the governing modeling tools and formats that are used today at the company.

The purpose of this thesis work is to map out, investigate and evaluate the need for visualization of CAD information in the design process at Volvo Aero. To investigate if there are any other ways for people with no or low CAD experience to access and work with 2D and 3D geometry information. Evaluate what programs and formats that could be used for these purposes, and what the opportunities could be for the company. In order to fulfil the purpose extra effort has been put in to find the “real” needs among the personnel at Volvo Aero through personal interviews. Furthermore benchmarking against other companies has been conducted. Investigations and evaluations of different visualization tools and file formats with regards of fulfilling the needs found has been done. But also other aspects have been investigated for supporting the evaluation.

The result found is that the need in using alternative programs and formats for 2D and 3D viewing purposes is a fact today at Volvo Aero, and the number of users that requires viewing capacity of the already created geometry model information is numerous. Although no supporting visualization tool has yet been implemented at the company. The obscurity in what visualization tool that can be adoptable were the governing geometry modeling tool is used today, and what formats to be used for this purposes has been the overall limitation for the implementation.

The conclusion of the thesis is that three visualization programs, Visualization Mockup, Visualization Professional and SAP R/3 viewer, and the light weight file formats CGM for 2D and JT for 3D are the ones facilitating the needs found the best, and suggested for Volvo Aero to use. An implementation of the suggested visualization programs a lightweighted file formats will probably convey in many positive results at Volvo Aero. Not only that all personnel can have access to the geometry information created and increase the understanding, but also a step towards a more virtual process of development. An increased usage of 3D information created by designers would probably speed up the process of development, result in more effective engineering work and reduce costs for unnecessary work.

Author: Ludvigson, Malin

Source: Lulea University of Technology

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