Virtual Product Development

Support of a practice-oriented education in engineering design at schools and universities using a PDM-system

In the last years 3D-design was established as a standard in product development. Thus, also setting of tasks for technical designers changed. 3D-parts are built up in the computer to a comprehensive virtual product. Contrary to the earlier 2D-design, now the tasks of modeling of the individual parts and subassemblies are distributed among members of a team. This method is common practice in the industry and it is also demanded from graduates of schools and universities. In common training methodology, handling the CAD system is taught, however, the basis for a team-oriented co-operation in instruction projects is missing.

The need for action for the integration of product data management (PDM) into instruction results in particular from the fact that the volume of data with increasing number of participants of a project can no longer be handled properly in the file system. Besides, data loss by lost removable data carriers (USB sticks), overwriting of newer versions by older or those of a colleague or the absence of the access to data from home, is very likely. Moreover, access rights for group works cannot be defined sufficiently on file system level.

The objective of the project was the development and implementation of an education platform and a project environment on basis of a central PDM system, on which all involved project partners had access and which guaranteed that all necessary data spread over different locations and several partner schools and was available consistently with different access rights.

This project has been completed.