Research and Development in Virtual Engineering

Integrated Product Development in Custom Machine Manufacturing for SME (EMELI)

The capability to complete technically ambitious and risky projects in less and less time, at the lowest cost possible and to high quality is key to machine and plant manufacturers’ competitiveness. One persistent major hurdle is the continued isolation rather than linkage of data from individual design systems (mechanics, electronics, control, etc.). This entails manual labor, especially when ensuring consistency and transferring data from one application to the next.

© Fraunhofer IFF

This is where the Engineering Model Linker (EMELI) comes in and:

  • combines data available in a variety of engineering systems,
  • establishes cross-application semantic relations among data
  • supplies data from end-to-end
  • assures consistency, even in iterative stages of development
© Fraunhofer IFF
Model pneumatic cylinder: Global view of data from various applications.

Relevant, application-specific data (but not files) are automatically stored in a database where they are related with data from other applications. This delivers a global view of a machine that goes beyond the constraints of individual design systems.

The distinctive feature of the EMELI system is its openness, i.e. any engineering systems can be connected to it, thus endowing it with the following advantages::

  • Continued use of applications and data sets in a company e
  • Support of incremental implementation of EMELI in a company
  • Upgradability

EMELI been used successfully in client projects (e.g. SideCut). One goal while it was still in development was to improve the information flow from engineering to improve controller development decisively so that it can begin very early in conjunction with virtual commissioning and be done consistently with engineering as it progresses.

This work was supported by the European Regional Development Fund EDRF and the state of Saxony-Anhalt (Project De-VIP: 1204/00095).