Integration of business processes in web-based collaborative product development
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Li, Hongxin; Fan, Yushun; Dunne, Catherine; Pedrazzoli, Paolo (2005). Integration of business processes in web-based collaborative product development. International Journal of Computer Integrated Manufacturing 18 (6), 452-462
Collaborative product development is a growing trend as companies seek worldwide opportunities to extend their market as well as small- and medium-sized engineering enterprises concentrate on their core competences. Internet and Web technology facilitates the information sharing and exchange among widely distributed collaboration partners, but the integration of business processes with the support of Web-based applications is the final goal because business processes represent the knowledge of how to reach the collaboration goals. The research results presented in this paper concern business process integration developed as part of the Europe-China project called DRAGON, which aims to develop an Engineering Portal to support collaborative product development. The reference business processes are extracted from the questionnaires completed by specially selected collaboration companies from Europe and China. The constraints, the needed functionalities of the engineering portal, of the whole collaborative product development process are analysed with IDEF0. The emphases in business process integration are put on the application of concurrent engineering principle and workflow management technology. Information integration is ensured by sharing a STEP-based product model and mapping STEP model to XML data. The solution for the coordination problem of a product development team is based on workflow management technology.