Implementing PDM Systems in Design Education to Enhance Design Collaboration
Editor: Lyndon Buck, Geert Frateur, William Ion, Chris McMahon, Chris Baelus, Guido De Grande, Stijn Verwulgen
Author: Hesamedin Ostad-Ahmad-Ghorabi (1,2), Touba Rahmani (2), Detlef Gerhard (2)
Institution: 1: Magna Steyr Engineering Deutschland, Germany; 2: Vienna University of Technology
Section: Design Methods - Modelling
Product Data Management (PDM) systems are inevitable when it comes to design collaboration. In industry, the use of PDM systems as a means to support data management and engineering cooperation is an integrative part of the design process. It is thus surprising that in design education, the focus lies on the handling of different CAD systems rather than the management of CAD data along the design process. This is particularly true for technical and vocational schools in Austria. The consequence of this educational system is that almost no design collaboration is taking place and the raise of individual designers is favoured. However, technical design processes in industry are taking place in project teams; data exchange between different parties with different responsibilities in the design process is daily business. To facilitate and strengthen collaborative design, the authors of this paper have conducted a project to implement a PDM system into the design education syllabus of different national technical schools. In a follow up project a specific Ecodesign case serves as a basis for implementing collaborative design among involved schools. Therefore, the implemented PDM platform is enhanced with functionalities to allow for environmental evaluation of the design concepts. This paper gives an overview of the enhanced PDM functionality, discusses the experiences gained during the project so far, and presents a survey that shows how much the system was accepted by students. It concludes for further adaptations and best practices of the platform for Austrian vocational schools and technical universities.