Abstract

Standards verification in a CALS environment can be a complex and demanding process requiring not only a complete understanding of the standard but also the planned application and software implementation. An area of particular concern is the adequacy of vector or geometry based standards such as IGES to represent engineering and manufacturing applications. In such cases the visual similarity of geometry can be an inadequate test of the validity of a data exchange. Analytically oriented use of the geometry representation of some design and manufacturing applications may require very precise exchange of geometric entities.

This paper will focus on testing strategies to provide comprehensive evaluations of vector based geometry standards such as IGES for engineering analysis, design and manufacturing use. The tests will show effective ways to measure whether vendor translators adequately capture key behavior needed in such applications. Results will be illustrated through tests at the Georgia Tech CALS Research Center which includes several different workstations and associated CAD software systems. CALS Class II test suites taken from representative aerospace applications are used to illustrate these concepts. The results show the importance of such testing in the verification of future CALS standards built around the PDES/STEP efforts. Finally the paper will outline the role and importance of an analytic testing facility in a comprehensive academic research program on information technology for engineering and how it influences current and future engineering education.

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