Collaborative Product Development Platform

What you get

With the FITMAN “Collaborative Product Development Platform” designers and product development teams can use services from a web platform aimed at fostering the collaborative development of prototypes and the information sharing necessary during the various phases of the design of new product-service. Within a collaborative environment, they can create and access virtual rooms where product information, visual sketches, 3D Models and any other useful information are shared with the other participants of a virtual meeting, regardless of time (virtual rooms can be accessed asynchronously or synchronously by participants) and place (teams operating from different locations can meet in the same room and visualize the same environment)

The platform targets the Digital Factory domain of FITMAN; including business ecosystems of collaborative enterprises as well as supply chains. It is based on two FIWARE Generic Enablers, two FITMAN Specific Enablers and two FITMAN Proprietary Components, integrated in a unique platform that is delivered as a virtual machine on a cloud infrastructure, for an easy access by the stakeholders.

Why to get it

The design and development of new product-services is a very complex process, involving people and teams with different competencies and roles that have to cooperate to a common goal, offering their own inputs to several decision making moments, that in the lean approach are called decision “gates”. The complexity of this process is increasing with the shifting from a traditional product-centric offer to a product-service offer.

Development of product and service must proceed in parallel but with a continuous synchronization to ensure alignment between the physical (product) and the virtual (service) parts , which means that the number of people, competences, information sources and in the end, tools that have to be used to reach and pass the gates is increasing as well.

The FITMAN “Collaborative Product Development platform” is centered on a scalable collaboration platform, called Virtual Obeya, where organisations and business ecosystems can create their own spaces and invite users that can see and share different kinds of tools (enveloped into “widgets”) to visualize and share information that enable the collaborative decision making. The Platform is natively equipped with widgets for the creation and management of information about new product prototypes; these tools are simplified and intuitive interfaces to the underlying PLM tool. Product and component data that are stored into external legacy systems are made available in the platform thanks to a middleware layer for semantic, virtual interoperability and integration.

Moreover, a dedicated widget visualizes in the virtual rooms, the 3D CAD models of the prototype/ product that is under development.

As previously mentioned, many other widgets (such as shared documents, project management tools, PDF viewers but also other widgets embedding specific applications used by the company, etc…) can be included.

Documentation

Preface This document is the Open Specification of the FITMAN "Collaborative Product Development Platform" that is released as Virtual Machine and composed by the integration and expansion of three components coming from FIWARE Generic Enablers Catalogue and FITMAN Specific Enablers Catalogue, glued together by two FITMAN proprietary components.Specific Enabler (FITMAN-DIPS). FITMAN Open Specifications of the “Collaborative Product Development Platform” are released under the same terms and conditions of FI-WARE Open Specifications - see FI-WARE Open Specification Legal Notice (essential patents license) and FI-WARE Open Specification Legal Notice (implicit patents license). For more information in the FITMAN project itself, please refer to the FITMAN website.
strong>Copyright Platform and integration components: Copyright © 2015 Holonix s.r.lAbout Generic and Specific Enablers please refers to the ”Terms and Conditions” section.
 Overview The FITMAN "Collaborative Product Development Platform" is a web-based, integrated platform supporting collaborative decision making during the various phases of a product-service development. When a new product-service concept has to be conceived and elaborated, several teams of people are involved, coming from different units and companies within an ecosystems. They need to frequently meet and share achievements or take decisions, facing the problem of being physically located in different places and of using different information sources and tools to elaborate their input to the common project. In the "Collaborative Product Development Platform " these problems are overcome by providing:
  • A web-based collaboration environment, accessible through a browser form traditional as well as mobile devices, where people can meet and share information and graphical tools
  • A platform for the management of product information, equipped with simplified and intuitive user interfaces that can be embedded within the virtual rooms of the collaboration environment
  • A middleware for accessing and retrieving product data from external legacy systems, using a family of standards that are being developed specifically for the exchange of information about physical items (instances of products). These middleware is integrated with the product management platform.
  • A service to visualize, share and collaboratively explore virtual 3D scenes directly within the collaboration environment. It is equipped with a simplified interface (widget) that is integrated with the product management platform and offer the visualization service within the virtual rooms of the collaboration environment
Detailed Architecture and Specification As visible in the following picture, the FITMAN "Collaborative Product Development Platform” is composed by four integrated components:
  • FITMAN Specific Enabler "Collaborative 3D Web Viewer" (FITMAN-C3DWV)
  • FITMAN Specific Enabler "Semantic Mediator" (FITMAN-SEMed)
  • FI-WARE Generic Enabler “Synchronisation GE”
  • FI-WARE Generic Enabler “3D-UI-XML3D”
  • FITMAN Proprietary Component “Virtual Obeya”
  • FITMAN Proprietary Component “i-Like”
In the figure below the overall architecture of the FITMAN "3D Printing Data Management Platform" is reported, together with the information flows among the components. The main interaction of the users with the platform is through the Virtual Obeya interface. Users can configure the platform by creating their own virtual rooms and populating them with the widgets natively offered by the system (that includes the Prototype management widgets and the C3DWV widget) but also create new ones to embed into the rooms other web-based applications. Once the virtual rooms are created, other users can be invited to enter them and to participate to remote meetings, where participants will interact with the same representation of the virtual rooms, seeing and using the same widgets. Using the Prototype Management widgets (including the NewPrototype widget, the SearchPrototype widget and the ViewPrototype widget) the users within the virtual room can create and manage information about new product prototypes. Modifications introduced within one widget are seen by all the participants in their browsers, thanks to the Synchronisation GE and a set of APIs provided by the VirtualObeya. These information are stored into the i-Like platform, that is integrated with the external material database through the SEMed enabler, that provides the acquired data using the O-DF standard. In the ViewPrototype widget, users can see and select materials from the list generated by the SEMed. Moreover, users can upload prototype sketches and 3D CAD models that are visualized in the C3DWV widget In addition, users can interact directly with the i-Like Proprietary component to properly configure the platform with product categories and other basic information. Main features of FITMAN "3D Printing Data Management Platform" from a user’s point of view are the following: CONFIGURATION SERVICES Virtual Obeya
  • Create a new collaboration space (virtual room)
  • Add/remove widgets from an existing collaboration space, choosing from a predefined list
  • Add new widgets
  • Invite people to enter the collaboration space
i-Like
  • Create product families and types
FRONT END SERVICES
    1. Create, update, visualize prototype information
    2. Upload and visualize 3D CAD models of prototypes
    3. Search of prototypes
    4. Interact with other people in the same virtual rooms from chat tools (AppearIn is the default one)
    5. Interact with other widgets included in the collaboration space

CPDPlatform

Information

For more information about “Collaborative Product Development Platform” components refers to the following addresses:

Terms and Conditions

Experimentation/testing within the scope of the FI-PPP FITMAN “Collaborative Product Development Platform” asset is available to the Parties signed to the FI-PPP program under the conditions established in the FI-PPP Collaboration Agreement.
External availability
  • FITMAN Specific Enabler "Semantic mediator" (FITMAN-SEMed) is released under the GPL v3 licence.
  • FITMAN “Collaborative 3D Web Viewer” Specific Enabler (FITMAN C3DWV) is open source. It is based on several components, all open source but with different licenses. The main functionality of the Collaborative 3D Web Viewer is published under the Apache 2 License.
  • The i-Like and Virtual Obeya Proprietary components are owned by Holonix s.r.l. and available under commercial licenses; however, their usage as part of the Collaborative Product Development Platform is provided for free, to the Parties signed to the FI-PPP program.