While the retrieval of existing designs to prevent unnecessary duplication of parts is a recognised strategy in the control of design costs the available techniques to achieve this, even in product data management systems, are limited in performance or require large resources. A novel system has been developed based on a new version of an existing coding system (CAMAC) that allows automatic coding of engineering drawings and their subsequent retrieval using a drawing of the desired component as the input. The ability to find designs using a detail drawing rather than textual descriptions is a significant achievement in itself. Previous testing of the system has demonstrated this capability but if a means could be found to find parts from a simple sketch then its practical application would be much more effective. This paper describes the development and testing of such a search capability using a database of over 3000 engineering components.
- product data management
- group technology
- part coding and classification
- CAD design retrieval