The 7th International Conference on Concurrent Engineering (ICE 2001),
held at Bremen/Germany on 2001-06-27/29 was attended by close to 200 people
from Europe, Japan and USA. It was organised jointly by a number of organisations
including the Concurrent Enterprising Network of Excellence (CENET) - http://www.ce-net.org.
The conference was organised in four parallel streams presenting during
the first day a total of 59 papers together with two invited papers. Four
parallel workshops followed on the second day . These workshops addressed
‘Human Issues in CE through Simulation Gaming’, ‘Legal Issues’, ‘Strategic
Thinking and Performance Management from a Knowledge Perspective’ and ‘Best
Practice in Concur-rent Enterprising Implementation’.
The proceedings are grouped in 9 sections covering a rather wide range
of topics. It starts with ‘Best Practice’ and ‘Product Data Management’
4 papers each. Next are 14 papers on ‘B2B Networks’ and 11 papers on ‘Knowledge
Management’. Sections on ‘Project Management’ and ‘Legal Issues’ again
contain 4 four papers each. The three last sections are on ‘Applying Methods
and Tools’, ‘Life Cycle Management and Extended Products’ and ’Smart, Dynamic
Organisations’ with 7, 5, and 6 papers, respectively. The papers cover
technology developments and applications, with the majority of the papers
originating from academic institutions. A large number of papers reports
on intermediate and end results of research projects with either national
or EU funding.
Published by University of Nottingham, ISBN 0 85358 098 7
Short reviews of selected papers relevant to enterprise
engineering and integration are presented in the following parts.
Papers relevant to enterprise engineering and integration selected from
K-T. Thoben et al, Eds. Engi-neering the Knowledge Economy through Co-operation,
Proceedings ICE 2001, published by University of Nottingham, ISBN 0 85358
R. Tononi, G. Amorosi, Multi Domain Application of a Virtual Enterprise
Model for SME’s, pp 71-79.
Starting from a list of problems faced by members of SME type networks,
the paper presents a VE business model applicable to networks with members
of equal rights and without any a priori group leader. The model considers
network members as autonomous production centres providing a special service
to the network. The network activities are carried out by the members according
to a set of rules accepted by all members at the time they join the network.
The model identifies two special functions – the VE manager and the Technical
Service Centre. Whereas the former is concerned with organisation and management
issues, the latter is devoted to technical matters. A VE Committee rep-resenting
all the network members will take responsibility for resolving network
issues not solvable by the VE manager and the service centre.
The paper describes in more details the expected behaviour of the network
and the role of the VE manager and the technical service centre. The model
is believed to be applicable in different applica-tion domains. Six different
projects are identified in which the model is being investigated.
D. Ferreira, J.J. Pinto Ferreira, Designing Workflow-Enabled Business-to-Business
Infrastructures, (EU project) pp.81-89.
B2B marketplaces need transaction technologies supporting the business
transactions. The paper starts with a short survey of the state of the
art in frameworks for B2B interoperability and reports the rele-vant findings.
In the area of standardisation XML plays a prominent role. Most of the
current frame-works favour the extended mark-up language.
In the following sections B2B infrastructure design principles are
defined that are based on two main guidelines: (1) separate data requirements
from interaction behaviour and (2) use workflow-enabled systems. The resulting
design – a workflow based approach – will be provided as a set of IT modules
by the DAMASCOS project (IST-1999-11850). The focus is on SMEs working
within customised supply networks.
B.R. Katzy, G. Sung, Information Infrastructure for Virtual Project
Requirements Specification from a Communication Perspective, pp 187-191.
H.K. Tönshof, et al, KnowWork – An Approach to Co-ordinate Knowledge
within Technical Sales, Design and Process Planning Departments, (National
project Germany), pp 231-239.
Starting from a list of issues in the VE project management, technical
and social domain, functional and performance measurement requirements
are defined. Three layers have been identified for the resulting infrastructure
architecture: System supporting network cabling and device layer, Application
hardware and software layer and Value adding service layer. Existing components
are identified to populate the different layers.
A version of the infrastructure has been implemented and used in the
VE-lab that represents both an academic research laboratory and an industrial
Starting from a survey of the state of the art in knowledge management
the paper describes the KnowWork project that aims to improve the exchange
of information and knowledge between people working in different departments
in the mechanical parts industry. The project framework identifies the
different components relevant in the exchange, which includes an organisation
model to capture the organisational knowledge and an information model
to provide meta data and ontologies about information sources. The project
work plan is divided into three phases:
Project focus is on user involvement trying to capture the different views
on information and knowl-edge relevant in the different departments of
Information management to provide functionality for accessing documents
in the organisation.
Knowledge management to extend information management by context and organisational
Context based knowledge management to integrate all software components
developed in the project.
T. Kucza, S. Komi-Sirviö, Utilising Knowledge Management in Process
Improvement – The Creation of a Knowledge Management Process Model, (national
project Finland), pp 241-249.
Applying knowledge management (KM) to software process improvement
is supposed to increase the efficiency of software engineering in virtual
software corporations. The KM Model provides for co-ordination of the KM
Process. The latter identifies the process activities (creation, collection
and storage, up-date, identification of need and sharing) and their relations
(internal/external knowledge flow and activation flow). This high level
KM process model has been further detailed into 39 sub-processes. The paper
describes ongoing research work and sub-processes are not part of the paper.
J.L.C. Kemp, On the Nature of Knowledge-intensive Organisations: Strategy
and Organisation in the new Economy, pp 251-259.
Knowledge work is assumed to be the primary value-adding process of
knowledge-intensive organisa-tions (KIOs). Since humans are the major knowledge
carriers, they are the most valuable assets of KIOs. For the organisation
design of KIOs a 756 Model is proposed. The model identification stands
for 7 management challenges to be encountered by applying 5 basic principles
to shape the 6 main organisation variables.
The model draws on a number of fundamental theories: complexity theory
(Kaufmann), systems thinking (Ackoff/Moerman), contingency theory (Mintzberg)
and fractal organising paradigm (Warneke).
Seven management challenges: manage human capabilities, network with partners,
create right organisational structures, balance order and chaos, balance
individual and corporate motivation, balance top down and bottom up forces,
develop in competitive and sustainable manner.
Five basic principles: self-organisation, self-similarity, self-optimisation,
goal orientation, dynamics and vitality.
Six main organisation variables: navigation, competence, formal networks,
informal networks, processing, value and beliefs.
J. Goosenaerts, C. Pelletier, Enterprise Ontology and Knowledge Management,
(part of IMS/RTD project), pp 281-289
M. Mazzeschi, The Virtual Organisation, (EU project), pp 331-335.
The paper describes results from PSIM (Participative Simulation environment
for Integral Manufacturing renewal). The PSIM ontology is based on earlier
research work like CIMOSA and GERAM and corresponding CEN and ISO standardisation.
Its aim is support of information capturing and exchange between modelling
tools for process simulation.
The PSIM ontology itself it is a specialisation of the PSIM meta ontology
that defines a model of three interrelated elements: activity, enterprise
object and information element. The relationships between the three elements
are relevance and involved.
The PSIM ontology defines operative processes – those concerned with
the enterprise operation – and self-transformation processes – those concerned
with redesign and optimisation of operative proc-esses. It identifies types
of activities, enterprise objects (e.g. resources) and information elements
that make up the different processes.
Examples show the concept of translation between different tools using
the PSIM ontology.
The paper starts by defining virtual organisation and virtual and the
different kinds of such organisa-tions. It focuses on the different agreements
which will govern the partner relationships in the virtual organisation
during its life cycle. The requirements for letters of intent and consortium
agreements are discussed in detail.
E.M Weitzenboeck, Building a legal Framework for a Virtual Organisation
in the Marine Domain: The MARVIN Experience, (EU project), pp 337-345.
The prototype of a maritime enterprise integration tool (METI) that
is based on web and agent tech-nology has been used to establish a contractual
model for business partners in a maritime virtual enterprise. Potential
partners offer their services via METI under a common user agreement and
will be selected if their offer matches the requirements of the future
project. Communication via METI is via EDI contract-like clauses. Reference
is made to the European E-Commerce Directive 2000, that will govern such
contracts in the future.
T.M. Hassan, et al, eLEGAL: Defining a Framework for Legally admissible
Use of ICT in Virtual Enterprises, (EU project), pp 347-355.
The framework will specify legal conditions and contracts for ICT use
in construction and large scale engineering projects.
C. Van Schoubroeck, et al, A legal Taxonomy on Virtual Enterprises,
(EU project), pp 357-364.
N. Ferguson, J. Brown, A Decision Support Process for End of Life Product
Recovery, pp 441-449.
The taxonomy identifies the legal points of interest listing 10 major
items to be considered in a virtual enterprise. Those items are; VE identity,
company law, Broker-VE architect, consumer protection, contacting with
third parties, intellectual property rights, interchange agreements, control
legislation-competition, ICT related topics, Others like labour relations,
privacy and e-commerce.
The taxonomy is classified according to different angles, e.g. VE life
cycle, VE actors, VE internal and external relationships. No legal advice
is provided yet, on the different items and their classifications.
A business process for end of life product recovery in the automotive
industry is described. It consists of 5 key processes: procurement, dismantling,
order capture, planning and order fulfilment. This model is based on the
assumption of product recovery being an independent business that procures
end of life vehicles for dismantling according to the demand for recycled
materials or parts. Therefore the planning process is really the ‘nerve
centre’ of the whole business process. It supports vehicle procurement
as well as coordinating the day-to-day operation. The planning takes into
account demand, inventory, information from the visual inspections of the
particular vehicles, manufactures information on the vehicle design, dismantling
manuals and legal requirements.
The planning process is supported by the decision support process:
The latter is internet enabled allowing the flow of information between
all partners of the extended enterprise that includes vehicle owners, vehicle
manufactures, customers and other dismantling enterprises. The community
of dismantling enterprises provide information for enhancements of the
D. Gazzotti, et al, WHALES: a Project Life-cycle Management Application
for Extended Organisa-tions, (EU project), pp451-459.
The project will provide a planning and management infrastructure for
distributed organisations in large scale engineering projects. The solution
will be web-based with emphasis on activity planning and execution and
resource and material availability. Three main processes of the virtual
enterprise will be supported; project planning and estimation, project
execution and project monitoring and contingency handling.
The WHALES logical network architecture consists of three layers:
The WHALES systems architecture includes two decision support systems for
project planning and budgeting and for project monitoring and revenue analysis.
work network structure: identifies the project assets – the partner capabilities
work responsibility structure: identifies project units, roles, positions,
rules and workflow models,
work breakdown structure: identifies project activities, their inputs and
outputs and resource requirements as well as planning details relating
to time and money and status information.
N. Brehmer, et al, Experimenting with Dynamic Enterprise Organisation Concepts:
Building Cross-enterprise Information Supply Chains based on the Fractal
Theories, (EU project), pp505, 508.
The Information Supply Chain (ISC) methodology is a tool for identifying
information requirements of an enterprise for the design of its information
system or network application. ISC describes the business flow inside and
outside the enterprise thereby distinguishing between information flow
inside and between components. ISC identifies three basic entities for
describing business procedures or operations: process, activity and resource.
Each of these three entities can in turn be described by a triangle of
three tasks assigned to those entities:
Applying the fractal theory leads to a hierarchy of ECC triangles corresponding
to the decomposition of business processes.
Executor: responsible for carrying out basic activities,
Controller: responsible for performance measurements,
Co-ordinator: responsible for interfacing with other entities/components.
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