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Workflow based vehicle development process management model

Abstract: Aiming at the new mode of modern vehicle development and the demand for the full life cycle management of the development process, based on the analysis of the application and development of existing workflow technology, a vehicle development process management model based on the world's first workflow is proposed. It integrates the development data management of PDM system and the development process management of workflow system. Taking the development sequence as the main line and realizing the multi-point concurrency control of specific development activities as the goal, it forms a vehicle development process management model including three modules: workflow modeling, workflow execution and product data management, so that the development process can be carried out in a controlled manner according to certain rules and sequences, It effectively supports the integrated vehicle development in the parallel collaborative environment

key words: workflow model development PDM


after the merger wave at the end of last century, the market concentration of the car industry has increased, and the competition between large groups has become more intense. In order to maintain competitiveness, major automobile companies attach great importance to model development. However, the development process of new models is complex and long cycle, including many links from technical and economic feasibility analysis, conceptual design, engineering analysis, sample vehicle trial production, product certification, small batch trial production to official production and listing, involving planning, design, process, production, quality assurance, supply and other departments. Only by establishing a process oriented management mode, standardizing the development process, and effectively integrating and organizing activities at all stages, can we quickly develop new models with high quality, low cost and meeting market demand. Their products include: products, and win fierce market competition

in the face of the industry background of global expansion and intensified competition, many large foreign automobile companies have introduced the idea of project management, using the combination of joint development, entrusted development and independent development to outsource non core businesses, while focusing on the core competitiveness. The R & D Engineering Institute has changed the past "large and comprehensive, small and comprehensive" mode, and is mainly responsible for monitoring the project implementation and reviewing the development process. In this new mode, how to manage all kinds of activities (tasks), roles, resources (personnel and equipment) and realize the whole process optimization of information flow, logistics and capital flow has become the key to the success or failure of development projects

in China, there are the following problems in the development and management of car models in the car industry: ① there is a lack of a set of detailed and quantitative development workflow, which can be used to clearly define the control information, data information, status information and resource information of activities (tasks) in each stage. ② Manual management of the development process, with a large number of links and a large process span, is easy to lead to low efficiency and slow feedback. ③ It is difficult for all departments to realize information integration, and there are "information islands" with blocked flow, which makes it difficult to give play to the integration effect. In view of the above situation, in order to effectively complete process oriented management, an application software system that can support process modeling, process execution, process integration and process coordination is needed

workflow technology developed with computer supported collaborative work (CSCW) in the late 1980s [1]. It effectively solves the problems of task allocation, process scheduling and control, and task resource coordination. One of the most remarkable features of workflow technology is that it can easily describe business processes and effectively supervise them

combining the characteristics of workflow technology and the new mode of modern vehicle development, this paper proposes a model of vehicle development process management based on workflow

1 workflow technology

workflow is the computer implementation of business operation process, and workflow management system is the specific software environment for this implementation [2]. The international Workflow Management Alliance (WFMC) gives the normative definition of workflow [3], puts forward the reference model of workflow management system, and puts forward five basic functional interfaces for the standardized development of workflow management system, as shown in Figure 1. There are five basic components in the figure:

Figure 1 WFMC defined workflow system reference model

(1) process definition tool. With the help of a software tool to describe the workflow process, it converts the actual process into a formal description (process definition) that is standardized and can be processed by computer

(2) workflow execution service. It is composed of one or several workflow engines and is the core of workflow management system, which is responsible for creating, managing and executing workflow instances. Various workflow applications access it through the workflow application programming interface (WAPI). Logically, it provides five external interfaces, which are: process definition module interface; Interface with workflow client application module; Interface with workflow management and monitoring tools; Interfaces with various functional services for calling and with other workflow systems

(3) application for calling. It is a collection of functional applications, each of which is responsible for the execution of a sub process or a task of the workflow. The workflow engine is invoked according to the health status

(4) customer application of workflow. It can access the workflow list library through the work list access interface, and the workflow engine assigns workflow tasks to the workflow list library, and users accept the assigned tasks

(5) workflow management and monitoring. Manage and monitor workflows, including user management, role management, operation records, error recovery, stop and delete workflows

in workflow management system, workflow definition module is the most basic and core. Workflow definition model provides a method for the system to describe the actual business process. According to WFMC reference model, workflow definition should include workflow participants, workflow process activities, workflow related data, transition information and workflow application data. Among them, workflow process definition refers to every activity link in the workflow process. Transition information defines the information that must be possessed when workflow activities change, that is, activity start conditions and subsequent activities

workflow technology originates from the field of office automation, and has been successfully applied to customs inspection, patent application, bank deposit and loan and other businesses

with the change of social application background, various new technologies are continuously integrated into the workflow management system, making it a necessary tool to realize multi-point concurrent monitoring of business processes in the face of complex enterprise information environment from the initial single process oriented and single point linear control

2 new car model development process

in principle, any new car model development must go through several main processes shown in Figure 2

Figure 2 basic process of model development

this traditional development method is in chronological order, and the division of labor of each department is clear. Product development flows from one department to the next, but this "throw over the wall" design process between departments is not conducive to the early detection of design defects. The problems in the early stage of product development are likely to be exposed at the end of the design, resulting in large-span rework. Therefore, this development process has been difficult to meet the requirements of the current dynamic car market for the time cycle and economic benefits of model development

after entering the 1990s, major automobile companies in the world have continuously improved their development organization and management [4]; 1. ① the chief engineer responsibility system of Toyota company. As shown in Figure 3. ② Chrysler platform team. In each integrated development team, there are not only developers of body, powertrain, chassis, interior decoration, air conditioning appliances and other aspects, but also professionals in product planning, finance, production, procurement, sales and other aspects, so that the design and engineering can be carried out at the same time. Computer software and hardware technology is widely used in car development. ③ Honda's sed development system. Sales, engineering and research and development system personnel are unified into sed joint development team according to product development projects, and the method of combining project system and professional system is adopted to work from the formulation of development plan to the production and listing of products

Figure 3 development process of modern production models of Toyota Motor Company

the development process of the three major automobile companies has a common feature that makes all relevant departments work together, so that the experimental machine cannot be developed at the same time. The development of computer software and hardware technology provides the underlying technical support for the new development process. Various cax/dfx technologies, such as auxiliary modeling design, auxiliary engineering analysis, virtual simulation analysis, auxiliary production line, make all links in the development of design work together. However, for simple products, planning, design, production and other steps are relatively easy to achieve simultaneous engineering. For a car with tens of thousands of parts, the operation, coordination and management of logistics, information flow, capital flow and human resource flow are very complex. The purpose of workflow based new vehicle development process management is to introduce workflow management technology into the vehicle development process to realize the process control and management optimization of development projects

from the perspective of topology, workflow based development management is the mapping of the actual development process management in the electronic space [1]. Each information node in the electronic space represents each development and design department and component supplier in the actual process, and the attribute of the node represents the development work content of each department. The inspection and approval standards of each link in the real process are the conditions that the information node depends on when it transitions, and are mapped to the virtual electronic space in the form of workflow to realize the electronic management of the whole development process

from the perspective of function, the development management based on workflow should solve both static and dynamic management. The so-called static management refers to the query, modification, submission and storage of various drawing documents and experimental analysis data in the development process, as well as the establishment of a general design knowledge base to realize the reuse of knowledge. The so-called dynamic management is mainly proposed for all kinds of entrusted design, outsourcing design and collaborative development in modern vehicle development. The purpose is to solve the workflow collaboration between various step-by-step heterogeneous development entities

the workflow management model of vehicle development has the following characteristics:

(1) compared with the workflow management in the field of office automation such as student registration and customer order management, the workflow management process of vehicle development is more complex and involves more links

(2) due to the existence of multiple project participants, the workflow management of vehicle development belongs to loose coupling and structure, and the process activities take timing as the main constraint relationship

(3) in the collaborative and entrusted development environment, the development process activities have strong resource constraints in the implementation of concurrent engineering

3 model of vehicle development process management based on workflow

the main purpose of workflow management system is the activity management and control of the whole process of product development, that is, project management. Specifically, it is to effectively manage activities, roles and resources, and transmit information related to activities among activity participants. Compared with PDM system, the advantage of workflow system lies in its stronger ability of project management and process control, and its disadvantage lies in its low degree of integration with product data itself [5]

the new model development process management should include the management of development data and the management of the development process itself. For the former, various PDM system software has more powerful functions. For the latter, workflow management technology provides a very

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