The product development process in the automotive industry is characterized by long and complex design activities. Currently one of the possibilities to support such activity is the application of parametric and associative CAD systems. To achieve the full potential of such systems, especially in view of the complexity of the CAD parts and assemblies, it is important to have a clear understanding of how best to use them. This paper presents an integrated approach to their use in different phases. After presentation of the results of a literature survey on the field of parametric associative CAD design systems the paper will present the results of a descriptive study I which has been accomplished to identify the challenges, problems and weaknesses involved in the use of the parametric associative CAD systems in the automotive design process. Furthermore this paper presents a prescriptive study in which the different phases and sub-phases of a newly-developed parametric associative approach are described, based on the identified factors and indicators in the previous steps.
- parametric associative design, method development, method evaluation