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Utilizing Applications Programming Interfaces to Provide Product Lifecycle Management and Enhance Manufacturing Education

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2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Atlanta, Georgia

Publication Date

June 23, 2013

Start Date

June 23, 2013

End Date

June 26, 2013



Conference Session

Simulation and Programming

Tagged Division


Page Count


Page Numbers

23.1351.1 - 23.1351.10



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Paper Authors


David E. Culler Oregon Institute of Technology

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Dr. Culler has an M.S. and Ph.D. from New Mexico State University in Industrial Engineering and over 20 years experience in using and developing Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM) systems and teaching topics such as Product Data Management (PDM) and Product Lifecycle Management (PLM).

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Noah David Anderson

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Utilizing Applications Programming Interfaces to Provide Flexible Product Lifecycle ManagementIn the past 30 years, software development companies have made great strides in the areas of projectplanning, business management, material handling, engineering and manufacturing, in hopes thatsomeday an all-in-one software package would be made available. Fortunately, for some largercompanies like PTC, Catia, and Siemens NX, this dream has become a reality to an extent.Just because one very expensive piece of software can individually handle most aspects of an engineeringbusiness does not mean that it is flexible. Nor can be adapted to individual companies and their standardpractices. This gives companies the false hope of true integration, where the same information has to beentered multiple times, and no time is saved when working between modules. True integration occurs atthe point where both customization and artificial intelligence meet, to produce an outcome that savesboth time and money.Through the use of API’s (Application Programming Interface) and a custom software, true integration iscloser to becoming a reality. The focus of this project is to develop a custom software geared towardsmall to midsized job-shop companies that cannot afford all-in-one software packages. Software likeSolidWorks, FeatureCAM, and Microsoft Office, are commonly used by such companies and with the aidof API’s, a custom software will have the ability to communicate directly to objects inside each program.In particular, this software will focus on the transition between design, engineering, and manufacturingand the information that is passed between each stage of development.The results of this project demonstrate that the potential exists to enhance and simplify the productdevelopment process, but many questions remain unanswered and future technologies may help tounlock the key to full integration.

Culler, D. E., & Anderson, N. D. (2013, June), Utilizing Applications Programming Interfaces to Provide Product Lifecycle Management and Enhance Manufacturing Education Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. 10.18260/1-2--22736

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