Abstract

Design and CAE are being influenced by a number of business factors that heighten the importance of communication, and, thus, language. Among these factors are: globalization of product and component markets, electronic commerce via EDI, competitive demands for shortened development cycles, and increased accountability for design through the entire product life cycle. Engineering management reflects these business factors in such trends as: outsourcing of design work on a global basis, subcontracting of construction and/or manufacturing engineering, and simultaneous engineering across disciplines.

This paper explores the oncoming revolution in language technology from the viewpoint of its potential effects on CAE. Some brief introductory observations are made on the importance and current status of language as it relates to design. Next, the philosophical and practical language barriers to further progress in object-oriented CAE are laid out. Finally, an agenda is proposed whereby these barriers can be overcome. Progress for CAE will be driven by the information needs of the end users of engineering’s products. This progress will be fed by technology advances and economic forces external to engineering design, yet it will take the form of a metalanguage unique to the field. Reaching our future aspirations for CAE will require the encouragement and cooperation of the commercial, professional, and governmental sectors, because the creation of a new language is a complex and costly proposition.

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