New ways to design next-generation CAM systems. An integrated approach of co-creation and process modeling
Authors: Nina Rußkamp, Claas Digmayer, Eva-Maria Jakobs, Florens Burgert, Marisa Schirmer, Susanne Mütze Niewöhner
Abstract: Computer-Aided Manufacturing systems are common means to increase the flexibility and efficiency of production planning in manufacturing companies. Digital transformation processes increase innovation cycles and product individualization  and, by doing so, the complexity of production planning and CAM systems use . In the R&D project CAM2030 a new generation of CAM systems is developed by integrating innovative technologies (AI, cloud computing, evolutionary algorithms). The highly innovative process requires new methods. This paper presents an integrated methodological approach that enriches co-creation methods  by integrating visualization methods of process modeling . The methodology was developed in three steps: concept development, concept realization, and concept evaluation. Concept development: Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, a remote co-creation workshop was designed based on two assumptions: (1) Co-creation at an early stage of the innovation process benefits from integrating users’ perspective and need information . (2) Modeling and visualizing CAM planning processes allows to build up a shared understanding of the status quo. Human-centered work design experts compiled, modeled, and visualized the project-specific CAM planning process with the C3 modeling method . Technical communication experts focused on methods and tools to gather need information (requirements for intelligent CAM systems) remotely. The workshop comprises three parts: warm-up challenge to identify no-go design features of CAM systems, discussion of the CAM planning process and model, and derivation of design requirements and automation potential. Each part uses different practices, e.g., teams working in separate breakout sessions, documenting their results in a shared document on Google Docs in real-time. Concept realization: The workshop was conducted in February 2021 via Zoom. The participants (CAM users, software developers, researchers) (n=21) were acquired within the project consortium. The workshop was audio- and video-recorded. The participants’ notes were stored in Google Docs. The transcribed audio data were enriched with additional information, e.g., participants’ notes. After the workshop, the data were used to integrate, categorize, and prioritize need information and to revise the process model. Concept evaluation: The concept was evaluated by the workshop participants and the workshop leader team guided by two research questions: Is this methodological approach suitable for innovation processes? What are the potentials and challenges of the approach? The approach proved to be highly productive. The integration of co-creation and process modeling seems to be a promising approach to involve diverse perspectives in the design of intelligent CAM systems. The process model supported the workshop participants in creating a shared understanding of the CAM planning process and identifying potentials for optimization and automation. The collaboration in heterogeneous groups yielded a structured catalog of requirements that will go into the further innovation process of CAM systems. Shortcomings concern the live adaptation of the process model as well as bringing together partial results from different groups and cluster ideas. Under pandemic conditions, the approach is practical to a limited extent. Future research will focus on how the nexus of co-creation and process modeling can be advanced to enrich the design of innovative software systems.
Keywords: methodological approach for innovation processes, co-creation, process modeling, computer-aided manufacturing, industry 4.0
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