We define the semi-custom manufacturing business as one in which the product is custom configured from pre-designed components to fit the specific requirements of each customer. Application Engineering is an engineering process of crucial importance in a semi-custom manufacturing business. This process deserves increased automation efforts. The cost and risk of such automation can be significantly reduced by using a shell software which has most of the necessary facilities already built-in. We outline how these facilities are integrated in the SPEx shell. SPEx (Shell for Product Expertise) is a reusable shell software designed to meet the needs of a wide range of product configuration and specification applications. We describe our experience with an Application Engineering automation application built using the SPEx technology.

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