The concept of a federation of distributed devices on a network which enter the federation through a process of “discover and join”, by which they register with a service request broker and publish the services which they perform is applied to engineering software tools. A highly flexible computer architecture is developed, leveraging emerging web technologies like Sun Microsystems’ Jini™, RMI, JavaSpaces, in which engineering software tools like CAD, CAE, PDM, optimization, cost modeling, etc. act as distributed service providers and service requestors. The individual services communicate via so-called context models, which are abstractions of the master model data of a particular product. A human user interacts with the framework through a thin client like a web browser from anywhere in the world, where proper security measures to prevent unauthorized access to proprietary data is maintained. The paradigm of the CAD Master Model is extended with the introduction of the Intelligent Master Model (IMM), which, in addition to the what, captures the why and how of a design through the use of knowledge-based engineering tools. The framework is applied to the intelligent scaling and detailed finite element analysis of a compressor rotor and compressor blades. A KBE system scales the compressor rotor based on high-level information like mass flow and resulting flowpath geometry. The scaled geometry is validated through detailed high-fidelity stress analysis of critical features, which is associatively linked to the scaled master geometry.

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