Joint LOTAR and MBx-IF Workshops
The LOTAR project, defining requirements for the long-term archiving and retrieval of digital product data across a wide variety of domains, has a long-standing tradition of working closely together with the related interoperability forums to ensure those requirements are readily supported in authoring tools and STEP interfaces.
From 20-24 September 2021, more than 50 participants from user companies, software vendors, and government and research organizations attended a week of online meetings. In total, 26 sessions were held, including parallel technical team meetings as well as joint plenary sessions for project updates and status reports.
While most of the technical work is done by each team in their weekly meetings throughout the year, the workshops provide an opportunity to support the growing need for cross-domain interaction. For instance, the PDM and MBSE teams jointly lead a working group discussing meta data for archiving across all LOTAR domains. Goals are to identify common subsets as well as domain-specific information, and where to best document them.
The LOTAR WGs for Mechanical CAD, Composite Design, Electrical Harness as well as PDM used the meetings to coordinate with the respective user groups and implementor groups under the umbrella of the MBx Interoperability Forum. This allows to harmonize requirements with other industries and get feedback on recent test results as well as current updates to STEP interfaces.
The CAx-IF and EWIS-IF also wrapped up their latest rounds of testing during the week and determined their scope of work for the coming year. In addition to upgrading implementations to the latest version of STEP AP242, new topics such as support for Kinematics with AP242 XML are gaining momentum. The scope of specific design capabilities for Composite Materials and Electrical Harnesses is being expanded as well.
Joint meetings such as the recent one are a key instrument in ensuring that new standards meet the requirements, that the described approaches are validated and harmonized across domains, and that the corresponding capabilities are supported in the involved software tools.