Concurrent conceptual evaluation of tolerances' synthesis in mechanical design
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Taking into account the global competitive environment and the impact of collaborative engineering environments on Small and Medium-sized Enterprises, it has now become necessary to develop new models and tools that can keep helping the designers and engineers in the decision-making processes related to the product design lifecycle. The tolerance synthesis purpose is to provide a rational basis for assigning tolerances to dimensions, and it has become an important subject in the product design process. The aim of this research work is to present an approach to support a concurrent conceptual tolerance synthesis evaluation process in a mechanical design within a collaborative engineering environment context, for example, Virtual Enterprise. The reference model proposed was developed and refined through a set of mechanical design study cases. The analysis and reflections of the study case presented in this manuscript are described in detail to show an example of how the different study cases were used to develop an understanding of how the reference model proposed can stimulate the conceptual synthesis evaluation of tolerances in the product design process. © The Author(s), 2011.