The authors address the development of reasoning mechanism in order to link design and its associated downstream manufacturing requirements. A specific example is presented using the design of aircraft flap components through a computer-based or CAD system which also represents a framework for solving design problems in other domains. This forms the basis of a prototype to enable an evaluation and analysis of the reasoning methodology to be conducted, using artificial-intelligence tools. The prototype is designed to give assistance at different levels in the design and manufacturing processes including the introduction of novel methods of reasoning about potential products and manufacturing approaches.
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