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Distributed parallel virtual assembly environment for automobile development

Zhen Xijin (CIM Institute, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, China)
Wu Dianliang (CIM Institute, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, China)
Fan Xiumin (CIM Institute, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, China)
Hu Yong (CIM Institute, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, China)

Assembly Automation

ISSN: 0144-5154

Article publication date: 31 July 2009




Automobile development needs more and more collaborative work involving geographical dispersed designers, that brings difficulty for model verification, conception review and assembly process evaluation, so a collaborative virtual environment for automobile based on network is required. In this kind of environment, designers can do interactive assembly operations collaboratively, such as grasp, move, release, collision detection (CD), assembly evaluation report generation, etc. Furthermore, automobile structure becomes more complicated, how to process this large real‐time data effectively in real‐time interactive virtual environment is a great challenge. The purpose of this paper is focus on this.


A distributed parallel virtual assembly environment (DPVAE) is developed. In this environment, the mechanism of event synchronization based on high‐level architecture/run‐time infrastructure) is applied to realize multi‐user collaboratively interactive operation. To meet the large data set real‐time processing demand, a creative parallel processing approach supported by a single supercomputer or a parallel processing environment composed of common personal computer in a high‐speed local area network is developed. The technologies such as real‐time CD, multiple interactive operation modals are applied in DPVAE and several auxiliary tools are provide to help achieving whole scheme review, component model verification and assembly evaluation.


This paper finds that DPVAE system is an available and efficient tool to support automobile collaborative assembly design.

Practical implications

Designers can discuss and verify the assembly scheme to realize the previous design scenario in DPVAE, so it is useful for reducing costs, improving quality and shortening the time to market, especially for new type automobile development.


A combination of distributed technology and parallel computing technology is applied in product virtual assembly, solving the problems including collaborative work of multi‐user and large data real‐time processing successfully, that provides a useful tool for automobile development.



Xijin, Z., Dianliang, W., Xiumin, F. and Yong, H. (2009), "Distributed parallel virtual assembly environment for automobile development", Assembly Automation, Vol. 29 No. 3, pp. 279-289.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2009, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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