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Digital design and manufacturing on the cloud: A review of software and services

  • Dazhong Wu (a1), Janis Terpenny (a1) and Dirk Schaefer (a2)

In recent years, industrial nations around the globe have invested heavily in new technologies, software, and services to advance digital design and manufacturing using cyber-physical systems, data analytics, and high-performance computing. Many of these initiatives, such as cloud-based design and manufacturing, fall under the umbrella of what has become known as Industry 4.0 or Industrial Internet and are often hailed as pillars of a new industrial revolution. While an increasing number of companies are developing or already offer commercial cloud-based software packages and services for digital design and manufacturing, little work has been reported on providing a review of the state of the art of these commercial software and services as well as identifying research gaps in this field. The objective of this paper is to present a state-of-the-art review of digital design and manufacturing software and services that are currently available on the cloud. The focus of this paper is on assessing to what extent engineering design, engineering analysis, manufacturing, and production across all phases of the product development lifecycles can already be performed based on the software and services accessed through the cloud. In addition, the key capabilities and benefits of these software packages and services are discussed. Based on the assessment of the core features of commercial software and services, it can be concluded that almost all phases of product realization can be conducted through digital design and manufacturing software and services on the cloud. Finally, existing research gaps and related challenges to overcome are identified. The state-of-the-art review serves to provide a technology guide for decision makers in their efforts to select suitable cloud-based software and services as alternatives to existing in-house resources as well as to recommend new research areas.

Corresponding author
Reprint requests to: Dazhong Wu, Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802, USA. E-mail:
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D. Wu , D.W. Rosen , L. Wang , & D. Schaefer (2015). Cloud-based design and manufacturing: a new paradigm in digital manufacturing and design innovation. Computer-Aided Design 59, 114.

Z. Zhang , G. Liu , Z. Jiang , & Y. Chen (2015). A cloud-based framework for lean maintenance, repair, and overhaul of complex equipment. Journal of Manufacturing Science and Engineering 137(4), 040908.

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  • ISSN: 0890-0604
  • EISSN: 1469-1760
  • URL: /core/journals/ai-edam
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