This paper describes experiences using the STEP AP210 Printed Wiring Assembly (PWA) product model to drive engineering analysis. It describes how this product design data is mapped into an intermediate analyzable representation (the Analyzable Product Model, or APM) which supports the information requirements of several thermomechanical analyses, including product idealizations. Examples from the DARPA-sponsored TIGER project are included, in which AP210 models were generated from the Mentor Graphics board layout tool. The paper describes other issues encountered such as how to integrate product data that spans more than one tool, how to add missing analysis data that is not generated during design, and how to use data stored in the APM from different programming environments.
Experiences show the value of semantically rich product models like STEP AP210 for analysis integration (vs. straight geometry-oriented models like AP203). However, the multi-fidelity idealization nature of analysis leads to an insatiable information appetite that no product model, no matter how rich, can continually satisfy. Thus, the APM technique is necessary as a general link to design tools in order to harmonize diverse data and add idealizations and missing data. Overall, experiences in TIGER confirmed the basic thrusts of the APM approach and its usage of STEP.