Another way to gain insight into client problems is to examine the challenges within their industry. In 2006, TRL established an Innovation Center focused on the automobile and electronic device industries, which are key to Japan's position in the world market. The Center has already realized tremendous results in areas such as improving product quality in the manufacturing process.
There are a number of activities in any enterprise, such as product develop-ment, commercial transactions, and customer relationship management, which require the use of multiple data sources globally distributed inside and outside the enterprise. IT technology aiming at scrutinizing and tracing these data sources enables quicker and more efficient resolution of many problems and the extraction of useful management insights based on real data processed in the enterprise. We are collaborating with automotive industry clients to apply this technology to their quality management process in the product lifecycle.
On-Demand Maturity Modeling (ODMM)
Today, concurrent development processes are widely used to reduce the development times of new cars in the automotive industry, but they are also faced with increasing risks of schedule delays, cost overruns, and quality problems because of new factors such as the globalization of the development environment, design outsourcing, and the increasing numbers of involved engineers and specialists. Our research focus is on probabilistic modeling and simulation technologies for quantitative analysis and management of the risks.
System Modeling Language
Recently many products need to integrate different components with electronic, mechanical, and software functions. For example, a car has more than 20 electronic control units (ECUs) that control the main mechanical components such as the engine, brakes, and windshield wiper. The more complicated the system becomes, the more important is the system-level design that bridges the gap between the require-ments and the engineering. In collaboration with the T.J. Watson Research Center, TRL is leading this system engineering research by integrating SysML at the center of the product lifecycle with the various tools supporting the legacy development processes. The Systems Modeling Language (SysML) is a general-purpose graphical modeling language with a semantic foundation for modeling system requirements, behaviors, structures, and component integration with a broad range of engineering analysis. IBM Research has been one of the main contributors to SysML and has led the elaboration of the language. SysML is today an OMG approved standard.
Industrial Process Framework
TRL is developing Industrial Process Frameworks intended to provide solutions to client problems in the automobile, electronic, and high-tech industries by combining the results of its research with various industry-standard products and tools. It works with other IBM divisions to develop solutions chiefly based on Industrial Process Frameworks.