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Advanced Engineering Environments for Small Manufacturing Enterprises: Volume I



Steven J. Fenves, Ram D. Sriram, Young Choi, J E. Robert


Advanced engineering environments (AEEs) are computational and communications systems that can create virtual and/or distributed environments linking researchers, technologists, designers, manufacturers, suppliers, and customers, providing for the orderly integration of tools used and data developed during the design phase of a product. AEEs consist of design tools (e.g., computer-aided design (CAD), computer-aided engineering, etc.), data repositories (e.g., design database, evolution database, etc.), and the networks linking these components and other enterprise processes. Although AEEs can improve the productivity of a small manufacturing enterprise (SME), a key barrier to SME adoption is a lack of awareness of AEEs. This report provides an overview of AEE technologies for SMEs, starting with a description of the levels of AEE capability and a summary of the benefits of AEE technology. AEEs for SMEs are most often constructed through the integration of commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) information technology (IT) tools, but successful adoption of these tools requires planning and commitment. This report provides SMEs with an overview of technical considerations for AEE adoption to enable such planning. Interoperability of these tools and efficient communication between the users of these tools is also discussed.
NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR) - 7055
Report Number


Advanced Engineering Environments (AEEs), Computer-Aided Design (CAD), Computer-Aided Engineering, data repositories, distributed environments, Small Manufacturing Enterprise (SME)


Fenves, S. , Sriram, R. , Choi, Y. and Robert, J. (2003), Advanced Engineering Environments for Small Manufacturing Enterprises: Volume I, NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online],, (Accessed April 23, 2024)
Created September 30, 2003, Updated October 12, 2021