Improving software assistance for design engineers by integrating mathematical and function modeling

Bakker, H.M. (2012) Improving software assistance for design engineers by integrating mathematical and function modeling.

Abstract:TRIZ function modeling is an analysis method applied by engineers to describe the component relations in a technical system in terms of functions. Such function models are a basis for the productimprovement process based on the TRIZ theory of innovation. Since product improvement implies that a product already exists, usually CAD models of the product are already available. In ongoing research, software has been developed to automate the creation of function models from SolidWorks assemblies and to assist engineers in working with them, to make use of this situation. By means of using functions, it is expressed what components do and not how they do it. This abstraction removes mental inertia, thereby enabling engineers to think of new solutions. Because the functions are qualitative and because they are expressed in natural language, they are relatively imprecise. On the other hand, mathematical models can describe technical systems in a much more detailed way, but it is inconvenient to use separate software for this. Furthermore, using static function models to describe a dynamic system with changing functions or a changing structure is quite difficult. To solve these inconveniences, a workflow was developed to integrate CAD software, TRIZ, the existing function modeling software and Modelica. Modelica is a mathematical modeling language that can be used in a similar way to Simulink. Modelica was chosen because of its advantages over Simulink such as better support for modeling of physical systems and support for acausality. To simplify working with function models of changing systems, the concept Dynamic Function Modeling was introduced. This concept consists of function models that can change their structure depending on time. During this project, the integration between the existing function modeling software and Modelica was implemented. For the software user this integration resulted in the possibility of editing Modelica code from the function model diagram and being assisted in writing this code, performing simulation of the internal Modelica model and having visualization of the simulation results visually linked to the components of the function model diagram. The Dynamic Function Modeling concept is implemented by automatically changing the structure of the function model depending on the values of the variables, resulting from the simulations. The integration possibilities are demonstrated by means of a case study, in which a function model and Modelica model of an RC-car are made and simulated using the developed software. This case study shows the strengths of the integration, but also the points that need improvement during following projects. Besides the software integration of function modeling and Modelica, the function modeling software was extended with more assistance features.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Saint Petersburg State Polytechnical University
University of Twente
Faculty:ET: Engineering Technology
Subject:52 mechanical engineering
Programme:Mechanical Engineering MSc (60439)
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