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Author: Hĺkan Petersson
Supervisor: Robert Bjärnemo
Institution: Division of Machine Design, Department of Design Sciences Faculty of Engineering LTH, Lund University
ISBN: ISBN 978-91-7623-729-8 (paperback) ISBN 978-91-7623-730-4 (PDF
The current trend in industry to encourage engineering designers to take an active part in the analysis of their own design solutions is apparent in many companies today, domestically as well as abroad.
From a research project with the objective to develop a computer-based design system for the design of lightweight grippers, one of the major difficulties was to overcome the system users’ lack of knowledge and experience in the design of lightweight structures and Computer-Based Design Analysis (CBDA). CBDA here refers to the use of analysis tools such as Finite Element Analysis (FEA) and computer-based structural optimization. In order to handle these difficulties, the author introduced the use of templates. In the given context, a template refers to an especially pre-formatted code, which contains the implemented information/knowledge necessary to perform a specific task on an operational level. It should be noted that the use of templates as a means of support in performing a specific design or analysis task is not a new phenomenon in industrial practice. Inspired by the opportunities provided by the template approach, the main objective set out for the thesis project was to facilitate the active participation of the engineering designers in performing CBDA singlehandedly, or in any other organizational setting, by utilizing a Template-Based Design Analysis (TBDA) approach, as an integrated part of their activities within the engineering design process.
The evolutionary research approach for the development of the TBDA approach is based on surveys in Swedish as well as international industry, literature surveys, the development of a Generic Design Analysis (GDA) process model (facilitating integration of the activities between CBDA and engineering design) and a number of demonstrator projects to deepen the insights into TBDA. Note that as the TBDA approach is intended for use in industrial practice, the approach is independent of specific engineering design and product development processes utilized in industry.
The conclusion of the thesis work clearly supports the claim that TBDA is not only a competitive approach to current alternatives in supporting the engineering designers performing CBDA, but also of a complementary nature providing functionality not included in the alternative approaches currently used in industrial practice.