The primary objective of this project is to develop software tools to allow designers to assess the consequences of design choices on the manufacturing or production engineering processes. The aim is to improve the efficiency of the design process by reducing the design cycle time and increasing the level of innovation.
The project focused on the development of reasoner functionality within the available knowledge based engineering (KBE) systems and the intention was to produce fully implemented and evaluated prototype systems.
An initial concept of an intelligent knowledge assisted design environment has been extended and explored in 2 industrial mock up prototypes, using knowledge based engineering systems as the working environments. 7 functional reasoner modules have been identified and are being developed using the common LISP programming language. These will be incorporated into prototypes in both of the commercially available KBE systems and each in a different application domain.
A major advantage of KBE systems is that they enhance existing computer aided design/computer aided manufacture (CAD/CAM) investments rather than conflict with them and the lead time benefits can be enormous.
Human decision making can be modelled more easily with fuzzy logic. Many of the rules related to engineering design require this level of functionality in implementation and the smart models developed incorporate, in terms of modelling, more accurate human decision making processes. Fuzzy modules could be particularly helpful in assisting and promoting the rationalization and standardization of parts, tooling and fixtures. This has major potential benefits to the user compamy in terms of cost saving, lead time reduction and quality improvement.
Quality Assurance and Quality Control of concrete are today in its advanced form carried out in separate stages :
-Quality verification of the concrete components, i.e. cement, water, aggregates and additives.
-During batching and mixing it is assured that the composition of concrete is in accordance with the specifications.
-Strength testing of laboratory produced specimens.
-Petrographic analysis of hardened concrete.
Generally it can be stated that the above mentioned methods and procedures are excellent for the control of the hardened concrete and for the documentation of the properties achieved as to durability as well as strength performance. The methods are also excellent to assure that harmful alkali-aggregate reactions will not appear in the concrete structure.
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