Ignoring local distortions in economic markets there is no doubt that one of the most important factors for world-wide competitiveness is the overall value of products to end customers. Particularly for mechanical industries, there is great economic potential in trying to ensure that products meet all customer expectations, since this is one of the keys to success. In this context, the need for mechanical reliability is particularly widespread since most industrial products contain mechanical parts or components.
The assessment of mechanical reliability has a broad base of potential applications since most industrial products contain mechanical parts or components. Any failure, even minor, may cause harm and have a major impact. Current and forthcoming European safety legislation places certain obligations on machine manufactures to apply dependability analysis techniques and consequently further enhance the competitiveness of their products. The methods, tools and data provided by the mechanical reliability supporting tool MERIT (the Toolkit was developed in the Brite Euram programme, project BE4424) which help to identify the requirements and assess the design solutions against those requirements, need to be validated on a number of realistic case studies.
The main objectives of the MER-TV project were as follows:
- to promote the results of the MERIT project by overcoming barriers and maximising the exploitation through a commercially viable software product
- to scale up the mechanical reliability approach and know how within Europe
- to validate the approach and structure of the MERIT toolkit adapted to the needs and expectations of large companies and SMEs.
The MER-TV project was expected to generate the following benefits:
- increased effectiveness of mechanical reliability studies giving reduced time-scales and costs for design assurance, and more reliable manufacturing products
- make the mechanical reliability domain more accessible to a wider range of engineers and analysts and provide a basis for retraining.
Exploitation is currently under discussion with 17 organisations mainly in France and Spain. A cooperation agreement was signed between Bertin and a French software vendor, CRIL INGENIERE, and CETIM, a representative organisation for 3000 French SMEs in the mechanical industry. This agreement aimed at developing the MERIT toolkit into a fully commercially available software and distributing it together with ANSYS, a CAD tool based on finite calculation. A business plan was aso prepared between CRIL INGENIERIE and BERTIN.