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Model and Dependency Management in Mechatronic Design
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Machine Design (Dept.), Mechatronics.
2013 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Managing consistency is a major concern in the design of complex engineering systems. At times, inconsistencies may lead to wrong decisions, resulting in design flaws which can compromise safety and cause failures. One cannot forget the 1999 NASA unmanned MARS Climate Orbiter, which was destroyed due to use of inconsistent units by design teams. Sadly, the history of inconsistency causing failures does not end there. In 2006 Airbus suffered a massive 6.1 billion dollar loss due to use of inconsistent specifications in different versions of design tools. So what causes inconsistency, and how best to avoid it? These are some of the critical questions behind the research reported in this thesis.

Today's engineering systems cannot be designed by a single individual, but require the efforts of design teams each managing a portion of the overall problem. Naturally, information exchange between teams is necessary for effective decision making. However such communication is often error-prone and inadequate to manage dependencies between tasks, operations, components or properties. As a consequence, inconsistencies and design errors arise, which may cause catastrophic failures.

This thesis investigates the nature of dependencies, typically in the design process of mechatronic products, and proposes an approach for model and dependency management. The proposed solution is based on an expressive Domain Specific Language which enables capturing dependencies (between disparate models) formally and explicitly. This language is called the Dependency Modeling Language (DML), and the supporting tool is named the Dependency Modeler. The overall approach is exemplified through a robot design example, where the DML is used to capture dependencies between mechanical design and control design models. In support of the DML, dependency patterns gather known dependency relationships between different types of properties - such as a pattern between system hierarchy and mechanical CAD assembly. Model transformations are essential to support execution of such patterns and to support the necessary information exchange between disparate models to enable dependency modeling. Transformations supporting the dependency pattern between system hierarchy and mechanical CAD assembly are illustrated for the robot example. Initial reflections on the Dependency Modeler show a strong potential to support change management, workflow management and consistency management.

Future work targets further development and testing of DML in order to achieve a sound platform for dependency management. A development environment supported by an integration framework - encompassing different model-based design tools - is envisioned as an infrastructure for model management in mechatronic design. It is hoped that such an infrastructure will equip designers with the best possible tools to make better decisions and to spot design errors that might otherwise be fatal.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2013. , xviii, 145 p.
Series
Trita-MMK, ISSN 1400-1179 ; 2013:03
Keyword [en]
Dependency Modeling, Model-Based Systems Engineering (MBSE), Mechatronic Design, Model Integration, Tool Integration, Common Language, Mechatronic Challenges, Domain Specific Language.
National Category
Embedded Systems
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-119522ISBN: 978-91-7501-664-1 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-119522DiVA: diva2:611366
Public defence
2013-03-27, B319, Brinellvägen 85, KTH, Stockholm, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

QC 20130318

Available from: 2013-03-18 Created: 2013-03-15 Last updated: 2013-03-18Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Challenges in Designing Mechatronic Systems
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Challenges in Designing Mechatronic Systems
Show others...
2013 (English)In: Journal of mechanical design (1990), ISSN 1050-0472, E-ISSN 1528-9001, Vol. 135, no 1, 011005- p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Development of mechatronic products is traditionally carried out by several design experts from different design domains. Performing development of mechatronic products is thus greatly challenging. In order to tackle this, the critical challenges in mechatronics have to be well understood and well supported through applicable methods and tools. This paper aims at identifying the major challenges, by conducting a systematic and thorough survey of the most relevant research work in mechatronic design. Solutions proposed in literature are assessed and illustrated through a case study in order to investigate if the challenges can be handled appropriately by the methods, tools, and mindsets suggested by the mechatronic community. Using a real-world mechatronics case, the paper identifies the areas where further research is required, by showing a clear connection between the actual problems faced during the design task and the nature of the solutions currently available. From the results obtained from this research, one can conclude that although various attempts have been developed to support conceptual design of mechatronics, these attempts are still not sufficient to help in assessing the consequences of selecting between alternative conceptual solutions across multiple domains. We believe that a common language is essential in developing mechatronics, and should be evaluated based on: its capability to represent the desired views effectively, its potential to be understood by engineers from the various domains, and its effect on the efficiency of the development process.

Keyword
Cooperative Design, Model
National Category
Embedded Systems
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-107512 (URN)10.1115/1.4007929 (DOI)000314095800006 ()2-s2.0-84882931509 (Scopus ID)
Funder
XPRES - Initiative for excellence in production research
Note

QC 20130306

Available from: 2012-12-12 Created: 2012-12-12 Last updated: 2017-12-07Bibliographically approved
2. Dependency Modeling and Model Management in Mechatronic Design
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Dependency Modeling and Model Management in Mechatronic Design
2012 (English)In: Journal of Computing and Information Science in Engineering, ISSN 1530-9827, E-ISSN 1944-7078, Vol. 12, no 4, 041009- p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Mechatronic design is traditionally supported through domain-specific design activities throughout the product development process. The partitioning into domain-specific problems leads to a situation where product properties influence each other, hence giving rise to dependencies. These dependencies play a key role in the prediction of properties and, as a result, in the decision-making process. The important question is how to manage the dependencies for efficient and effective decision making? The aim of this paper is threefold. First, we investigate the nature of dependencies and study how to model them. The paper proposes appropriate terminology taking into account the synthesis and analysis nature of both the properties and the dependencies. This terminology will be the core of the new dependency modeling language. The concepts related to dependency modeling are then illustrated through a simple robot design example, where the creation and importance of a dependency model are explained. Second, we study practical approaches for consistency management and model management in the presence of dependencies. Six levels-of-detail in modeling dependencies are presented; emphasizing that modeling at a higher level-of-detail ensures that more inconsistencies are avoided. Available languages such as OMG SysML™ are evaluated for a possible creation of the dependency models leading toward executable dependency networks. However, at present, SysML does not provide sufficiently rich language constructs to model dependencies. Third, we compare our dependency modeling approach to other state-of-the-art approaches such as dependency modeling with a design structure matrix (DSM), and highlight the benefits of the terminology proposed in this paper. We aim to convince the reader that there is substantial value in modeling dependencies explicitly, especially to avoid inconsistencies, which is not the current state of practice. However, an overall value from dependency modeling can only be obtained if the cost of creating the dependency model is reasonable. Issues such as human interaction/effort and model management through product lifecycle management (PLM) are discussed.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
ASME: , 2012
National Category
Other Mechanical Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-107544 (URN)10.1115/1.4007986 (DOI)000314095100009 ()2-s2.0-84870991447 (Scopus ID)
Funder
XPRES - Initiative for excellence in production research
Note

QC 20130115

Available from: 2012-12-13 Created: 2012-12-13 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved
3. Managing dependencies in mechatronic design: a case study on dependency management between mechanical design and system design
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Managing dependencies in mechatronic design: a case study on dependency management between mechanical design and system design
2015 (English)In: Engineering with Computers, ISSN 0177-0667, E-ISSN 1435-5663, Vol. 31, no 3, 631-646 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In this paper, we have investigated the role of dependencies in the design process of mechatronic products. Since explicit modeling of dependencies is largely considered unnecessary today, current languages do not support dependency modeling due to lack of sufficiently expressive language constructs. However, this paper argues that modeling dependencies is important in managing the overall design process. The paper highlights dependencies between two important viewpoints: system design and mechanical design. We have looked closely at how mechanical design (supported by CAD tools) establishes a backbone for the overall design concept. Mechanical design cannot be isolated from other design activities, and the mismanagement of dependencies there leads to problems in other domains too. To illustrate the process, the paper presents an example of modeling dependencies between system hierarchy in OMG SysML™ and the CAD assembly in Solid Edge for a mechatronic design example. The paper presents two different approaches to capturing dependencies—using a general purpose modeling language such as SysML and using a domain specific modeling language (DSML). We argue for using a DSML instead of a general purpose language and provide a DSML called the dependency modeling language (DML). An example DML model for a two degree of freedom robot use case is discussed. The paper also illustrates the complete process of capturing dependencies in a general purpose modeling language like SysML, which served as a good exercise on how to fetch data from a CAD tool and how to represent dependencies inside a significantly different modeling language. Lessons learned from doing this were applied to the construction of DML. Our aim for the future is to reduce the human effort required to build dependency models. Machine learning techniques and automated model transformations are valuable techniques to support this cause.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer, 2015
Keyword
CAD, Dependency management, DSML, Mechatronic design, Model transformations, PDM/PLM, SysML
National Category
Computer Systems
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-119523 (URN)10.1007/s00366-014-0366-x (DOI)000356047300017 ()2-s2.0-84931261077 (Scopus ID)
Note

QC 20150701

Available from: 2013-03-15 Created: 2013-03-15 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved
4. Designing Mechatronic Systems: A Model Integration Approach
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Designing Mechatronic Systems: A Model Integration Approach
2011 (English)In: International Conference on Engineering Desgin ICED2011, Copenhagen, Denmark, 2011, 145-156 p.Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Development of mechatronic products requires different types of design models in order to support both domain-independent specifications and domain-specific principles. This research aims to find out how system-level modeling can support mechatronic design, and how the integration of system-level modeling and domain-specific modeling can be supported during different design phases. A design example of a hospital bed’s propulsion system is presented to show firstly the relationship between conceptual design and system-level modeling, and secondly the need for integration of system level and domain specific design models. An integrated modeling and design infrastructure is proposed to support abstraction between mechatronic design models, hence supporting co-evolution of design models. The paper concludes that a mechatronic design problem can be better supported through such an integrated design approach. However, usability of this approach needs to be further supported by more case studies in the future.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Copenhagen, Denmark: , 2011
Series
International Conference on Engineering Design, ISSN 2220-4334 ; 4
Keyword
Mechatronics, System design, Design Infrastructure, Model Integration
National Category
Other Engineering and Technologies not elsewhere specified
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-34318 (URN)000320285700014 ()2-s2.0-84858803407 (Scopus ID)978-1-904670-24-7 (ISBN)
Conference
International Conference on Engineering Desgin
Projects
Integrated Design of Mechatronic Systems
Note

QC 20110615

Available from: 2011-06-15 Created: 2011-06-01 Last updated: 2014-01-09Bibliographically approved
5. Integrating Multi-Domain Models for the Design and Development of Mechatronic Systems
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Integrating Multi-Domain Models for the Design and Development of Mechatronic Systems
2010 (English)In: 7th European Systems Engineering Conference EuSEC 2010, Stockholm, Sweden, Stockholm, Sweden: INCOSE , 2010Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Design of mechatronic systems is driven by engineering efforts in multiple-domains, resulting in models developed in various formalisms. In spite of interconnections between these domains, approaches linking them theoretically are lacking. This lack of integration leads to major challenges in solving dependencies across different domains, slowing down the design process. In this paper, a model-level integration-framework is described, aiming to identify and solve dependencies across different domains during the design process of a mechatronic system. A two-degree of freedom robot example is presented, to exemplify the iterative process of design optimisation in a computer aided design tool (Solid Edge), connected with corresponding dynamic analysis and controller design in Matlab/Simulink. A system model built in systems modelling language (SysML) is extended to capture the cross- domain dependencies as parameters in a black-box model. These black-box models can be systematically linked with other domains (CAD and dynamic analysis) through the model integration algorithm (based on the robot example). As the modellers perform the design iterations in Matlab/Simulink and Solid Edge, the updates on cross-domain dependencies will be available through SysML model, containing the complete system view. Possible issues with un-identified dependencies (due to change in requirements), and their possible solutions are also discussed. It is emphasized that the robot example could be generalized towards mechatronic systems, along with the requirement specifications for the model-integration algorithm. It is demonstrated that efficient design solutions and reduction in design time are possible with concurrent multi-domain models integration.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm, Sweden: INCOSE, 2010
Keyword
MBSE, SysML, model integration, mechatronics
National Category
Information Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-34313 (URN)
Conference
7th European Systems Engineering Conference EuSEC 2010
Projects
Integrated Design of Mechatronic Systems
Note
QC 20110615Available from: 2011-06-15 Created: 2011-06-01 Last updated: 2013-03-18Bibliographically approved
6. Designing Mechatronic Systems, a Model-based Perspective, an Attempt to Achieve SysML-Matlab/Simulink Model Integration
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Designing Mechatronic Systems, a Model-based Perspective, an Attempt to Achieve SysML-Matlab/Simulink Model Integration
2009 (English)In: 2009 IEEE/ASME INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON ADVANCED INTELLIGENT MECHATRONICS, NEW YORK: IEEE , 2009, 1299-1304 p.Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Higher demands on efficiency, cost and functionality have contributed a great deal towards the advent of Mechatronic systems where mechanics, electronics and computer software integrate together to provide the required functionality. This integration has its effects in the design process as well, and a good design requires careful integration of methods and tools to satisfy the overlapping objectives. The set of requirements a designer needs to satisfy for a good design are in all three domains, hence various design and modelling tools are used by engineers to satisfy these multi-domain requirements. With the advent of systems modelling languages for specifying the complete system in one system model, there is an increased urge to link the system modelling tools to the domain specific tools such as Matlab/Simulink. In this paper we present an attempt to achieve an integrated design environment by building mapping between SysML and Matlab/Simulink models. The complexities that can be solved using SysML and the ones which necessitate a communication between SysML and other tools are discussed. Models of an industrial pattern generator are presented to explain the practical influence of this integration approach. The resulting integrated model is more comprehensive for the designer when investigating various design alternatives. This is important for companies considering they have to consistently embed innovation and sustainability in their products.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
NEW YORK: IEEE, 2009
Keyword
MBSE, SysML, Model Integration
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-29864 (URN)10.1109/AIM.2009.5229869 (DOI)000277062800221 ()2-s2.0-70350436113 (Scopus ID)978-1-4244-2852-6 (ISBN)
Conference
IEEE/ASME International Conference on Advanced Intelligent Mechatronics, Singapore, SINGAPORE, JUL 14-17, 2009
Note
QC 20110222Available from: 2011-02-22 Created: 2011-02-17 Last updated: 2013-03-18Bibliographically approved

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