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Why Do Design Optimisation

‘Optimisation’ is about selecting the best option from a range of possible choices. It is natural to consider this when designing a new product. As the old saying goes, ‘A job worth doing is worth doing well’. Why not produce a design that is the best in its class, if you have the means to do so? It may not cost any more in time and money to design and produce; and it may cost less. The customers for your product will be more please with it. Everyone will be happier, except your competitors.

But how to make the selection, that is the question. Maybe in practise, you would settle for something that is some way short of ‘optimal’. Perhaps you would be happy with a significant improvement o an existing design. It amounts to a very similar problem; how to search for better designs, in a systematic, practical and affordable way.

In looking at design optimisation, we need to address some fundamental issues:

  • What are our objectives in designing a product? 
  • How ‘well defined’ does a design have to be in order to be optimisable?
  • Give that a design evolves in a series of phases, where does optimisation fit in? 
  • Can it address the important high-value design decisions? 
  • What are the industrial process issues and benefits associated with putting design optimisation into practise? 
  • What are the benefits to the product?



The Role and Objectives Of Design

The Design Cycle

  • What is A Design
  • Design Phases: How Do The Concepts and Details Evolve?
  • Design As A Process
  • How Do People Design?
  • Optimisation Within The Design Cycle

Optimality Criteria

  • Optimality or Design Improvement?
  • Definition of ‘Best’.
  • Metrics Structure.
  • Trade off Decisions Using Multiple Criteria

The Anatomy Of A Design Optimisation

  • Formulating The Optimisation
  • Design Evaluation
  • Design Definition
  • Idealisation
  • Systems Integration
  • Defining The Family Of Designs To Be Searched: Parameterisation
  • Design Search.
  • Decision Support Aids.
  • Issues In Practical Problem Solving

Industrial Process Benefits and Issues

  • Optimisation Promotes Automation
  • Optimisation Promotes Focus On Metrics
  • Optimisation Promotes Closing Gaps In Design Evaluation Toolset
  • Optimisation Promotes Design For Analysis
  • Optimisation Promotes Definition And Use Of Operating Scenarios
  • Optimisation Provides A Means Of Rapid Organisational Learning
  • Optimisation Provides A Means of Outer performing The Competition

Case Studies

  • Case Study 1: Three Bar Truss Design
  • Case Study 2: Military Aircraft Wing Flap Design:
  • Case Study 3: Military aircraft wig design
  • Case Study 4: Refrigerator Design: Electrolux-Zanussi
  • Case Study 5: Boiler Design: Calortecnica
  • Case Study 6: Cantilever Beam Topology Optimisation
  • Case Study 7: Casting Process Design: Engineer Trading

Future Prospects For Optimisation


Document Details

AuthorSpicer. D
AudiencesAnalyst Manager Designer
Date 1st January 2002


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