NAFEMS Simulation Handbook - Quality Management

This handbook is intended to introduce quality concepts to the engineering analyst, in anticipation of the development or adoption of a quality management system to control engineering simulation activities. A key aim of such a system would be to attain a higher level of confidence in the results.

This book attempts to interpret key quality concepts from a practical perspective.It is an informal treatment which aims to provide some background to permit an analyst or manager to develop quality-oriented procedures that cover the direct technical aspects of a typical simulation project. Examples of processes that such procedures might encompass include quantifying the criticality of the simulation to the overall qualification of the product or structure, recording and approving the input data and establishing error bounds on the results.

A quality system imposes processes and structure on a set of related activities. The quantity and complexity of data produced by much commercial engineering simulation programmes are often so great that problems in tracking data and verifying output can arise unless such processes are put in place. There is a cost to operating aquality system but the improved effectiveness of simulation as a predictive tool and confidence in its output is usually justified.The International Standard, ISO 9000 and various NAFEMS Quality-related publications together formally and fully define the requirements of a quality system for engineering simulation. But this literature tends not to prescribe any practical details of quality procedures or instructions that would follow these principles. 

This handbook and the others in the series are intended to complement the more formal literature, offering an overview of quality principles, practical discussion of the implementation of quality systems and discussion of typical difficulties in so doing.The guidance in this handbook is quite general, being borne out of the author’s practical experience setting up, updating and working under various quality systems in the rail, aerospace, land transport and energy industries. These systems were applied to a range of differing types of engineering simulation, some reflecting well established approaches within the industry at the time, some quite novel.Quality literature based on the concepts described in this handbook, might become part of a quality system fully compliant with ISO 9000 and the NAFEMS QSS supplement, perhaps with the aim of achieving external accreditation by an ISO 9000 assessor. But the decision as to whether an organisation develops a fully accredited system is likely to be influenced by factors outside the scope of this handbook, such as client expectations, costs or criticality of the simulated product and general business policies.


1. Introduction

2. Growth of FEA in Engineering

3. Structural Qualification

4. A Quality Vacuum

4.1. Accreditation without Support

4.2. A Case for a Simulation Quality Management System

4.3. Non-strategic Simulation

4.4. Management Roles

4.5. Informal Quality Control

5. Structured Simulation

5.1. Error Control

5.2. The Phases of Simulation

5.3 Categorising Risk in Simulation

5.4 Management Responsibilities

6. Direct Simulation Documentation

6.1 Overview

6.2 Simulation Specification and Plan

7. Quality Management in Practice

7.1 Introduction

7.2 History of Quality in Industrial Practice

7.3 Reference Publications and Standards

7.4 Terminology – Project and Organisations, Processes and Procedures

7.5 Integrated Quality Management

7.6 Quality Documentation

8. Validation of Idealisation and Numerical Error

8.1 Overview

8.2 Physical Uncertainty and Error – The SAFESA Approach

8.3 The ASME Approach – Error Treatment by Verification and Validation

8.4 Validation Alternatives to Testing

9. Checking/Auditing

9.1 Expected and Procedural Error

9.2 QSS Requirements for Auditing

9.3 Auditor Independence

9.4 Well Defined Audits

9.5 Auditing Using Graphics

10. References

Document Details

AuthorChillery. M
AudiencesAnalyst Manager
Date 1st March 2014


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