On modelling the engineering design process, with special reference to the design of materials handling systems (1978)
Type of ContentElectronic Thesis or Dissertation
Thesis DisciplineMechanical Engineering
Degree NameDoctor of Philosophy
PublisherUniversity of Canterbury
AuthorsJones, Rodney Denzilshow all
The task of increasing the efficiency whereby industry converts resources to products has occupied the minds of technical researchers since time immemorial. Man's quest for optimal production systems has traditionally involved expenditure of human effort to design and develop new and more efficient production machines, improved materials, production processes, and organisations. More recently, with the advent of high speed digital computers, man's effort has expanded to include research into the use of computers to aid and improve the efforts of the designer. Aiding the design process as it is applied to one particular component of an industrial organisation, namely the material handling activity, is the objective of this study.
Implicit in this objective is the need to examine four interrelated topics. Firstly, it is necessary to identify the components which are fundamental to any handling situations, as these will influence the designer’s choice during the design process. Secondly, the difficulties of designing systems in general, and handling systems in particular are examined. Thirdly, since technical people have always maintained a unique role in the design process, it is logical to identify this role by examining the mental attributes which enable them to perform complex design tasks with considerable success. Fourthly and finally, the characteristics of design problem in which computers have produced feasible solutions are identified by examining four case studies.
The information obtained from these topics, combined with practical principles and design rules from current design literature, provide the bases for development of a logical design procedure. This procedure is presented together with an example of its application to an actual handling system design problem.