Knowledge System Based Design for Reliability for developing Connected, Intelligent Products

Paper #:
  • 2017-01-0196

  • 2017-03-28
Connectivity and artificial intelligence are major features of many upcoming products. The need for accurate estimation of the state of these systems and their operational environments and the intricacy of their robust control, will cause unprecedented growth in their design complexity as well as their software content. The failures in complex software-intensive electronically controlled products can often be traced to the interfaces between different subsystems and to the intersection between different engineering disciplines, i.e., mechanical, electrical, and software. Experts who have intuition regarding failure modes of complex electronically controlled products are few and consequently, information management solutions that can help capture and reuse the product failure modes are crucial for delivering dependable, software-intensive products. Much learning about the dependability of new and innovative products needs to happen as they are conceived and designed, and consequently, accelerated verification and validation iterations, supported by rapid storage and retrieval of failure knowledge, must be enabled. Today, enterprise level Reliability Engineering tools and Systems Engineering tools are disconnected, creating many possibilities for erroneous information transfer and loss of crucial understanding. This problem is further accentuated when we consider the silos of expertise in mechanical, electrical, and software disciplines. The product development tools used in these silos are very different and most often not connected with each other, rendering very difficult the ability to carry out Systems Engineering. Further, Failure Knowledge Capture and Reuse tools are neither commercially offered nor frequently deployed in the context of Systems Engineering No single enterprise level software solutions provider covers effectively all the three critical areas involved in the delivery of dependable smart connected products, namely, Reliability Engineering, Systems Engineering, and Knowledge Capture and Reuse. Further, given the complexity of the development of the large number of specialty tools, it is perhaps unrealistic to expect that a completely integrated suite of solutions will be provided by a single software solutions provider. This paper proposes a map of the connection between commonly used tools in Reliability Engineering and Systems Engineering, based on which a digital thread could be developed. The paper attempts to adhere to the principles of Systems Engineering as presented by INCOSE and the commonly known tools and processes used in Design for Six Sigma, enriched by Reliability Engineering tools such as Failure Modes and Effects Analysis, Fault Tree Analysis, FRACAS, CAPA, Reliability Block Diagrams, etc. The paper also presents an overview of the state-of-the-art of Ontology based product Failure Capture and Reuse Systems to assess the potential for realizing Knowledge Based Design-for-Reliability capability in the industry.
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