Intelligent link between design, CAD and structural analysis
This study outlines the requirement for a company to be able to manage its intellectual capital. On the basis of this requirement this study presents a new design methodology based around the requirements of the military aircraft industry. It tackles the difficult management problem of capturing, storing and re-using valuable company product knowledge. The detailed research documented in this thesis focuses on the conceptual design area of this methodology. Work in this area has resulted in the development of a further methodology for the conceptual design arena. This methodology is called the intelligent conceptual engineering system (ICES). The ICES methodology embraces the artificial intelligence disciplines of knowledge-based systems and case-based reasoning. Through the evolutionary development of the ICES methodology a significant contribution to knowledge has been made in three areas. Firstly, this study introduces a new method of assigning justifiable numerical weights to design drivers acting on the design process. Secondly, the work introduces the novel concept of using secondary rules in the knowledge-based system so a 'best structure' can be derived from the manufacturing and structures perspectives. Finally, this work adds a new concept to case-based reasoning called the 'jury technique'. These concepts, developed to support the ICES methodology have been placed in a prototype design decision support tool.