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The Function Analysis Diagram

[+] Author Affiliations
Marco Aurisicchio

Imperial College London, London, UK

Rob Bracewell

Cambridge University, Cambridge, UK

Gareth Armstrong

Rolls-Royce plc, Derby, UK

Paper No. DETC2012-70944, pp. 849-861; 13 pages
doi:10.1115/DETC2012-70944
From:
  • ASME 2012 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 7: 9th International Conference on Design Education; 24th International Conference on Design Theory and Methodology
  • Chicago, Illinois, USA, August 12–15, 2012
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division, Computers and Information in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4506-6
  • Copyright © 2012 by Rolls-Royce plc

abstract

Understanding product functions is a key aspect of the work undertaken by engineers involved in complex system design. The support offered to these engineers by existing modeling tools such as the Function Tree and the Function Structure is limited as they are not intuitive and do not scale well to deal with real world engineering problems. A research collaboration between two universities and a major power system company in the aerospace domain has allowed the authors to further develop a method for function analysis known as Function Analysis Diagram (FAD) which was already in use by line engineers. The capability to generate and edit these diagrams was implemented in the Decision Rationale editor (DRed) a software tool for capturing design rationale. This article presents the main beneficial characteristics of the method and justifies them using two engineering case studies. The results of the research have shown that the FAD method has a simple notation, permits the modeling of product functions together with structure, allows the production of rich and accurate descriptions of product functionality and is suitable to represent complex problems.

Copyright © 2012 by Rolls-Royce plc

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