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Unified feature-based approach for process system design

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Process system design, such as those engineering projects being developed in the global energy sector, involves well-established empirical engineering knowledge, standards and industrial codes. Their effective and efficient implementation has critical consequences to the success of projects. In a mechanical engineering domain, process system design covers process-flow modelling, pressure vessel and piping layout design, detailed structure design, etc. The authors are motivated to investigate an effective method for achieving the knowledge-driven design to address the efficiency drawback in traditional process system design applications. This article proposes a systematic method to embed in-depth engineering knowledge and to realise smart design changes in a unified feature-based approach. To prove the feasibility and effectiveness of the proposed method, a process fuel and water supply system has been comprehensively designed in the conceptual design stage. The findings of this research work are presented with some critical discussions at the end of this article. The authors believe that this approach is easy to implement and is useful to improve the knowledge reusability and engineering design productivity.
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Keywords: knowledge-based design; parametric modelling; process engineering; unified feature-based design

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Mechanical Engineering,University of Alberta, Edmonton,T6G 2G8, Canada

Publication date: March 1, 2012

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