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Journal Article

A Methodology for Design Decisions using Block Diagrams

2013-04-08
2013-01-0947
Our recent work has shown that representation of systems using a reliability block diagram can be used as a decision making tool. In decision making, we called these block diagrams decision topologies. In this paper, we generalize the results and show that decision topologies can be used to make many engineering decisions and can in fact replace decision analysis for most decisions. We also provide a meta-proof that the proposed method using decision topologies is entirely consistent with decision analysis at the limit. The main advantages of the method are that (1) it provides a visual representation of a decision situation, (2) it can easily model tradeoffs, (3) it can incorporate binary attributes, (4) it can model preferences with limited information, and (5) it can be used in a low-fidelity sense to quickly make a decision.
Technical Paper

A Methodology of Design for Fatigue Using an Accelerated Life Testing Approach with Saddlepoint Approximation

2019-04-02
2019-01-0159
We present an Accelerated Life Testing (ALT) methodology along with a design for fatigue approach, using Gaussian or non-Gaussian excitations. The accuracy of fatigue life prediction at nominal loading conditions is affected by model and material uncertainty. This uncertainty is reduced by performing tests at a higher loading level, resulting in a reduction in test duration. Based on the data obtained from experiments, we formulate an optimization problem to calculate the Maximum Likelihood Estimator (MLE) values of the uncertain model parameters. In our proposed ALT method, we lift all the assumptions on the type of life distribution or the stress-life relationship and we use Saddlepoint Approximation (SPA) method to calculate the fatigue life Probability Density Functions (PDFs).
Technical Paper

A Time-Dependent Reliability Analysis Method using a Niching Genetic Algorithm

2007-04-16
2007-01-0548
A reliability analysis method is presented for time-dependent systems under uncertainty. A level-crossing problem is considered where the system fails if its maximum response exceeds a specified threshold. The proposed method uses a double-loop optimization algorithm. The inner loop calculates the maximum response in time for a given set of random variables, and transforms a time-dependent problem into a time-independent one. A time integration method is used to calculate the response at discrete times. For each sample function of the response random process, the maximum response is found using a global-local search method consisting of a genetic algorithm (GA), and a gradient-based optimizer. This dynamic response usually exhibits multiple peaks and crosses the allowable response level to form a set of complex limit states, which lead to multiple most probable points (MPPs).
Technical Paper

An Efficient Possibility-Based Design Optimization Method for a Combination of Interval and Random Variables

2007-04-16
2007-01-0553
Reliability-based design optimization accounts for variation. However, it assumes that statistical information is available in the form of fully defined probabilistic distributions. This is not true for a variety of engineering problems where uncertainty is usually given in terms of interval ranges. In this case, interval analysis or possibility theory can be used instead of probability theory. This paper shows how possibility theory can be used in design and presents a computationally efficient sequential optimization algorithm. The algorithm handles problems with only uncertain or a combination of random and uncertain design variables and parameters. It consists of a sequence of cycles composed of a deterministic design optimization followed by a set of worst-case reliability evaluation loops. A crank-slider mechanism example demonstrates the accuracy and efficiency of the proposed sequential algorithm.
Journal Article

An RBDO Method for Multiple Failure Region Problems using Probabilistic Reanalysis and Approximate Metamodels

2009-04-20
2009-01-0204
A Reliability-Based Design Optimization (RBDO) method for multiple failure regions is presented. The method uses a Probabilistic Re-Analysis (PRRA) approach in conjunction with an approximate global metamodel with local refinements. The latter serves as an indicator to determine the failure and safe regions. PRRA calculates very efficiently the system reliability of a design by performing a single Monte Carlo (MC) simulation. Although PRRA is based on MC simulation, it calculates “smooth” sensitivity derivatives, allowing therefore, the use of a gradient-based optimizer. An “accurate-on-demand” metamodel is used in the PRRA that allows us to handle problems with multiple disjoint failure regions and potentially multiple most-probable points (MPP). The multiple failure regions are identified by using a clustering technique. A maximin “space-filling” sampling technique is used to construct the metamodel. A vibration absorber example highlights the potential of the proposed method.
Technical Paper

Application of QFD and KANO Model in Vehicle Technical Characteristics Setup

2015-04-14
2015-01-0606
An automotive vehicle should be designed to satisfy the wants of customers. The key is how to convert voices of customers into engineering languages. In other words, transfer the wants of customers into the right technical characteristics of a vehicle. A questionnaire of customer wants for a CUV (Crossover Utility Vehicle) is created and processed. Using QFD (Quality Function Deployment) and modified KANO model, the relative important degree is obtained from the original relative important degree of customer wants surveyed. Since some information gained is uncertain and the questionnaire sample is limited, a gray correlation analysis method is introduced, which calculates the competitive important degree of customer wants, then the final important degree of customer wants is gained by integrating the relative important degree and the competitive important degree.
Technical Paper

Austempering Process for Carburized Low Alloy Steels

2013-04-08
2013-01-0949
There is a continual need to apply heat treatment processes in innovative ways to optimize material performance. One such application studied in this research is carburizing followed by austempering of low carbon alloy steels, AISI 8620, AISI 8822 and AISI 4320, to produce components with high strength and toughness. This heat treatment process was applied in two steps; first, carburization of the surface of the parts, second, the samples were quenched from austenitic temperature at a rate fast enough to avoid the formation of ferrite or pearlite and then held at a temperature just above the martensite starting temperature to partially or fully form bainite. Any austenite which was not transformed during austempering, upon further cooling formed martensite or was present as retained austenite.
Technical Paper

CAD/CAE and Optimization of a Twist Beam Suspension System

2015-04-14
2015-01-0576
This research proposes an automatic computer-aided design, analysis, and optimization process of a twist beam rear suspension system. The process combines CAD (Computer-Aided Design), CAE (Computer-Aided Engineering), and optimization technologies into an automation procedure, which includes: structural design, dynamic analysis, vibration analysis, durability analysis, and multidisciplinary optimization. The automation results shown the twist beam rear suspension weight reduced, the durability fatigue life increased, and the K&C (kinematics & compliance) characteristics are improved significantly.
Journal Article

Consequences of Deep Cycling 24 Volt Battery Strings

2015-07-01
2015-01-9142
Deep charge and discharge cycling of 24 Volt battery strings composed of two 12 Volt VRLA batteries wired in series affects reliability and life expectancy. This is a matter of interest in vehicle power source applications. These cycles include those specific operational cases requiring the delivery of the full storage capacity during discharge. The concern here is related to applications where batteries serve as a primary power source and the energy content is an issue. It is a common practice for deep cycling a 24 volt battery string to simply add the specified limit voltages during charge and discharge for the individual 12 Volt batteries. In reality, the 12 Volt batteries have an inherent capacity variability and are not identical in their performance characteristics. The actual voltages of the individual 12 Volt batteries are not identical.
Technical Paper

Correlation of Explicit Finite Element Road Load Calculations for Vehicle Durability Simulations

2006-03-01
2006-01-1980
Durability of automotive structures is a primary engineering consideration that is evaluated during a vehicle's design and development. In addition, it is a basic expectation of consumers, who demand ever-increasing levels of quality and dependability. Automakers have developed corporate requirements for vehicle system durability which must be met before a products is delivered to the customer. To provide early predictions of vehicle durability, prior to the construction and testing of prototypes, it is necessary to predict the forces generated in the vehicle structure due to road inputs. This paper describes an application of the “virtual proving ground” approach for vehicle durability load prediction for a vehicle on proving ground road surfaces. Correlation of the results of such a series of simulations will be described, and the modeling and simulation requirements to provide accurate simulations will be presented.
Technical Paper

Design Optimization and Reliability Estimation with Incomplete Uncertainty Information

2006-04-03
2006-01-0962
Existing methods for design optimization under uncertainty assume that a high level of information is available, typically in the form of data. In reality, however, insufficient data prevents correct inference of probability distributions, membership functions, or interval ranges. In this article we use an engine design example to show that optimal design decisions and reliability estimations depend strongly on uncertainty characterization. We contrast the reliability-based optimal designs to the ones obtained using worst-case optimization, and ask the question of how to obtain non-conservative designs with incomplete uncertainty information. We propose an answer to this question through the use of Bayesian statistics. We estimate the truck's engine reliability based only on available samples, and demonstrate that the accuracy of our estimates increases as more samples become available.
Journal Article

Design under Uncertainty using a Combination of Evidence Theory and a Bayesian Approach

2008-04-14
2008-01-0377
Early in the engineering design cycle, it is difficult to quantify product reliability due to insufficient data or information to model uncertainties. Probability theory can not be therefore, used. Design decisions are usually based on fuzzy information which is imprecise and incomplete. Various design methods such as Possibility-Based Design Optimization (PBDO) and Evidence-Based Design Optimization (EBDO) have been developed to systematically treat design with non-probabilistic uncertainties. In practical engineering applications, information regarding the uncertain variables and parameters may exist in the form of sample points, and uncertainties with sufficient and insufficient information may exist simultaneously. Most of the existing optimal design methods under uncertainty can not handle this form of incomplete information. They have to either discard some valuable information or postulate the existence of additional information.
Journal Article

Determination of Weld Nugget Size Using an Inverse Engineering Technique

2013-04-08
2013-01-1374
In today's light-weight vehicles, the strength of spot welds plays an important role in overall product integrity, reliability and customer satisfaction. Naturally, there is a need for a quick and reliable technique to inspect the quality of the welds. In the past, the primary quality control tests for detecting weld defects are the destructive chisel test and peel test [1]. The non-destructive evaluation (NDE) method currently used in industry is based on ultrasonic inspection [2, 3, 4]. The technique is not always successful in evaluating the nugget size, nor is it effective in detecting the so-called “cold” or “stick” welds. Therefore, it is necessary to develop a precise and reliable noncontact NDE method for spot welds. There have been numerous studies in predicting the weld nugget size by considering the spot-weld process [5, 6].
Journal Article

Development of a Fork-Join Dynamic Scheduling Middle-Layer for Automotive Powertrain Control Software

2017-03-28
2017-01-1620
Multicore microcontrollers are rapidly making their way into the automotive industry. We have adopted the Cilk approach (MIT 1994) to develop a pure ANSI C Fork-Join dynamic scheduling runtime middle-layer with a work-stealing scheduler targeted for automotive multicore embedded systems. This middle-layer could be running on top of any AUTOSAR compliant multicore RTOS. We recently have successfully integrated our runtime layer into parts of legacy Ford powertrain software at Ford Motor Company. We have used the 3-core AURIX multicore chip from Infineon and the multicore RTA-OS. For testing purposes, we have forked some parallelizable functions inside two periodic tasks in Ford legacy powertrain software to be dynamically scheduled and executed on the available cores. Our preliminary evaluation showed 1.3–1.4x speedups for these two forked tasks.
Technical Paper

Imprecise Reliability Assessment When the Type of the Probability Distribution of the Random Variables is Unknown

2009-04-20
2009-01-0199
In reliability design, often, there is scarce data for constructing probabilistic models. It is particularly challenging to model uncertainty in variables when the type of their probability distribution is unknown. Moreover, it is expensive to estimate the upper and lower bounds of the reliability of a system involving such variables. A method for modeling uncertainty by using Polynomial Chaos Expansion is presented. The method requires specifying bounds for statistical summaries such as the first four moments and credible intervals. A constrained optimization problem, in which decision variables are the coefficients of the Polynomial Chaos Expansion approximation, is formulated and solved in order to estimate the minimum and maximum values of a system’s reliability. This problem is solved efficiently by employing a probabilistic re-analysis approach to approximate the system reliability as a function of the moments of the random variables.
Journal Article

Managing the Computational Cost of Monte Carlo Simulation with Importance Sampling by Considering the Value of Information

2013-04-08
2013-01-0943
Importance Sampling is a popular method for reliability assessment. Although it is significantly more efficient than standard Monte Carlo simulation if a suitable sampling distribution is used, in many design problems it is too expensive. The authors have previously proposed a method to manage the computational cost in standard Monte Carlo simulation that views design as a choice among alternatives with uncertain reliabilities. Information from simulation has value only if it helps the designer make a better choice among the alternatives. This paper extends their method to Importance Sampling. First, the designer estimates the prior probability density functions of the reliabilities of the alternative designs and calculates the expected utility of the choice of the best design. Subsequently, the designer estimates the likelihood function of the probability of failure by performing an initial simulation with Importance Sampling.
Journal Article

Mean-Value Second-Order Saddlepoint Approximation for Reliability Analysis

2017-03-28
2017-01-0207
A new second-order Saddlepoint Approximation (SA) method for structural reliability analysis is introduced. The Mean-value Second-order Saddlepoint Approximation (MVSOSA) is presented as an extension to the Mean-value First-order Saddlepoint Approximation (MVFOSA). The proposed method is based on a second-order Taylor expansion of the limit state function around the mean value of the input random variables. It requires not only the first but also the second-order sensitivity derivatives of the limit state function. If sensitivity analysis must be avoided because of computational cost, a quadrature integration approach, based on sparse grids, is also presented and linked to the saddlepoint approximation (SGSA - Sparse Grid Saddlepoint Approximation). The SGSA method is compared with the first and second-order SA methods in terms of accuracy and efficiency. The proposed MVSOSA and SGSA methods are used in the reliability analysis of two examples.
Technical Paper

Non-Destructive Evaluation of Spot Weld Using Digital Shearography

2005-04-11
2005-01-0491
Spot Welding is now widely used in the fabrication of sheet metals, mainly due to the cost and time considerations. Spot welds are found in nearly all products where sheet metal is joined. Examples range from a single metal toolbox to nearly 10,000 spot welds found in a typical passenger car. Obviously the quality of the spot weld has a direct impact on the quality of the product. The problem of estimating the spot-weld quality is an important component in quality control. If the weld nuggets are improperly or incompletely formed, or the area surrounding the nugget is smaller than required, the structural integrity of the entire part may be uncertain. Furthermore these inconsistencies are usually internal and are seldom visible to Optical Inspection. This study is focused on the non-destructive evaluation of the spot welds using “Digital Shearography”.
Journal Article

On the Time-Dependent Reliability of Non-Monotonic, Non-Repairable Systems

2010-04-12
2010-01-0696
The system response of many engineering systems depends on time. A random process approach is therefore, needed to quantify variation or uncertainty. The system input may consist of a combination of random variables and random processes. In this case, a time-dependent reliability analysis must be performed to calculate the probability of failure within a specified time interval. This is known as cumulative probability of failure which is in general, different from the instantaneous probability of failure. Failure occurs if the limit state function becomes negative at least at one instance within a specified time interval. Time-dependent reliability problems appear if for example, the material properties deteriorate in time or if random loading is involved which is modeled by a random process. Existing methods to calculate the cumulative probability of failure provide an upper bound which may grossly overestimate the true value.
Journal Article

Probabilistic Reanalysis Using Monte Carlo Simulation

2008-04-14
2008-01-0215
An approach for Probabilistic Reanalysis (PRA) of a system is presented. PRA calculates very efficiently the system reliability or the average value of an attribute of a design for many probability distributions of the input variables, by performing a single Monte Carlo simulation. In addition, PRA calculates the sensitivity derivatives of the reliability to the parameters of the probability distributions. The approach is useful for analysis problems where reliability bounds need to be calculated because the probability distribution of the input variables is uncertain or for design problems where the design variables are random. The accuracy and efficiency of PRA is demonstrated on vibration analysis of a car and on system reliability-based optimization (RBDO) of an internal combustion engine.
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