Control questions

Engineering System is a system created by a human being to perform a specific function.

Supersystem is a system that contains the analyzed engineering system as a component.

  1. Function Analysis is an analytical tool that identifies functions, their characteristics, and the cost of system and supersystem components.

The main purpose of the Function Analysis is to identify what functions every component of the system and its supersystem performs. Its outcome are:

  • function model,
  • the list functions that are harmful or performed inadequately.

Function Analysis consists of three stages:

– Component Analysis, 

– Interaction Analysis 

– Function Modeling

Component is a material object that constitutes a part of an Engineering System.

A component consist of a substance, a field or a combination of a substance and a field. A substance is an object with a rest mass. A field is an object without a rest mass that transfers interaction between substances.

Main function of an engineering system is the function that the system was designed for.

The main function is something that never changes during the whole live of the system.

Cause – Effect Chain Analysis (CECA) is an analytical tool that identifies the Key Disadvantages of the engineering system. This is accomplished by building cause-effect chains of disadvantages that link the Initial Disadvantage with its fundamental cause.

A Cause-Effect Chain starts with formulating the Initial Disadvantage, that is the disadvantage that must be eliminated to achieve the goal of the project. It is formulated by inverting a project goal.

E.g. if the goal of the project is formulated as “Reduction of energy consumption by device X”, then the Initial Disadvantage will be “Device X consumes too much energy”.

An Initial Disadvantage is the disadvantage that must be eliminated to achieve the goal of the project. It is formulated by inverting a project goal.

A Key Disadvantage is a disadvantage to be eliminated to achieve the goal of the project. Usually, Key Disadvantages appear at the root of a Cause-Effect Chain.

We should stop building the chain if:

  • the disadvantage is caused by a natural phenomenon (physical, chemical, biological, geometric, etc.), E.g., if you had to answer the question Why does water consist of hydrogen and oxygen molecules?, the answer is always That is just the way it is.
  • the cause of the disadvantage you came to is beyond your control and influence.

The AND operator is used if at least two causes are at simultaneously needed for a disadvantage to occur. Removal of one Key Disadvantage does automatically remove the other.

The OR operator is used if one disadvantage is caused by several factors that are independent of each other. Removal of one Key Disadvantage does not automatically remove any other.

Trimming is an analytical tool for improving an engineering system by removing (trimming) certain components and redistributing their useful functions among the remaining system or its supersystem components, while preserving quality and performance of the system.

Trimming can be used for many types of projects: it can be used in projects designed to eliminate specific problems, to reduce costs or to improve the technical system in general.

There are 3 Trimming Rules:

  • Rule A: Function carrier can be trimmed if we remove the object of its useful function.
  • Rule B: Function carrier can be trimmed if the object of function performs the useful function itself.
  • Rule C: Function carrier can be trimmed if another component performs its useful function.

The radical Trimming is used if the system is overengineered and the project constraints permit more dramatical changes.

Partial Trimming is used when some useful functions of a system component are being redistributed to other components, while leaving the component in the system. The partial Trimming leads to “unloading” the component in order to eliminate the Key Disadvantage caused by the problematic component.

Trimming is an analytical tool, since it is not intended to solve any problems. It does not generate any ideas, but results generates totally new problems, that have never been considered for achieving the project goal.

The result of Trimming is a list of Trimming Problems, i.e. problems that have to be resolved to make the Trimming Model work. The Trimming Model is a Function Model of an improved engineering system developed through Trimming.

The Trimming Problem is usually presented in the form of a question: How will the new function carrier perform the function?

  1. If the mass decreases, structural stability will deteriorate.
  2. To reduce the mass, use a lighter material that has the same bending strength.
  3. If the installation is made of copper wires, it will be durable and safe, but expensive.
  4. All of the above
  5.  
  1. The matrix is symmetrical in relation to both diagonals.
  2. The matrix has no axis of symmetry.
  3. The matrix is symmetrical in relation to the vertical axis.
  4. The matrix is symmetrical in relation to the horizontal axis.
  1. If the weight of the car increases, then the speed will deteriorate.
  2. If the speed increases, we reach our destination faster, but the fuel consumption will be higher.
  3. The speed should be high, but the braking distance small.
  4. The more sudden the braking, the greater the wear on the tires.
  1. In an Engineering Contradiction, one parameter improves and the other remains unchanged.
  2. An Engineering Contradiction is a conflict between two parameters.
  3. An Engineering Contradiction is a conflict between at least three parameters.
  4. An Engineering Contradiction can include only one parameter.
  1. There is no Inventive Principle for the selected pair of parameters.
  2. There is no such an Engineering Contradiction.
  3. There is no statistically dominant recommendation for resolving the contradiction of this pair of parameters.
  4. None of the above.

The Physical Contradiction involves one parameter.

Yes, the Physical Contradiction can be formulated by converting the Engineering Contradiction. For the Physical Contradiction we use the IF and THEN lines from the Engineering Contradiction.
  • separating contradictory demands:
    • in space,
    • in time,
    • in relations,
    • in direction,
    • at the system level,
  • satisfying contradictory demands,
  • bypassing contradictory demands.

The most often used method of resolving the Physical Contradictions is separating.

  1. What qualifies as a resource?

The resource can be:

  • any substance or anything made of a substance (including waste) that is available in the system or its environment;
  • an energy reserve, free time, unoccupied space, information, etc.;
  • the functional and technological ability to perform additional functions, including properties of substances as well as physical, chemical, geometric and other effects.

The resource can be:

  • any substance or anything made of a substance (including waste) that is available in the system or its environment;
  • an energy reserve, free time, unoccupied space, information, etc.;
  • the functional and technological ability to perform additional functions, including properties of substances as well as physical, chemical, geometric and other effects.

Resources were grouped in the following categories:

  • Based on accessibility:
    • Internal (limited to the main elements of the system).
    • External, including resources from the general environment and those which are specific for the given system.
    • Resources from the super-system or other accessible, inexpensive resources (including waste).
  • Based on readiness for utilization:
    • Readily-available resources
    • Derived (modified readily-available resources)

The ideality of the technical system is the sum of all useful functions and benefits divided by the sum of all costs, harmful effects and adverse effects.

The types of resources are: substance resources, field (energy) resources, space resources, time resources, functional resources, informational resources, systemic resources (super-effects), specific resources, structural resources, differential parameters, resources of change, evolutionary resources, marketing resources, “Pennyworth” resources, harmful resources.

Exercises solutions

  1. a car tire: a car steering, a car, a car factory, a garage, other cars, a road, traffic lights, road signs;
  2. a furnace: a factory, factory employees, all other equipment in the factory;
  3. an energy-saving light bulb: a lamp, a ceiling, walls, furniture in the room, people in the room;
  4. a drill: a drilled wall, everything that is in the room in which we drill, a drill operator
  5. a pen: paper, a notebook, a desk, a classroom, a school building, an office, students, teacher
Component Analysis
Interaction Analysis

Function modeling

 

a table

 

a graph

  • a newspaper: to inform people
  • a hanger: to hold clothes
  • an oven: to heat food
  • a clock: to inform people
  • a TV remote: to control the TV
  • a vacuum cleaner: to remove dirt
Component Analysis
Interaction Analysis

Function modeling

 

a table

 

a graph

 
Function-Cost Diagram

 

The technical system consists of a syringe (a plunger and a barrel), and a needle. The system should be analyzed in terms of reducing costs and increasing functionality.

 

Principle of operation:

The syringe is used to introduce the liquid containing the medicine into the tissue that is located under the skin. The needle deforms the tissue; then by pressing the plunger with fingers, the medicine is being moved inside the barrel and through the needle inserted into the patient’s tissue.

 

 

 

Let us now identify components of the system and relevant components of its supersystem:

 

 

 

We can present the component in the following table:

 

 

Let us now create a Function Model of the system:

 

 

 

 

Cost data for separate system components are the following:

 

 

The plunger, being the most expensive component, is our first candidate to trim. It performs only one function (moves the medicine), and the function has to be delegated to some other component. Let us consider a barrel as a new function carrier:

 

 

 

A plunger is an object of three functions that are not needed now:

 

 

A new Function Model looks as following:

 

 

A Trimming Problem coming from the new model is “how can the barrel move the medicine?”.

One of solutions can be found in a process of supplying ink to the printhead, described in the U.S. Patent 4700205 “Hydraulic servomechanism for controlling the pressure of writing fluid in an ink printing system”.

 

 

An additional vessel is placed between a supplying tube and a printer head.  This vessel is made in the form of a bellows.  The bellows can change its volume.  Deforming the bellows changes the pressure inside the bellows.  Then, the ink pressure changed in the printer head accordingly. Ink must be supplied to the printer head at a specific pressure in a jet printer.  However, a supplying pump does not provide the desired accuracy of pressure control. In order to change the ink pressure in a printer head, it is proposed to deform a bellows containing ink.

The ink pressure in the printer head is controlled:

  • with a high accuracy
  • within a desired range.

After implementing the described idea, the syringe may look as following:

A new syringe consists only of a barrel and a needle.

The toothbrush is a one-part engineering system.

Due to different functions of different parts of the toothbrush, the system can be divided into separate components:

 

 

So, the components of the system are as follows:

– bristles

– head

– handle

Let us identify the target and other relevant components of the supersystem.

In order to identify the target, determine the main function of the system. The toothbrush has been designed to remove plaque, so the plaque is the target of the system.

Other relevant components of the supersystem are:

– hand

– toothpaste

– teeth

– tongue

Let us create an Interaction Matrix:

Function Modeling allows us to identify functions, their category and type, and the performance level. The Function Model of the system looks as following:

Trimming
Scenario 1

The handle is the first component selected for Trimming.

The handle performs 2 useful functions. It holds the head and moves the head. Both have to be delegated to other components.

Let us consider the Trimming Rule B for the function holds the head. According to the Rule, the component can be trimmed if a new function carrier will perform the function itself:

For the function moves the head the Rule C will be applied. The function can easily be performed by the hand:

The Trimming Model looks as following:

An example of a solution, referred to as a fingertip toothbrush, already exists on the market:

 

Resource: https://www.kids-room.com/en/reer-finger-toothbrush 

 

Step 1

Let us model the problem in the form of the direct Engineering Contradiction (EC1):

The inverted Engineering Contradiction (EC2):

Step 2

Identify the typical parameters for EC1:

– Improving parameter: 33 – ease of operation

– Deteriorating parameter: 27 – reliability

Now go to the Contradiction Matrix. The recommended Invented Principles for the EC1 are the following:

17. Transition to another dimension
27. Cheap short-living objects
8. Anti-weight
40. Composite materials

 

Now identify the typical parameters for EC2:

– Improving parameter: 27 – reliability

– Deteriorating parameter: 33 – ease of operation

Go to the Contradiction Matrix. The recommended Invented Principles for the EC1 are the following:

27. Cheap short-living objects
17. Transition to another dimension
40. Composite materials

 
Step 3

Analyze applying of the identified Inventive Principles and describe your ideas. Our proposal of solution is the following:

17. Transition to another dimension

 

When trying to take out the banknote, we pull it horizontally. Hit the table with your fist while pulling out a banknote. The tabletop vibration caused by hitting will make the bottle “jump”, making it easier to remove the banknote.

Step 1

Create a problem model in the form of Physical Contradiction using the direct and the inverted Engineering Contradictions from Exercise 9:

Step 2:

Consider separating of contradictory demands. Answer the questions appropriate for each type of separation:

1. Where should the bottle press the banknote?

The bottle should press the banknote in the place of touch with the banknote, so the demands cannot be separated in space.

2. When should the bottle press the banknote?

The bottle should press the banknote all the time to keep its stability. The demands cannot be separated in time.

3. For what object should the pressure of the bottle on the banknote be performed?

The pressure should be performed for bottle and should not be performed for the banknote. The demands can be separated in relation.

4. In what direction should the force of pressure work?

The force of the pressure should work toward the banknote to keep the stability of the bottle and it should be directed in the opposite direction to pull out the banknote. The demands can be separated in direction.

5. Separation on the system level can always be performed.

 

Step 3

Identify the Inventive Principles for those types of separation that can be performed:

1. Separation in relation:

03. Local quality

17. Transition to another dimension

19. Periodic action

31. Porous materials

32. Color change

40. Composite materials

2. Separation in direction:

04. Asymmetry

14. Spheroidality – curvature

17. Transition to another dimension

32. Color changes

35. Parameter change

40. Composite materials

3. Separation at the system level:

01. Segmentation

05. Merging

12. Equipotentiality

33. Homogeneity

 

Step 4

Analyze applying of the identified Inventive Principles and describe your ideas. We have chosen the principle 17. Transition to another dimension. Our proposal of solution is the following:

Replace the flat banknote with a rolled one. Push the bottle with rolled banknote until it is not standing on the banknote.

An iron’s resources can be the following:

  • Substance resources: metal, plastic, shape, mass;
  • Field (energy) resources: thermal field, gravitational field, electric field;
  • Functional resources: cable with plug;
  • Time resources: time to heat up to a specific temperature, time of keeping the specific temperature;
  • Informational resources: diode signaling reaching the set temperature.

Resources of a mobile phone resources can be the following:

  • Substance resources: metal, plastic, glass, shape, mass;
  • Field (energy) resources: power supply;
  • Functional resources: battery;
  • Space resources:
  • Time resources: time between telephone conversations;
  • Informational resources: display, diodes, software
  • Marketing resources: existence of target customer groups – users, brand.

The free resources that are always available are air and gravity.