On Integrated Product Architectures: Representation, modelling and evaluation
Continued growth in the commercial aerospace industry makes aircraft manufacturers look for low maintenance, fuel efficient airplanes and aircraft engines are an important factor in the maintenance and fuel costs. The drive for operating cost reduction leads to innovative engine architectures that can place very different requirements on supplier provided components. The suppliers will then need to understand and predict consequences on their components and sub systems following the new system architectures proposed. Insights they get about the consequences of engine architecture changes help them to be prepared for future developments.
This research presents two aspects of the behaviour of aero engine static components from a supplier: (1) the behaviour of the component as a whole in the system and (2) the internal organisation of the component so that the behaviour required of it is achieved by the system. System in this context refers to the aero engine. The component is integrated in that multiple functions are satisfied by one single structure. Studies in the first aspect provide a measure of the sensitivity of the whole engine to component designs. The studies also present an initial framework to perform such system-component interaction investigations. Studies in the second aspect provide a way to organise functions and means for an integrated architecture product so that the internal organisation is better understood and can be subjected to evaluations.
Preliminary results show that the influence of the supplier component on system level operations cannot be neglected. The framework to evaluate system level effects of supplier component design needs further refinement with better fidelity models at all levels considered. With respect to the internal organisation of components, a method now exists to isolate, organise, represent and analyse design information of integrated components, taking into consideration different manufacturing options. Continued studies will focus on functional and physical domain decomposition of the component reliably and objectively so that alternative product architectures for the component can be evaluated and appropriate design and manufacturing decisions can be made.
product internal organisation
Integrated product architecture