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PROCEEDINGS OF THE EIGHTH INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON COMPUTATIONAL STRUCTURES TECHNOLOGY
Edited by: B.H.V. Topping, G. Montero and R. Montenegro
Realization of a Platform for Multidisciplinary Optimization Applied to Steel Constructions
A. Benanane1, S. Caperaa1, D. Kerdal2 and L. Geneste1
1Laboratory Genius of Production, National School Engineers of Tarbes, France
A. Benanane, S. Caperaa, D. Kerdal, L. Geneste, "Realization of a Platform for Multidisciplinary Optimization Applied to Steel Constructions", in B.H.V. Topping, G. Montero, R. Montenegro, (Editors), "Proceedings of the Eighth International Conference on Computational Structures Technology", Civil-Comp Press, Stirlingshire, UK, Paper 111, 2006. doi:10.4203/ccp.83.111
Keywords: structural and multidisciplinary optimisation, structural modelling, concurrent engineering, artificial intelligence, computer aided design, expert systems.
In the eighties engineering businesses were organised into various distinct areas of activity, each carrying out one phase of the product design cycle. Although this sequential structure allowed the circulation of clearly defined and easily controllable information, it could result in disadvantages that ultimately affect the existence of the business.
One of the principal problems with this type of organisational structure is the bottleneck effect, generated when one activity blocks another area of the business. Indeed, if one service is late in completing a task then the entire product development cycle can be slowed down.
The second area of failure presented by this organisational structure is related to the fact that each service is dependent on the next service upstream. This situation enormously reduces the creativity margin of all the services and can lead to a dead end, especially for those services located at end of the cycle which must meet the same timescale and objectives as all the other services and take responsibility for the rules related to their own area of activity.
Following , the simultaneous engineering concept was born and the sequential organisation was being called into question. However, the installation of such an approach is not practical to implement for most of the enterprise since the solution leads to excessive, additional operational costs, in particular because of the need to use highly qualified personnel.
As a result of this reality, several authors proposed more pragmatic visions of the simultaneous engineering application. The Jagou case  proposed an organisational cascade rather that a direct parallelisation. The use of integrated solutions also brought only one partial solution to the problem of the information division . Indeed, the grouping of functional tools of each business service into the same software System Containing Knowledge (SBC) is an interesting approach from the viewpoint of data compatibility but, in general, these tools do not take into account the global information to be dealt with and are partitioned by a particular field of the product development cycle
To ensure this last functionality, new tools then appeared on the market: Technical Data Management Systems (TDMS)  allowing different actors in the same project to take simultaneous action and carry out an automatic update of the various technological choices. In spite of this enormous advantage, these tools do not offer a function that makes step-by-step control of project "feasibility" possible.
In recent years, a new data-processing product has made its appearance on the software market: Systems of Technical Knowledge Management (STKM) . Several knowledge representation techniques, such as associated mechanisms of reasoning, were developed in many research tasks. Nevertheless, we noted that each suggested methodology cannot solve our specific problems. This has led us to develop a new model, which simultaneously takes the qualities of systems containing knowledge and object oriented systems. This is intended to improve product quality by taking into account all data and all operating constraints involved in the design process, at the same time.
The phenomenon of soil-structure interaction is also considered. Consequently, the "multidisciplinary" platform that we developed constitutes a judicious alternative since it enables us to ensure the evolution of solutions (optimisation), their coherence and their feasibility. Case studies carried out on simple structures emphasise very significant variations in the dimensioning of steel sections and the dimensions of foundation slabs.
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