Markus Eggersmann, G. Henning, Claudia Krobb, H. Leone, Wolfgang Marquardt:
Modeling and understanding different types of process design activities
ENPROMER 2001, 3rd Mercosur Congress on Process Systems Engineering, 1st Mercosur Congress on Chemical Engineering, Santa Fe, 16-20.9.2001
One of the major tasks addressed by the chemical industry is the design and revamping of production processes. Nowadays, better computer-aided tools are available to face these complex tasks. Nevertheless, most design knowledge still rests in the minds of experienced designers. It is desirable to encapsulate it to make it part of a computer support environment. As a first step to this end it is necessary to have a model of the design process. This contribution addresses this objective by introducing a model, based on the identification of three types of design activities: Synthesis (S), Analysis (A) and Decision (D). They operate on the results or products of the design process, called product data, including requirements, the representation of the design artifact itself and arguments. In a typical design session, a synthesis activity, taking into account a set of requirements, generates one or more alternatives. This synthesis product is considered by an analysis of task to calculate values for certain attributes. During a decision activity these values are used and data from the analysis is transformed into arguments on which the decision operates. After a decision is made, new requirements are selected or refined in order to initiate a new synthesis task. Thus, the design process is viewed as a succession of S A D cycles. The paper discusses the intrinsic characteristics of each type of activity, explaining why a task is labeled S, A or D, and which are the specific product data they operate on. Between any two activities of different type linkage tasks take place. Three distinct connection activities are characterized and presented in the paper. Moreover, the proposed model recognizes the fact that certain design tasks are of aggregated type (e.g. synthesis and analysis as one undistinguishable activity) and that the temporal order not always assumes the typical form of S A D. These ideas are exemplified by modeling the design of a separation system.
Design Process Modeling, Modeling Languages, Design Support Environments.