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Collaborative Multidisciplinary Design Optimization for Conceptual Design of Complex Products

Edris Safavi

CHALLENGE - The design space in the presence of HFMs (higher fidelity models) could be significantly expanded in the design process, and MDO has proven to be an important tool for searching the design space and finding optimal solutions. The importance of growing domain experts in the design process to improve the design from diverse engineering perspectives should be considered. Involving more engineers in the design process early on raises the challenges of collaboration, and the unavailability and lack of MDO experts are known barriers in the industry.

SOLUTION - A novel collaborative multidisciplinary design optimization (CMDO) framework is defined in order to be applied in the conceptual design phase. Among many commercial tools on the market to support an IC (interface centric) approach, modeFRONTIER is hereby used to integrate the models, set up, and run the optimization. The CMDO framework, including roles and tasks, has been evaluated in various case studies and the experience gained from these is used to develop a step-by-step CMDO implementation guideline. One of the studies conducted concerns the design and optimization of a novel concept for a tidal power plant called Deep Green, developed by Minesto AB. The objective of the study is to optimize the geometry of the turbine system to achieve minimum weight and extract maximum power. Geometric modeling (CAD), computational fluid dynamics (CFD), finite element (FE), and dynamic simulation are the main disciplines involved in this case study. The MOGA is used as an optimization algorithm to search the design space. 

BENEFITS - A guideline for CMDO implementation in conceptual design is proposed which can be easily followed by design engineers with limited prior knowledge in MDO. The CMDO guideline is expected to bring the MDO community one step closer to exploiting the full potential of MDO in industrial settings, as well as: holistic system optimization, efficient computing, reduction of complexity, and better communication between different design teams, among others. The presented case study of the turbine investigates the effect of relational and non-relational parameterization techniques on the robustness and flexibility of the conceptual design showing enhanced process performance of MDO. 

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