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A methodology for the design of safety critical mechatronics

Bleakley, G.J. (1999). A methodology for the design of safety critical mechatronics. (Unpublished Doctoral thesis, City, University of London)


The general approach taken for the design of safety critical, mechatronic products is at present based upon creating a design and then incorporating safety features into the design, almost as an afterthought. Although guidelines exist, that detail basic processes which, should be carried out for design for safety, structured design methods, that could aid design for safety are not described. Additionally, the use of computers, to aid in the decision making process for the design and safety analysis of mechatronics, is underexploited.

In this thesis a structured, safety led, design methodology based around Extended Quality Function Deployment is developed. The basic methodology is integrated with a combination of safety analysis tools, and additional structured design methods which help control the methodology, reducing many of the problems of implementing Extended Quality Function Deployment (EQFD). Additionally, the development of computer based tools for component selection and failure analysis, based upon dynamic, energy based models is shown. These models are fully integrated with the design methodology.

The development of these methods and tools is described in relation to a Case Study, based upon the safety analysis, and conceptual design of a robot capable of carrying out Remote Gamma Radiography of Steel Storage Tanks. Safety analysis tools are applied in a pro-active manner, prior to starting the EQFD analysis, providing guidelines as to the safety requirements for the design. Further safety analysis is carried out during the design process using graphical dynamic computer models of the proposed design. These computer models originally being developed for automated component selection, which are in turn derived from the correlation roof.

This pro-active approach to design for safety led to many useful insights into possible guidelines and features which should be incorporated into the product at an early stage of the design process. Modelling the system using a computer based tool-improved understanding of the system behaviour and helped accelerate the design process. Firstly as an tool for automated component selection and secondly as mechanism, for extensive safety analysis.

Publication Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: T Technology > TA Engineering (General). Civil engineering (General)
Departments: School of Science & Technology > Engineering > Civil Engineering
School of Science & Technology > School of Science & Technology Doctoral Theses
Doctoral Theses
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