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Designs, Volume 6, Issue 4 (August 2022) – 9 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Concept design is an early and crucial phase in product development where the general concept of a product is set. Product design and development is currently a well-established area of knowledge, and academia is increasingly including its fundamentals in regular curricula. Simultaneously, industrial players recognize the potential of the method for: (i) responding successfully to market uncertainty and speed; (ii) improving the knowledge available and the systematization of creative processes; and (iii) assuring that the decision process is explicit and well documented. We present a detailed case study concerning the conceptual design of portable thermal slippers. View this paper
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Article
A Predesign Methodology for Power Electronics Based on Optimization and Continuous Models: Application to an Interleaved Buck Converter
Designs 2022, 6(4), 68; https://doi.org/10.3390/designs6040068 - 03 Aug 2022
Viewed by 346
Abstract
This paper proposes an approach dedicated to power electronics preliminary design. It consists in setting the optimization problem in an “imaginary” world by considering all decision variables to be continuous. The method is illustrated in detail with the real case study of an [...] Read more.
This paper proposes an approach dedicated to power electronics preliminary design. It consists in setting the optimization problem in an “imaginary” world by considering all decision variables to be continuous. The method is illustrated in detail with the real case study of an Interleaved Buck Converter. The models used are briefly described, and the focus is also placed on all possible applications of such a quick design methodology: considering several operating points, checking various candidate technologies and negotiating the specifications of the converter with the partners. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Energy System Design)
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Article
Structural Investigation and Economical Assessment of the Designed Automatic-Brake-Pad Thickness-Checking Machine
Designs 2022, 6(4), 67; https://doi.org/10.3390/designs6040067 - 29 Jul 2022
Viewed by 343
Abstract
Thickness checking is one of the quality control procedures in the brake pad industry. This research aims to address the issue of the time effectiveness of the thickness checking by turning the technique into an automatic process, from specimen preparation to data recordings; [...] Read more.
Thickness checking is one of the quality control procedures in the brake pad industry. This research aims to address the issue of the time effectiveness of the thickness checking by turning the technique into an automatic process, from specimen preparation to data recordings; the technical aspects, the geometric design, and the structure analysis are critical elements of the industrial machinery. However, economic analysis is considered when it becomes an investment by a company with long-term use expectations. Thus, this research provides structural analysis, time checking estimation, and simple investment feasibility studies on break-even points and a simple payback period to ensure that the new design can improve testing performance. Monte Carlo simulation offers the calculation of investment feasibility with the three possibilities of pessimistic, optimistic, and realistic results in achieving a break-even point (BEP) and a simple payback period. Full article
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Article
The Assistant Personal Robot Project: From the APR-01 to the APR-02 Mobile Robot Prototypes
Designs 2022, 6(4), 66; https://doi.org/10.3390/designs6040066 - 25 Jul 2022
Viewed by 427
Abstract
This paper describes the evolution of the Assistant Personal Robot (APR) project developed at the Robotics Laboratory of the University of Lleida, Spain. This paper describes the first APR-01 prototype developed, the basic hardware improvement, the specific anthropomorphic improvements, and the preference surveys [...] Read more.
This paper describes the evolution of the Assistant Personal Robot (APR) project developed at the Robotics Laboratory of the University of Lleida, Spain. This paper describes the first APR-01 prototype developed, the basic hardware improvement, the specific anthropomorphic improvements, and the preference surveys conducted with engineering students from the same university in order to maximize the perceived affinity with the final APR-02 mobile robot prototype. The anthropomorphic improvements have covered the design of the arms, the implementation of the arm and symbolic hand, the selection of a face for the mobile robot, the selection of a neutral facial expression, the selection of an animation for the mouth, the application of proximity feedback, the application of gaze feedback, the use of arm gestures, the selection of the motion planning strategy, and the selection of the nominal translational velocity. The final conclusion is that the development of preference surveys during the implementation of the APR-02 prototype has greatly influenced its evolution and has contributed to increase the perceived affinity and social acceptability of the prototype, which is now ready to develop assistance applications in dynamic workspaces. Full article
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Article
Concept Development—From Academia to Industry: A Journey Motivated by the Design of Portable Thermal Slippers
Designs 2022, 6(4), 65; https://doi.org/10.3390/designs6040065 - 21 Jul 2022
Viewed by 451
Abstract
Concept design is an early and crucial phase in product development where the general concept of a product is created. In this stage, various aspects of the product are considered, such as usability and technical performance, among others. Product design and development are [...] Read more.
Concept design is an early and crucial phase in product development where the general concept of a product is created. In this stage, various aspects of the product are considered, such as usability and technical performance, among others. Product design and development are currently a well-established area of knowledge, and academia is increasingly including its fundamentals in regular curricula, especially in the areas of engineering, design, and marketing. At the same time, industrial players recognize the potential of the method for i. responding successfully to market uncertainty and speed; ii. improving the knowledge available and the systematization of creative processes; and iii. ensuring that the decision process is explicit and well documented. Nevertheless, only a few studies demonstrating the concept design procedure in detail are available in the literature. In this paper, we thus present a detailed case study concerning the design of portable thermal slippers, so as to demonstrate the application of structured procedures and systematic approaches to concept design, and providing a pedagogical review of methods and tools to support the analysis and decisions along the several steps of the concept design procedure. The particular case study here addressed resulted from the collaboration between an academic institution and a company operating in the home footwear industry, with the design team including elements from both sides. Full article
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Article
A New Look at Excavation Techniques and Design of Rock-Cut Architectures
Designs 2022, 6(4), 64; https://doi.org/10.3390/designs6040064 - 08 Jul 2022
Viewed by 478
Abstract
Rock-cut architecture is an essential yet little-known type of vernacular architecture whose nature is different from what we understand by the term “architecture”. This research seeks to answer the question of which technics, designs and digging procedures have been applied in this type [...] Read more.
Rock-cut architecture is an essential yet little-known type of vernacular architecture whose nature is different from what we understand by the term “architecture”. This research seeks to answer the question of which technics, designs and digging procedures have been applied in this type of vernacular architecture. Out of the 300 rock-cut buildings and complexes found in Iran, nearly 70 were functionally assessed. Ten complexes were found to serve residential functions in different climates. Technique, type and the settlement context material were also briefly compared and contrasted, and thus, three general excavation techniques were recognized. The largest rock-cut residential complex in Iran, Meymand, was selected as the main case study. Fifty residential units in the oldest part of the village in two regions on both sides of the main valley were studied in terms of technique and design style. They were also compared and contrasted. The quantitative data obtained in this section were compared and contrasted using the descriptive statistical method. Although the rock-cut buildings are dispersed throughout Iran, three main techniques were employed to excavate them. Most of them were excavated using two or three of the said techniques. Application of the fine technique and the size of the particles constituting the settlement context are the two factors determining the quality of excavation. The findings in the area of special climatic design standards and technologies not only give us a better insight into rock-cut architecture but also contribute to setting some standards for design and construction of rock-cut buildings in the present era. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Design in Building and Urban Environment)
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Perspective
A Classification of Aperiodic Architected Cellular Materials
Designs 2022, 6(4), 63; https://doi.org/10.3390/designs6040063 - 07 Jul 2022
Viewed by 573
Abstract
Architected cellular materials encompass a wide range of design and performance possibilities. While there has been significant interest in periodic cellular materials, recent emphasis has included consideration of aperiodicity, most commonly in studies of stochastic and graded cellular materials. This study proposes a [...] Read more.
Architected cellular materials encompass a wide range of design and performance possibilities. While there has been significant interest in periodic cellular materials, recent emphasis has included consideration of aperiodicity, most commonly in studies of stochastic and graded cellular materials. This study proposes a classification scheme for aperiodic cellular materials, by first dividing the design domain into three main types: gradation, perturbation, and hybridization. For each of these types, two design decisions are identified: (i) the feature that is to be modified and (ii) the method of its modification. Considerations such as combining different types of aperiodic design methods, and modulating the degree of aperiodicity are also discussed, along with a review of the literature that places each aperiodic design within the classification developed here, as well as summarizing the performance benefits attributed to aperiodic cellular materials over their periodic counterparts. Full article
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Article
Estimating the Optimum Weight for Latticed Power-Transmission Towers Using Different (AI) Techniques
Designs 2022, 6(4), 62; https://doi.org/10.3390/designs6040062 - 07 Jul 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 430
Abstract
The recent expansion of power-distribution networks has motivated many researchers to study how to minimize the costs of such projects. Although transmission towers present one of the main items in the network that greatly affect the project budget, there are no clear criteria [...] Read more.
The recent expansion of power-distribution networks has motivated many researchers to study how to minimize the costs of such projects. Although transmission towers present one of the main items in the network that greatly affect the project budget, there are no clear criteria or recommendations to select the optimum bracing system that minimizes the tower weight. This research presents recommendations to select the optimum configurations for latticed power-transmission towers, segment by segment, for certain loads, as well as the aspect ratio. The research started by generating a database with different segment configurations and their weights, and then three of the most famous AI techniques (GP, ANN and EPR) were used to generate models to calculate the weights of the segments. Studying these models led to the conclusion that K-shape bracing is better that X-shape bracing for segments with aspect ratios (H/B) less than 1.0. The generated models and conclusions were verified by using existing tower designs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Civil Engineering Design)
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Article
Operational Excellence in a Biogas Plant through Integration of Lean Six Sigma Methodology
Designs 2022, 6(4), 61; https://doi.org/10.3390/designs6040061 - 29 Jun 2022
Viewed by 570
Abstract
Process optimization with Lean Six Sigma (LSS) has become more popular every day for years in almost every kind of industry. This integration has brought an even wider variety of possible application areas for industries and research institutes. Recently, the use of LSS [...] Read more.
Process optimization with Lean Six Sigma (LSS) has become more popular every day for years in almost every kind of industry. This integration has brought an even wider variety of possible application areas for industries and research institutes. Recently, the use of LSS for process optimization in biological fields has become more and more common. In this study, LSS methodology is used for process optimization in an industrial scale biogas plant in Hamburg, Germany. The methodology used includes all the DMAIC cycle and related tools. Hypothesis tests were used to calculate the p-value of each experiment for the LSS interpretation. Due to the experimental factors, one-way ANOVA and 1-sample Z-test were used to determine the p-values. By conducting hypothesis testing after the analysis phase of this study, it was found that particle size, freshness of the substrate, and the amount of sand content in the substrate had a significant effect on the desired amount of biogas produced with a p-value of less than 0.01. These root causes led to approaches that focused on high quality feedstock and sufficient pretreatment methods. This paper represents a pioneering example of integrating Lean Six Sigma into biogas plant operation. Full article
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Article
A Numerical Thermal Analysis of a Battery Pack in an Electric Motorbike Application
Designs 2022, 6(4), 60; https://doi.org/10.3390/designs6040060 - 22 Jun 2022
Viewed by 574
Abstract
Today, electric driven motorbikes (e-motorbikes) are facing multiple safety, functionality and operating challenges, particularly in hot climatic conditions. One of them is the increasing demand for efficient battery cooling to avoid the potential thermal stability concerns due to extreme temperatures and the conventional [...] Read more.
Today, electric driven motorbikes (e-motorbikes) are facing multiple safety, functionality and operating challenges, particularly in hot climatic conditions. One of them is the increasing demand for efficient battery cooling to avoid the potential thermal stability concerns due to extreme temperatures and the conventional plastic enclosure of the battery pack. A reliable and efficient thermal design can be formulated by accommodating the battery within an appropriate battery housing supported by a cooling configuration. The proposed design includes a battery pack housing made of high conductive materials, such as copper (Cu) and aluminum (Al), with an adequate liquid cooling system. This study first proposes a potted cooling structure for the e-motorbike battery and numerical studies are carried out for a 72 V, 42 Ah battery pack for different ambient temperatures, casing materials, discharge rates, coolant types, and coolant temperatures. Results reveal that up to 53 °C is achievable with only the Cu battery housing material. Further temperature reduction is possible with the help of a liquid cooling system, and in this case, with the use of coolant temperature of 20 °C, the battery temperature can be maintained within 28 °C. The analysis also suggests that the proposed cooling system can keep a safe battery temperature up to a 5C rate. The design was also validated for different accelerated driving scenarios. The proposed conceptual design could be exploited in future e-motorbike battery cooling for optimum thermal stability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Battery System Design)
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