Integration of Measurement Functions in Existing Systems – Retrofitting as Basis for Digitalization

DS 91: Proceedings of NordDesign 2018, Linköping, Sweden, 14th - 17th August 2018

Year: 2018
Editor: Ekströmer, Philip; Schütte, Simon and Ölvander, Johan
Author: Vorwerk-Handing, Gunnar; Martin, Georg; Kirchner, Eckhard
Series: NordDESIGN
Institution: Technische Universität Darmstadt
ISBN: 978-91-7685-185-2


In the current situation of a rapidly progressing digitalization has to be noticed, that still a lot of technical systems exist which were developed without taking the particular requirements of digitalization into account. An essential requirement of a digital system, which cannot be achieved by most of those existing (analogous) systems, is to provide the relevant physical quantities, e.g. real time measurement of process related forces in mechanical structures. In many cases a new development or replacement of those existing systems would lead to prohibitive cost or is not feasible due to limited human resources. One promising approach to provide the relevant physical quantities without a new development or replacement of the whole system is the integration of measurement functions by retrofitting or rather by locally further developing the existing system. This paper therefore introduces an approach for sensor integration in existing systems. Based on application dependent goals, a methodical procedure is described which leads in individual steps to a retrofitting concept for integrating measurement functions in existing systems. After clarifying the application dependent goals, the first step of the method consists of a system analysis and focuses on defining and structuring the solution space of potential concepts. This step includes a systematic capture of potential measurement places, potential quantities to be measured and the corresponding models between the relevant physical and the potentially measured quantities. Based on this, the concept synthesis in the second step pursues the goal of developing promising concepts and to evaluate these. During this step the potential of substituting conventional machine elements with mechatronic machine elements is discussed. All steps described above are verified by developing and implementing a measuring system for providing real time data of wheel forces in an existing formula student racing car. The application of the described approach in an industrial cooperation project has shown that it is necessary to extend the approach by the option of a local further development of the existing system. For this reason three optional steps which allow local modifications but prevent a complete new development are introduced. Generally the first optional step and the base for the following ones, is to analyse the existing system to ascertain the main restrictions regarding the implementation of a measurement system. Derived from these restrictions, additional requirements for the integration of measurement functions are defined and compared with the initial requirements of the system. If a contradiction occurs in this step, this restriction prevents an integration of a measurement function in this area. Otherwise both, the initial requirements of the system and the detected requirements for the integration of measurement functions form the basis for a local further development to continuously improve the system of interest

Keywords: Product Design, Digitalization, Measurement Function, Retrofitting


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