Sobey, Adam James
Concurrent engineering in the context of the composite leisure boatbuilding industry
University of Southampton, School of Engineering Sciences,
Leisure boatbuilding is an industry that has tight profit margins and growing competition due to the global nature of the industry. It is a growth market with the number of high-earning potential customers increasing worldwide. For British boatbuilding to retain and increase its high standing within these global markets investment is required to develop larger profits and market share. Concurrent engineering is a method of design that has given large benefits to a multitude of industries but is ill-defined within leisure boatbuilding.
This thesis investigates the nature of British boatbuilding and develops concurrent engineering within this context. To develop faster design while increasing quality this thesis concentrates on automated communication. A number of tools are developed focusing on structures and production. These include a mass and cost multi-objective optimisation tool further developing first principles rules using a Genetic Algorithm, a reliability tool to increase the speed of iterative design and a design history tool focusing on data mining using neural networks within a grid computing structure. Furthermore, a concurrent engineering methodology specific to leisure boatbuilding has been developed leading to a design environment for use within this sector. The resulting work develops techniques that increase the knowledge available to engineers in an intuitive, quantitative, manner.
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