Present day electromechanical product design requires multi disciplinary design teams who have to perform complex synthesis, analysis, and control tasks to ensure desirable functional and performance characteristics for the products. In each stage of design, specialized tools are utilized to optimize design efficiency and product performance. Such tools tend to be used individually in an ad hoc manner. Moreover, the lack of uniform representations and the non availability of specific design data make it difficult for the different design groups to interact effectively and use the different design tools in an integrated fashion. This hinders the generation of globally optimal designs.
Typically design engineers construct Finite Element Methodology models (FEM models) for detailed analysis of phenomena in their individual domains (e.g., mechanical, thermal, etc.). In this paper, we argue the necessity for building more abstract lumped parameter models from distributed FEM models to facilitate model sharing and communication across multiple design teams. We describe a set of techniques for building lumped parameter system models from more detailed distributed models, and demonstrate their application in design problem solving. Finally, we propose the application of design-of-experience (DOE) and the Mahalanobis-Taguchi-System (MTS) with lumped parameter models.