A methodology is presented in this paper which illustrates how model-based dynamic analysis coupled with Robust Design techniques can be used to minimize the longitudinal vibration levels of the step chain in a sprocket-driven escalator system. A 60-DOF mechanical dynamic model of the escalator is developed and validated as a predictor of the tonal vibration levels as a function of escalator payload and running direction. The Taguchi method is then applied to this developed physics-based analytical model to identify critical to quality (CTQ) factors, flow requirements, and optimize performance (i.e., minimize vibration) using a response surface analysis. This methodology was verified as experimental measurements of the re-designed escalator show that the optimized design effectively suppresses the structural vibration levels.

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