Rule-driven design (RDD), sometimes referred to as knowledge-based engineering (KBE), has been available since the mid 1980s. As with all aspects of computer technology and software development, RDD platforms have changed dramatically over the last 20 years. The Babcock & Wilcox Company (B&W) has a long history engaged in using RDD and is currently implementing its third RDD platform. Part of that process involves the conversion of old RDD applications. Some of those applications are about to be placed into production, thus retiring their predecessors. The conversion of these applications highlights how RDD has evolved. This paper discusses the conversion of one of those applications and examines the significant changes that have occurred in RDD. The specific application investigated was developed to automate the mechanical design and arrangement of utility boiler burners. The RDD platform to which the new burner design application was converted is the RuleStream system. The discussion includes how the RuleStream system has changed the landscape of RDD and how that affects the approach taken to RDD application development. Many aspects of the application and the RDD platform are described, but of particular note are the impact of RuleStream’s database architecture for both rule development and model management, its integration with SolidWorks as its graphical interface, and its unique development environment.

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