Computer aided enquiry system for pump selection

Toothill, J.A., 1992. Computer aided enquiry system for pump selection. MPhil, Nottingham Trent University.

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This thesis considers the application of advanced software techniques to the product selection of hydraulic pumps. The project aim was to develop a computer aided enquiry system enabling the production of timely, professional tenders in response to customer enquiries. The work was undertaken as part of a Teaching Company association between Dresser Pump Division (U.K.) and Nottingham Polytechnic.

The original Polytechnic feasibility study highlighted the use of expert system shells as a suitable vehicle for the solution of this problem. Initial work proceeded from this with the development of a prototype using Leonardo. This performed basic selection for a limited number of pumps allowing a variety of data models to be examined.

On further consideration of the amount of data being accessed, a need for enhanced facilities was identified. A change of development shell was needed, with Egeria being the chosen product. A second prototype was developed with increased capability covering a complete pump range. However, it soon became apparent that the adoption of Object Oriented Programming would be the key to a clearer representation of the problem.

The selection of a pump by computer is mathematically intensive. Since a rule based system is not ideally suited to calculation, a hybrid approach (combining rule based and conventional techniques) seemed appropriate.
Upon reappraisal of the project requirements it became apparent that Object Oriented Programming would form the major part. A decision to abandon the rule based approach in favour of development in C++ was taken. The groundwork already covered allowed rapid redevelopment of the system. This showed significant gains over the shell based systems. Execution time, implementation cost and hardware dependency were all reduced. In addition the control over the resulting code was held within the company. A live system began user trials in September 1991 throughout all UK sales offices, with worldwide distribution scheduled for November 1991.

The application of new techniques to this problem has proved successful. The foundations for a powerful and versatile engineers tool have been laid. Further developments for product training and market research use are now possible.

Item Type: Thesis
Creators: Toothill, J.A.
Date: 1992
ISBN: 9781369324020
Divisions: Schools > School of Science and Technology
Record created by: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 10 Nov 2020 15:15
Last Modified: 04 Oct 2023 14:20

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