Process and Event Modelling for Conceptual Design


Abstractions perform a fundamental role during product design, freeing a problem from reality into a representation more readily represented with engineering principles. Functional modelling provides such a representation for product design where customer needs are translated into a representation of elementary operations defining what a product must do to achieve a desired goal. With solely the generation of a functional model, the designer, however, runs the risk of failing to explicitly capture expected interactions and operations of the product as a whole. To that end, this paper presents a process modelling methodology consisting of model levels for the representation of product-related events and configurations based on current functional modelling techniques. Being based on functional modelling allows process modelling to integrate with functional modelling during conceptual design activities. The levels for the process model then collectively define customer needs related to how a product will be used, environments where a product will operate and changes that a product must undergo to meet customer expectations. To demonstrate the generation of event and configuration models, a common household product is investigated; this is followed by a case study discussion where process modelling is applied during the design of two ground robots.


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Abstraction; Processes; Event; Configuration and Functional Modeling

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Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version


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© 2011 Taylor & Francis, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Jan 2011