Absence of any tribological considerations in design can lead to quality and durability problems in automobile engines, which arc unearthed only during the testing phase of an engine. The usage of an overall engine friction model in conjunction with robust design techniques facilitates the concurrent design of engine components with tribological considerations. The case study under investigation involves developing robust top-level design specifications with tribological considerations for principal lubricated components in an automobile engine. The Robust Concept Exploration Method is adopted as a framework to address tribological considerations in preliminary engine design, involving three major action items: design space exploration (design of experiments), system modeling (engine friction computer modeling and system approximation using response surface methods) and system synthesis (Compromise DSP). The usage of these action items helps in achieving an efficient and effective design process and makes possible exploration of different design scenarios. The details of the case study, the implication of the results and the conclusions that can be drawn, are elaborated in this paper. Our focus in this paper is to demonstrate a method of abstracting tribological issues to the preliminary stages of design, rather than the results per se.

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