Digital (geometric) product models can be used for maintainability analysis and maintenance planning. It is not feasible to build digital product models for maintenance purposes only, but if a digital product model is available, it may be used to support many maintenance-related engineering tasks. Examples are: Product life cycle simulation (the influence of product use on product performance), deterioration analysis (the influence of wear on product function), Failure Mode Effect Analysis (FMEA), product model-based monitoring (to relate sensor signals to failure modes), failure diagnosis, disassemblability analysis (for repair and replacement), maintenance ergonomic analysis (to ease the work of maintenance personnel), etc. At the University of Tokyo, a Virtual Maintenance System has been developed to support the activities mentioned above. The system makes it possible to relate predicted product behaviour and specific signals, which can be detected by sensors and can be used to avoid catastrophic failure. This creates better possibilities for condition-based maintenance and Design for Maintainability. Future CAD systems should support product life cycle issues right from the start of the design process.
- Computer Aided Design