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Über dieses Buch

This open access book reports on innovative methods, technologies and strategies for mastering uncertainty in technical systems. Despite the fact that current research on uncertainty is mainly focusing on uncertainty quantification and analysis, this book gives emphasis to innovative ways to master uncertainty in engineering design, production and product usage alike. It gathers authoritative contributions by more than 30 scientists reporting on years of research in the areas of engineering, applied mathematics and law, thus offering a timely, comprehensive and multidisciplinary account of theories and methods for quantifying data, model and structural uncertainty, and of fundamental strategies for mastering uncertainty. It covers key concepts such as robustness, flexibility and resilience in detail. All the described methods, technologies and strategies have been validated with the help of three technical systems, i.e. the Modular Active Spring-Damper System, the Active Air Spring and the 3D Servo Press, which have been in turn developed and tested during more than ten years of cooperative research. Overall, this book offers a timely, practice-oriented reference guide to graduate students, researchers and professionals dealing with uncertainty in the broad field of mechanical engineering.



Open Access

Chapter 1. Introduction

In this chapter, the motivation for this book is given. The analysis process of socio-technical systems based on data and models is examined from the perspective of uncertainty. The synthesis process of systems based on models and/or intuition leads to the important concepts of function and quality as well as data, model, and structural uncertainty. This forms both the foundation and the introduction to the following chapters. It is shown that the mastering of uncertainty is the key to Sustainable Systems Design. Thus, the societal need for safety and sustainability is met.
Peter F. Pelz

Open Access

Chapter 2. Types of Uncertainty

The goal of this chapter is to define different types of uncertainty in technical systems and to provide a unified terminology for this book. Indeed, uncertainty comes in different disguises. The first distinction is made with respect to the knowledge on the source of uncertainty: stochastic uncertainty, incertitude or ignorance. Then three main occurrences of uncertainty are discussed: data, model and structural uncertainty.
Peter F. Pelz, Marc E. Pfetsch, Sebastian Kersting, Michael Kohler, Alexander Matei, Tobias Melz, Roland Platz, Maximilian Schaeffner, Stefan Ulbrich

Open Access

Chapter 3. Our Specific Approach on Mastering Uncertainty

This chapter serves as an introduction to the main topic of this book, namely to master uncertainty in technical systems. First, the difference of our approach to previous ones is highlighted. We then discuss process chains as an important type of technical systems, in which uncertainty propagates along the chain. Five different approaches to master uncertainty in process chains are presented: uncertainty identification, uncertainty propagation, robust optimisation, sensitivity analysis and model adaption. The influence of the process on uncertainty and methods depends on whether it is dynamic/time-varying and/or active. This brings us to the main strategies for mastering uncertainty: robustness, flexibility and resilience. Finally, three different concrete technical systems that are used to demonstrate our methods are presented.
Peter F. Pelz, Robert Feldmann, Christopher M. Gehb, Peter Groche, Florian Hoppe, Maximilian Knoll, Jonathan Lenz, Tobias Melz, Marc E. Pfetsch, Manuel Rexer, Maximilian Schaeffner

Open Access

Chapter 4. Analysis, Quantification and Evaluation of Uncertainty

This chapter describes the various approaches to analyse, quantify and evaluate uncertainty along the phases of the product life cycle. It is based on the previous chapters that introduce a consistent classification of uncertainty and a holistic approach to master the uncertainty of technical systems in mechanical engineering. Here, the following topics are presented: the identification of uncertainty by modelling technical processes, the detection and handling of data-induced conflicts, the analysis, quantification and evaluation of model uncertainty as well as the representation and visualisation of uncertainty. The different approaches are discussed and demonstrated on exemplary technical systems.
Maximilian Schaeffner, Eberhard Abele, Reiner Anderl, Christian Bölling, Johannes Brötz, Ingo Dietrich, Robert Feldmann, Christopher M. Gehb, Felix Geßner, Jakob Hartig, Philipp Hedrich, Florian Hoppe, Sebastian Kersting, Michael Kohler, Jonathan Lenz, Daniel Martin, Alexander Matei, Tobias Melz, Tuğrul Öztürk, Peter F. Pelz, Marc E. Pfetsch, Roland Platz, Manuel Rexer, Georg Staudter, Stefan Ulbrich, Moritz Weber, Matthias Weigold

Open Access

Chapter 5. Methods and Technologies for Mastering Uncertainty

Uncertainty affects all phases of the product life cycle of technical systems, from design and production to their usage, even beyond the phase boundaries. Its identification, analysis and representation are discussed in the previous chapter. Based on the gained knowledge, our specific approach on mastering uncertainty can be applied. These approaches follow common strategies that are described in the subsequent chapter, but require individual methods and technologies. In this chapter, first legal and technical aspects for mastering uncertainty are discussed. Then, techniques for product design of technical systems under uncertainty are presented. The propagation of uncertainty is analysed for particular examples of process chains. Finally, semi-active and active technical systems and their relation to uncertainty are discussed.
Peter Groche, Eberhard Abele, Nassr Al-Baradoni, Sabine Bartsch, Christian Bölling, Nicolas Brötz, Christopher M. Gehb, Felix Geßner, Benedict Götz, Jakob Hartig, Philipp Hedrich, Daniel Hesse, Martina Heßler, Florian Hoppe, Laura Joggerst, Sebastian Kersting, Hermann Kloberdanz, Maximilian Knoll, Michael Kohler, Martin Krech, Jonathan Lenz, Michaela Leštáková, Kevin T. Logan, Daniel Martin, Tobias Melz, Tim M. Müller, Tuğrul Öztürk, Peter F. Pelz, Roland Platz, Andrea Rapp, Manuel Rexer, Maximilian Schaeffner, Fiona Schulte, Julian Sinz, Jörn Stegmeier, Matthias Weigold, Janine Wendt

Open Access

Chapter 6. Strategies for Mastering Uncertainty

This chapter describes three general strategies to master uncertainty in technical systems: robustness, flexibility and resilience. It builds on the previous chapters about methods to analyse and identify uncertainty and may rely on the availability of technologies for particular systems, such as active components. Robustness aims for the design of technical systems that are insensitive to anticipated uncertainties. Flexibility increases the ability of a system to work under different situations. Resilience extends this characteristic by requiring a given minimal functional performance, even after disturbances or failure of system components, and it may incorporate recovery. The three strategies are described and discussed in turn. Moreover, they are demonstrated on specific technical systems.
Marc E. Pfetsch, Eberhard Abele, Lena C. Altherr, Christian Bölling, Nicolas Brötz, Ingo Dietrich, Tristan Gally, Felix Geßner, Peter Groche, Florian Hoppe, Eckhard Kirchner, Hermann Kloberdanz, Maximilian Knoll, Philip Kolvenbach, Anja Kuttich-Meinlschmidt, Philipp Leise, Ulf Lorenz, Alexander Matei, Dirk A. Molitor, Pia Niessen, Peter F. Pelz, Manuel Rexer, Andreas Schmitt, Johann M. Schmitt, Fiona Schulte, Stefan Ulbrich, Matthias Weigold

Open Access

Chapter 7. Outlook

Bertolt Brecht once closed a text with the words “We are disappointed to see the curtain close and all questions are left unanswered” [1]. In this book, it has become clear that uncertainty is immanent in the product life cycle of technical systems in mechanical engineering from (B) production, (C) usage, (D) reuse to (E) sourcing. The latter is the starting phase of the following sequence B, C, D, E. Uncertainty has been relevant since the beginning of the industrialisation, cf. Theodor Fontane’s ballad ‘The Tay Bridge’ quoted in Chap. 1 and this will continue to be so. Hence, we will never see “the curtain close”, but a perpetual contribution of engineering science, applied mathematics, law and further branches of science to master uncertainty in mechanical engineering.
Peter F. Pelz, Peter Groche, Marc E. Pfetsch, Maximilian Schaeffner


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