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Introduction to Engineering

0 System Dynamics

0.1 INTRODUCTION

The objective of an engineering analysis of a dynamic system is prediction of its behaviour

or performance. Real dynamic systems are quite complex and an exact analysis of the system is

often not possible. However, simplifying assumptions can be made to reduce the system model

to an idealized version whose behaviour or performance approximates that of the real system.

The process by which a physical system is simplified to obtain a mathematically tractable

situation is called modeling. The simplified version of the real system thus obtained is called

the mathematical model or quite simply the model of the system.

System dynamics deals with the mathematical modelling of dynamic systems and

performance analyses of such systems in order to understand the dynamic nature of the system

and improving system performance.

The definition of several terms, classification of dynamic systems, modeling of dynamic

systems, and analysis and design of dynamic systems are presented in this chapter.

accomplish an objective. A part or element or component is a single functioning unit of a system.

For example, an automobile is a system whose elements are the wheels, suspension, carbody,

and so forth. A static element is one whose output at any given time depends only on the input

at that time while a dynamic element is one whose present output depends on past inputs. In

the same way we also speak of static and dynamic systems. A static system contains all static

elements while a dynamic system contains at least one dynamic element. In a dynamic system,

the output changes with time if it is not in a state of equilibrium.

A dynamic system undergoing a time-varying interchange or dissipation of energy among

or within its elementary storage or dissipative devices is said to be in a dynamic state. All of the

elements in general are called passive, i.e., they are incapable of generating net energy. A dynamic

system composed of a finite number of storage elements is said to be lumped or discrete, while

a system containing elements, which are dense in physical space, is called continuous. The

analytical description of the dynamics of the discrete case is a set of ordinary differential

equations, while for the continuous case it is a set of partial differential equations. The analytical

formation of a dynamic system depends upon the kinematic or geometric constraints and the

physical laws governing the behaviour of the system.

In order to deal in an efficient and systematic way with problems involving time dependent

behaviour, we must have a description of the objects or processes involved and such a description

2 SOLVING ENGINEERING SYSTEM DYNAMICS PROBLEMS WITH MATLAB

is called a model. The model used most frequently is the mathematical model, which is a

description in terms of mathematical relations, and represents an idealization of the actual

physical system. For describing a dynamic system, these relations will consist of differential or

difference equations. Predicting the performance from a model is called analysis. The model's

purpose partly determines its form so that the purpose influences the type of analytical techniques

used to predict the dynamic systems behaviour. There are many types of analytical techniques

available and their applicability depends on the purpose of the analysis. The physical properties,

or characteristics, of a dynamic system are known as parameters. In general, real systems are

continuous and their parameters distributed. However, in most cases, it is possible to replace

the distributed characteristics of a system by discrete ones. In other words, many variables in a

physical system are functions of location as well as time. If we ignore the spatial dependence by

choosing a single representative value, then the process is called lumping, and the model of a

lumped element or system is called a lumped-parameter model. In a dynamic system the

independent variable in the model then would be time only. The model will be an ordinary

differential equation, which includes time derivatives but not spatial derivatives. If spatial

dependence is included then the resulting model is known as a distributed-parameter model in

which the independent variables are the spatial coordinates as well as time. It consists of one or

a set of partial differential equations containing partial derivatives with respect to the

independent variables. Discrete systems are simpler to analyse than distributed ones.

Dynamic systems are classified according to their behaviour as either linear or non-

linear. If the dependent variables in the system differential equation(s) appear to the first power

only and there are no cross products thereof, then the system is called linear. If there are

fractional or higher powers, then the system is non-linear. On the other hand, if the systems

contain terms in which the independent variables appear to powers higher than one or two

fractional powers, then they are known as systems with variable coefficients. Thus, the presence

of a time varying coefficient does not make a model non-linear. Models with constant coefficients

are known as time-invariant or stationary models, while those with variable coefficients are

time-variant or non-stationary. If there is uncertainty in the value of the models coefficients or

inputs then often, stochastic models are used. In a stochastic model, the inputs and coefficients

are described in terms of probability distributions involving their means and variances, etc.

In a discrete time-system, one or more variables can change only at discrete instants of

time. In a continuous-time system, the signals involved are continuous in time. The mathematical

model of continuous systems often results in a system of differential equations.

A simplified mathematical model of the physical system can determine the overall complex

behaviour of the dynamic system. The analysis of a physical system may be summarised by the

following four steps:

(a) Mathematical Modeling of a Physical System

The purpose of the mathematical modeling is to determine the existence and nature of

the system, its features and aspects, and the physical elements or components involved in the

physical system. Necessary assumptions are made to simplify the modeling. Implicit assumptions

are used that include:

INTRODUCTION TO ENGINEERING SYSTEM DYNAMICS 3

(ii) Newtons laws of motion can be applied by assuming that the earth is an internal

frame

(iii) Ignore or neglect the relativistic effects

All components or elements of the physical system are linear. The resulting mathematical

model may be linear or non-linear, depending on the given physical system. Generally speaking,

all physical systems exhibit non-linear behaviour. Accurate mathematical modeling of any

physical system will lead to non-linear differential equations governing the behaviour of the

system. Often, these non-linear differential equations have either no solution or difficult to find

a solution. Assumptions are made to linearise a system, which permits quick solutions for

practical purposes. The advantages of linear models are the following:

(i) their response is proportional to input

(ii) superposition is applicable

(iii) they closely approximate the behaviour of many dynamic systems

(iv) their response characteristics can be obtained from the form of system equations

without a detailed solution

(v) a closed-form solution is often possible

(vi) numerical analysis techniques are well developed, and

(vii) they serve as a basis for understanding more complex non-linear system behaviours.

It should, however, be noted that in most non-linear problems it is not possible to obtain

closed-form analytic solutions for the equations of motion. Therefore, a computer simulation is

often used for the response analysis. When analysing the results obtained from the mathematical

model, one should realise that the mathematical model is only an approximation to the true or

real physical system and therefore the actual behaviour of the system may be different.

(b) Formulation of Governing Equations

Once the mathematical model is developed, we can apply the basic laws of nature and

the principles of dynamics and obtain the differential equations that govern the behaviour of

the system. A basic law of nature is a physical law that is applicable to all physical systems

irrespective of the material from which the system is constructed. Different materials behave

differently under different operating conditions. Constitutive equations provide information

about the materials of which a system is made. Application of geometric constraints such as the

kinematic relationship between displacement, velocity, and acceleration is often necessary to

complete the mathematical modeling of the physical system. The application of geometric

constraints is necessary in order to formulate the required boundary and/or initial conditions.

The resulting mathematical model may be linear or non-linear, depending upon the

behaviour of the elements or components of the dynamic system.

(c) Mathematical Solution of the Governing Equations

The mathematical modeling of a physical vibrating system results in the formulation of

the governing equations of motion. Mathematical modeling of typical systems leads to a system

of differential equations of motion. The governing equations of motion of a system are solved to

find the response of the system. There are many techniques available for finding the solution,

namely, the standard methods for the solution of ordinary differential equations, Laplace

transformation methods, matrix methods, and numerical methods. In general, exact analytical

solutions are available for many linear dynamic systems, but for only a few non-linear systems.

Of course, exact analytical solutions are always preferable to numerical or approximate solutions.

4 SOLVING ENGINEERING SYSTEM DYNAMICS PROBLEMS WITH MATLAB

The solution of the governing equations of motion for the physical system generally gives

the performance. To verify the validity of the model, the predicted performance is compared

with the experimental results. The model may have to be refined or a new model is developed

and a new prediction compared with the experimental results. Physical interpretation of the

results is an important and final step in the analysis procedure. In some situations, this may

involve (a) drawing general inferences from the mathematical solution, (b) development of design

curves, (c) arrive at a simple arithmetic to arrive at a conclusion (for a typical or specific problem),

and (d) recommendations regarding the significance of the results and any changes (if any)

required or desirable in the system involved.

0.6.1 Analysis

System analysis means the determination of the behaviour, performance, or response of

a system to a given set of inputs that are applied to a given configuration of defined parts,

elements or components.

The analysis of a dynamic system requires often the development of a mathematical

model for each component and combining these models in order to build a model of the complete

system. The model should be sufficiently sophisticated to show the significant outputs in order

to make use of available methods of analysis. The system parameters in the model can then be

varied systematically to obtain a number of solutions in order to make the interpretations and

the establishing valuable conclusions.

0.6.2 Synthesis

By system synthesis we mean the establishment of the composition or combination of

parts or elements or components such that the system behaves, performs, or responds according

to a given set of desired system characteristics or specifications. In analysis, the only unknowns

are the system outputs, while in the synthesis the outputs are known and most of the system

parts or elements or components are unknown. In general, synthesis procedure is totally

mathematical form from the beginning to the conclusion of the design process.

0.6.3 Design

Systems are designed to perform specific tasks. Synthesis is the establishment of the

system configuration given the performance specifications while design is the determination of

dimensions and other numerical parameters for a given system configuration. System design is

the process of determining a system that accomplishes a given task. In general, the design

procedure is a trial and error process.

It is in general possible to have many designs that can meet the performance specifications.

The various steps involved in the design process are summarised below:

INTRODUCTION TO ENGINEERING SYSTEM DYNAMICS 5

The first phase of the design process is the method for conceptualising the function needs

of the design. This method must be structured yet flexible enough to allow for innovation. The

method used to develop the function concepts is referred to as the Function Structure.

(b) Mathematical Quantification and Evaluation of the Design

The two next phases in the design process must now be considered: these are mathematical

quantification and design evaluation. The quantitative connection between the function concepts

and configurations is critically important for any design evaluation. Axiomatic Design has allowed

the connection of function concepts and configurations.

(c) Evaluation of Designs Configurations

At this phase in the design process, there are three important considerations. They are:

1. Chose no more than three configurations based on a best selection process consisting

of market needs and functional needs.

2. Each of the three configurations is evaluated for functional robustness.

3. As a last phase, the configurations are evaluated for a balance between reliability and

economy.

The results from the evaluations are used to modify the configurations and further reduce

the number of alternatives. In the case of major configurational problems based on omissions of

function needs during any of the evaluations, the designer must revisit the function concepts

initially selected. All designs must have appropriate function concepts supporting its alternative

configurations.

(d) Prototyping and Testing

The computer tools at the disposal of engineers are impressive. Computer Aided Design

(CAD) and Solid Modelling allow the engineer to analyse the design for component tolerance,

functional response (animation), reliability, and cost projections. This is also an important step

for precisely estimating other economic factors, such as manufacturing costs. The design

configuration file can even be downloaded for a CNC machine for rapid prototyping.

Testing the actual prototypes is conducted using several Design of Experiment (DOE)

techniques. The Taghuchi method is recommended for optimising the design and identifying

functional reliability.

SUMMARY

A brief introduction to engineering system dynamics and the definition of several terms

used in dynamic systems, classification of dynamic systems, modeling of dynamic systems, and

analysis and design of dynamic systems are presented in this chapter.

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