The comprehensive assessment of the causes and effects of surface features: The development of an expert system
Based on a complete and unified characterisation technique for surface texture, and empirical work relating to surface manufacture and function, an Expert System is presented which encapsulates relevant information to provide the engineer with a decision support system. The expert system directs the user through advice on likely causes and effects of surface features for a variety of engineering applications. The expert system furnishes details concerning the effects of surface features on the functional performance of surfaces and then relates these features to the machining conditions that are likely to produce the given characteristics. The analytical details of the surface characterisation scheme which actually links the information together remains invisible throughout. By presenting only information and results which are required by the practising engineer and not the analysis necessary to arrive at those results, the expert system provides a powerful natural language tool, in a terminology readily understood by the engineer in a manufacturing and design environment. The expert system thus provides a medium by which the 'loop' between manufacture and performance can be completed.