The Product engineering which is also called system engineering is a problem solving activity. To function, desired product data, and behaviour are uncovered allocated and analyzed to individual engineering elements. The system engineer starts with customer-defined goals and objective for the proceeds and product to model these needs in a manner which allocates them to as group of engineering components hardware, software, people and data. The elements are tied together with a support infrastructure the technology needs to integrate the parts and the information which is used to support the parts.
The genesis of most new systems and products starts with a rather nebulous concept of desired function. Thus the system engineer must bind the product needs through identifying the scope of performance and function desired. Example for, it is not enough to say that the control software for the robot in a manufacturing automation system will respond rapidly if an elements tray is empty. The system engineer mist describe (1) what indicates an empty tray to the robot, (2) the precise time bounds within that software response is expected and (3) what form the response mistake. Which is the system engineer mist defining the events which drive the behavior of the robot the nature of the behavior and the quantitative bounds placed on the behavior?
Once interfaces, constraints, performance and function are bounded the system engineer moves onto a task which is called allocation. In the duration of allocation function is assigned to one or more engineering parts. Often alternative allocations are evaluated and proposed. To define the process of allocation let's consider a macro component of the factory automation system the conveyor line sorting system (CLSS). The system engineer is represented with the following statement of objectives for CLSS.
CLSS must be established like which boxes moving along a conveyor line will be sorted and identified into one of 6 bins at the end of the line. The boxes will pass through a sorting station where they will be recognized. Based on an identification number printed on the side of the box an equivalent bar code is given, the boxes will be shunted into the suitable bins. Boxes pass are evenly spaced and in random order. The line is moving slowly.
CLSS is depicted schematically before continuing make a list of questions which you would ask if you were the system engineer. Between the many questions which should be asked and answered are the following:
1. How many different identification number must be processed and what is their form?
2. What is the distance between boxes in feet and what is the speed of the conveyor line in feet per second?
3. How far is the sorting station from the bins?
4. How far apart are the bins?
5. What should happen if a box does not have an identification number or an incorrect number is present?
6. What happens when a bin fills to capacity?
7. Is information about box bin and destination contents to be passed elsewhere in the factory automation system? Is real-time data acquisition needed?
8. What error or failure rate is acceptable?
9. What pieces to the conveyor line system presently exist and are operational?
10. What budgetary and schedule constraints are imposed?
Note that the above questions focus on performance, function, can information content and flow. The system engineer does not ask the customer how the task is to be done rather the engineer asks what is needed.