Insight, innovation, and the big picture in system design



Systems architecting is the design phase where the top-level functions and performance of a system are distributed over the system's parts, its environment, and its users. Up till now, system architects had to largely learn the required skills in practice. Some courses exist that teach the right attitude and mindset for the system architect. However, methods for architecting that can be implemented in a computer tool are virtually nonexistent. Earlier we presented a method, FunKey Architecting, which may aid the system architect in the early phase of design. In combination with TRIZ a design tool is created, which can be used to simplify and improve system architectures. It aims at supporting both the system designer and the specialist designers working on systems. The main topic of the paper is the application of the method in two industrial cases. The one case is an environment where new technology has to be developed and state of the art physics have to meet machine construction principles. The other case is in an industry where well-proven technology is used in such a way that high-performance machines are created. A third application of the FunKey tool is performed by students at the University of Twente. The context of each case and the results will be described. © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Syst Eng 14