Automated Valve Expertise Capture
Many experimental systems designed for energy research and development require the control of fluid flows. Selecting the appropriate valves for such systems is complicated not only by the uniqueness of the systems designed, but also by the availability of a variety of valves from a multitude of valve manufacturers. Individuals in large mechanical engineering organizations that design these experimental systems require comprehensive expert knowledge of valve selection but possess only limited portions of this experience based knowledge. Even though these organizations have the expertise among their engineers, it is not consistently available to the right individual at the time of design. Expert systems (programs that solve problems by logical inference based on a store of knowledge) may eventually improve valve selection in mechanical design firms, but only if the problem of extracting and accumulating the expertise in the organization can be solved. This paper describes a computerized prototype titled VALVEFIND designed to accumulate specialized expertise in valve selection.
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