Pollution prevention is a complex task. Many small foundries lack the in-house expertise to perform these tasks. Expert systems are a type of computer information system that incorporates artificial intelligence. As noted in the literature, they provide a means of automating specialized expertise. This approach may be further leveraged by implementing the expert system on the internet (or world-wide web). This will allow distribution of the expertise to a variety of geographically-dispersed foundries. The purpose of this research is to develop a prototype web-based expert system to support pollution prevention for the foundry industry. The prototype system identifies potential emissions for a specified process, and also provides recommendations for the prevention of these contaminants. The system is viewed as an initial step toward assisting the foundry industry in better meeting government pollution regulations, as well as improving operating efficiencies within these companies.
Composite materials are comprised of two or more constituents possessing significantly different physical properties. Due to their high strength and light weight, there is an emerging trend to utilize composites in the automotive industry. There is an inherent link between component design and the manufacturing processes necessary for fabrication. To many designers, this situation may be intimidating, since there is frequently little available understanding of composites and their processes. A direct results is high rates of product scrap and rework. Thus, there is a need to implement a systematic approach to composite material design. One such approach is quality function deployment (QFD). By translating customer requirements into design parameters, through the use of heuristics, QFD supports the improvement of product quality during the planning stages prior to actual production. The purpose of this research is to automate the use of knowledge pertaining to the design and application of composite materials within the automobile industry. This is being accomplished through the development of a prototype expert system incorporating a QFD approach. It will provide industry designers with access to knowledge of composite materials that might not be otherwise available.