If you ask three different system designers to fulfill a certain process function (fluid delivery, cooling, heating, etc.) the resulting three systems will most probably differ in topology, controlling and, especially, in energy consumption and manufacturing costs. This shows that the planned systems cannot be optimal regarding these target figures. Moreover, it is not possible to absolutely quantify the quality of the proposed solutions.
It is the aim of the Optimization Group to establish quantitative methods for the synthesis of technical systems in engineering sciences. Mathematical optimization is well known in economics under the name of Operations Research (OR). OR-methods have been successfully employed for the optimization of business processes, e.g. logistics. Our group, on the other hand, connects modules to create systems – in a systematic way.
In order to achieve this goal, we pursue two approaches: Firstly, we strive to apply mixed integer linear programming to the optimization of technical systems. Secondly, we facilitate the application of this tool by providing engineers with a methodical procedure. The pyramid in Fig. 2 illustrates this approach.