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4.6 Systems engineering: the recent development of a discipline

The recent development of systems engineering can be dated from two events. First, following the lead of the US Department of Defense and its introduction of standards for contractors, systems engineering was taken up by companies such as Boeing, Lockheed Martin and, in the UK, British Aerospace, Marconi and the Lucas Group. Second, in August 1990, a group of individuals interested in systems engineering met in Seattle (Box 10 – extract from a paper presented at the International Committee
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4.4 The use of systems engineering in organisations: different organisational arrangements

Hall identified three different organisational arrangements that might provide a framework within which systems engineering work could take place within the organisation. The first of these, which he termed the departmental form and regarded as the lowest level of arrangement, was essentially a temporary team of specialists brought together, under the management of a team leader, to undertake a specific project. The team consisted of members of each of the specialist development departments a
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3.10 Systems techniques

The two systems methodologies provide a framework for the application of problem solving, analysis and design techniques. These fall into three groups.

  • Diagramming: ranging from single systems maps to complex flow charts. Diagrams of one sort or another provide a method of analysis, design and communication.

  • Modelling: simulation is used extensively to analyse the dynamics of an existing system and to predict the behaviour of a propos
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Stage 6: Debate on feasible and desirable changes

The comparison undertaken in the previous stage can have two results.

  • It can cause opinions to change on the problem situation and the issues arising from it.

  • It can provide an agenda for change.

In either case (though both may result), the objective of this stage is to debate, with all concerned, the changes proposed to ensure that they are both desirable and feasible. The aim is to arrive at consensus about the prop
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Implementation

Implementation involves all the detailed design, development and installation tasks required to get the agreed proposal operating.

Figure 34 shows an arrow leading from ‘implementation’ to ‘problem/opportunity’; this recognises that implementation is never the end of the story
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2.2 A modern view

Modern attempts to define engineering recognise the importance of the resources identified by Sage, and that the subject can be divided into two components: engineering knowledge – the ‘know-what’, and engineering process – the ‘know-how’. Engineering knowledge is:

[…] the growing body of facts, experience and skills in science, engineering and technology disciplines; coupled to an understanding of th
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1.2 The Phoenix project

It is all too easy to dismiss problems like that being experienced with the tax credit system as being inherent in the design and implementation of computer-based systems. But they are not restricted to computer systems, as the example of the Phoenix project in Box 2 shows.

Box 2 Fly-away drones put robot air force off course


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4.5 Fibre in LANs

Fibre has been slower to be exploited in LANs than in the core transmission network, for similar reasons to the delay in the use of fibre in the access network, but as the data rate demanded of LANs has increased, the case for using fibre has strengthened.

Although Ethernet specifications (IEEE 802.3 series) have contained standards for the use of fibre backbones for some time, it was with the development of Gigabit Ethernet and 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10 GbE) standards that fibre became t
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2.6.1 Connectors

Many techniques have been used to design connectors that align the fibre ends accurately with high reliability and a long lifetime. The development of such components, at a low enough price, has been an important part of the overall development which has made fibre a feasible proposition for commercial transmission systems.

With fibre attenuation down to 0.2 dB km−1 (for single-mode fibre), the losses resulting from connectors and splices can be very significant over a whol
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4.6 What matters?

When the laptop is confirmed to be uncompromised, it is interesting that none of the characters cheers, although they all seem to be relieved. In other words, when the statement comes up, ‘laptop is uncompromised’, people seem to think that is ‘good’, the outcome is fine. They seem to have forgotten that the technician is probably dead at the time. So, in their deliberations, a person's life is forgotten. I am sure that, if they were reminded of it, they would, of course, say that thi
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6.8 Anticipating the arguments

  • 18. Have the objectives and perspectives of all the key stakeholders concerned with the decision been taken account of in the previous assessment of costs, benefits and risks?

  • 19. What are the reasons that this proposal is preferred over other op
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3.2 Business operations: function or process?

Traditionally, an enterprise's activities are organised according to a structure based on the well-known business functions: marketing, purchasing, finance, human resources, research and development (R&D), operations, and so on. The exact function title varies from organisation to organisation, but each function has its own more or less well-defined sphere of activity. It carries out its various tasks and passes on information or artefacts to other functions for them to work on. For example,
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2 An introduction to the process view of business operations

As we touched on in Section 1, the course that this unit is taken from is concerned with how best to manage the set of business processes that are directly responsible for converting a variety of resources (such as materials, money and the effort of people) into outputs (such as manufactured goods and/or
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Learning outcomes

By the end of this unit you should be able to:

  • make an effective business case for a change to an operations activity or similar using appropriate written and/or oral forms of communication;

  • show the widespread utility of operations management principles at all levels across all types of organisation;

  • introduce a transformation model of operations management, with stakeholder value as the principle output;

  • provide models, concepts and
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Acknowledgements

The content acknowledged below is Proprietary (see terms and conditions) and is used under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Licence.

Grateful acknowledgement is made to the following sources:

Figures

Figures 33, 37, 38, 40: Courtesy of Trik
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8.5 Review

We can sum up the distinctive features of wet etching with a few key points:

  • Wet etching, in general, is a simple process to operate. Wafers are immersed in a solution for a while before being taken out, rinsed, and dried. However, certain etches require more sophistication. They may need one or more of the following: heating and agitation of the solution; reflux of vapours to maintain concentrations; protection of back side of the wafer; incorporation
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8.4 Stopping the etch

Just as important as being able to remove material is being able to stop doing so once the intended etch depth has been reached. Success or failure in this aspect of etching determines whether or not any of the benefits of parallel processing of thousands of devices will be obtained. Uniformity of result from device to device, and repeatability from wafer to wafer, are crucial to the economic viability of the whole exercise.

There are three broad categories of approach to this problem:<
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7.3.4 Physical vapour deposition (PVD), sputtering

An ion hitting a metal surface after acceleration through more than 100 V will not stick or bounce off but will burrow into the surface, splashing atoms outwards. This is known as sputtering and provides a versatile alternative to thermal evaporation for metal-vapour deposition: more controllable, with adjustable uniformity, able to cope with alloys and high-melting-point metals and suitable for production-line automation. Given these advantages, it is also worth the effort to heat the
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1 Structural devices: a static role

The superb manufacturing techniques of microelectronics enable designers of integrated circuits to exercise complete control over the electrical characteristics of each component, such as a transistor, by specifying the shapes and sizes of their active regions. Using photolithographic mask-drawing software on their workstations, they can copy and paste blocks of identical devices all over the chip, knowing that when the design is finally realised in silicon, this extreme uniformity wil
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