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Exercise: Intelligent Defaults for Gaskets in a Plate Heat Exchanger

Based on yesterdays post, here's an exercise to try out.

Objective: Understand the concept of intelligent defaulting and apply it to the gasket material selection for a plate heat exchanger, based on the chemical characteristics of the liquid to be cooled.

Scenario: You are working on a configurator model for a plate heat exchanger that cools different types of liquids. The gasket material between the plates needs to be selected according to the chemical characteristics of the liquid being cooled.


  1. Identify the parameters and attributes: a. hot_fluid: an attribute to store the type of liquid being cooled. b. selected_gasket_mtrl: the gasket material to be used. c. default_gasket_mtrl: the default gasket material based on the liquid being cooled.

  2. Create a defaulting support class with the following features: a. hot_fluid (influencing value) b. default_gasket_mtrl (default value)

  3. Set up a part realized by the defaulting support class and add constraints to make sure the configurator picks the correct defaulting support component based on the hot_fluid attribute value.

  4. Connect the defaulting parameter (default_gasket_mtrl) to the defaulted parameter (selected_gasket_mtrl).

  5. Write a soft constraint that tells the configurator engine to try setting the value of selected_gasket_mtrl to the value of default_gasket_mtrl if it won't cause a conflict.

Test your implementation with the following scenarios:

  1. Cooling water: the default gasket material should be EPDM.
  2. Cooling oil: the default gasket material should be Nitrile.

Reflect on the process and how intelligent defaulting can improve the configurator model's efficiency and accuracy in selecting default values based on varying parameters.


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