In past blogs, I have waxed eloquent about two traditional methods of performing Tolerance Analysis, the Worst Case Analysis and the Root Sum Squares. With the advent of ever-more-powerful processors and the increasing importance engineering organizations place on transfer functions, the next logical step is to use these resources and predict system variation with Monte Carlo Analysis.

The other RSS equation, that of predicted output mean, has a term dependent on 2nd derivatives that is initially non-intuitive:


Why is that second term there?


A few posts ago, I explained the nature of transfer functions and response surfaces and how they impact variational studies when non-linearities are concerned. Now that we have the context of the RSS equations in hand, let us examine the behavior of transfer functions more thoroughly.

Root Sum Squares (RSS) approach to Tolerance Analysis has solid a foundation in capturing the effects of variation. In the days of the golden abacus, there were no super-fast processors willing to calculate the multiple output possibilities in a matter of seconds (as can be done with Monte Carlo simulators on our laptops). It has its merits and faults but is generally a good approach to predicting output variation when the responses are fairly linear and input variation approaches normality. That is the case for plenty of Tolerance Analysis dimensional responses so we will utilize this method on our non-linear case of the one-way clutch.

Transfer Functions (or Response Equations) are useful to understand the "wherefores" of your system outputs. The danger with a good many is that they are not accurate. ("All models are wrong, some are useful.") Thankfully, the very nature of Tolerance Analysis variables (dimensions) makes the models considered here concrete and accurate enough. We can tinker with their input values (both nominals and variance) and determine what quality levels may be achieved with our system when judged against spec limits. That is some powerful stuff!