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Volume 3 Number 1
Jan - Jun 2003
Technology Cluster: TRANSPORTATION
Technology Platform: Novel Engine Development
Design and Development of a Prototype Free Piston Linear Generator Engine Abd. Rashid Abd. Aziz
Technology Platform: Fuel Combustion
The Effects of Horizontal Mounting Position of Atomizer to Spray Angles in a Confined Tube
Shaharin Anwar Sulaiman
Technology Cluster: OIL AND GAS
Technology Platform: System Optimization
Industrial Stream Composition Forecasting Using Neural Network Abdul Halim S. M, I. Ismail, R.D. Menez, and M.A. Shafawi
Debottlenecking of an Existing Fractionation Train Using the Non-conventional Distillation Columns
Kamarul Ariffin Amminudin
Technology Platform: Smart Card Technology
THREE NUMBER ONE JANU Face Recognition for MyKad Security Ahmad Fadzil M.H. , Irfan A.R.
Enhancing Design Criteria for Novice Virtual Environment Designers through the Identification of Usability Problems
Suziah Sulaiman, Rohiza Ahmad
Identification of Handwritten Digits Ahmad Fadzil M. H., Intan Mastura A.M.
Technology Platform: Intelligent Building
Application of Dry Walls in Residential Houses: A Buildable System Noor Amila W.A.Z., Nasir Shafiq, Ibrahim Kamaruddin
Study on the Capillary Performance in Wire Bonding Operation for Integrated Circuit (IC) Norani M. Mohamed, Sivabalan Sasthiryar
The Training of Scientists and Engineers in the 21st Century: a Social Science Perspective
Victor T King
Integration of Multimedia in Visualizing Geometric Transformation for Mathematics Education: A Preliminary Review
Wan Fatimah Wan Ahmad, Halimah Badioze Zaman
Dr. Rosti Saruwono
UTP Publication Committee
Technology Cluster: TRANSPORTATION
Assoc. Prof. Ir. Dr. Ahmad Fadzil Mohamad Hani
Technology Platform: Novel Engine Development
Design and Development of a Prototype Free Piston Linear Assoc. Prof. Dr. Mohamed Ibrahim Abdul MutalibAssoc. Prof. Ir. Dr. Ibrahim Kamaruddin Hasbullah Haji Ihsan Abd. Rashid Abd. Aziz
Mohamad Zahir Abdul KhalidAssoc. Prof. Dr. Mohd. Noh KarsitiAssoc. Prof. Dr. Fakhruldin Mohd. Hashim Technology Platform: Fuel Combustion
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Madzlan NapiahDr. Azmi Mohd. Shariff The Effects of Horizontal Mounting Position of Atomizer to Spray Dr. Abas M. SaidDr. Noor Asmawati M. Zabidi Angles in a Confined Tube Hasbullah Abdul Wahab Shaharin Anwar Sulaiman
Raja Yasmin Raja Yusof
Technology Cluster: OIL AND GAS
Technology Platform: System Optimization
Industrial Stream Composition Forecasting Using Neural Network Mohamad Zahir Abdul Khalid Abdul Halim S. M, I. Ismail, R.D. Menez, and M.A. Shafawi
Chief Editor, PLATFORM:
Debottlenecking of an Existing Fractionation Train Using the Non- Dr. Kamarul Ariffin Amminudin conventional Distillation Columns Editor, UTP Quarterly:
Feroz Mohd. Ridzwan
Kamarul Ariffin Amminudin
Representative, IRC:
Rabiatul Ahya Mohd. Sharif
Technology Platform: Smart Card Technology
Raja Yasmin Raja Yusof Face Recognition for MyKad Security Ahmad Fadzil M.H. , Irfan A.R.
Enhancing Design Criteria for Novice Virtual Environment Designers Dr. Kamarul Ariffin Amminudin through the Identification of Usability Problems Suziah Sulaiman, Rohiza Ahmad
Prof. Dr. V. R. RadhakrishnanAssoc. Prof. Dr. Nasir Shafiq Identification of Handwritten Digits Assoc. Prof. Dr. Varun Jeoti JagadishAssoc. Prof. Dr. Norani Muti Mohamed Ahmad Fadzil M. H., Intan Mastura A.M.
Dr. Abdul Rashid Abdul AzizJafreezal Jaafar Technology Platform: Intelligent Building
Application of Dry Walls in Residential Houses: A Buildable System Chief Editor, PLATFORM
Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS
Noor Amila W.A.Z., Nasir Shafiq, Ibrahim Kamaruddin
Bandar Seri Iskandar31750 TronohPerak Darul Ridzuan OTHER RESEARCH AREAS
Study on the Capillary Performance in Wire Bonding Operation for Integrated Circuit (IC) Norani M. Mohamed, Sivabalan Sasthiryar
The Training of Scientists and Engineers in the 21st Century: a Social Science Perspective Victor T. King
Integration of Multimedia in Visualizing Geometric Transformation Copyright 2003 for Mathematics Education: A Preliminary Review Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS Wan Fatimah Wan Ahmad, Halimah Badioze Zaman
This fifth issue of PLATFORM continues to serve as a medium for academic staff and
researchers to disseminate and share their knowledge, expertise and research findings. With
the formulation and implementation of the UTP R&D masterplan, the format of this journal
has accordingly been reviewed in order to streamline the contents with the major technology
clusters identified in the R&D masterplan: oil and gas, transportation, and intelligent systems.
In this way, it would help both contributors and readers in focussing their attention on those
areas which are of immediate and direct relevance to them. This will hopefully facilitate
communications between experts in each field and foster collaborations in research,
consultancy and other activities.
The publication of the journal has also been streamlined with the formation of the publicationcommittee at the University.
In this issue, contributions cover all three (3) technology clusters identified in the UTP R&Dmasterplan. The first paper on engine development highlights the progress on researchcurrently undertaken by UTP researchers who are leading the project under governmentfunding. The second paper on fuel combustion investigates the the spray nozzle positionwith respect to its tube inlet in order to study its impact on fuel combustion efficiency. Thenext paper is in the area of system optimization covering aspects of process control usingneural network. Another paper in the same category explores the use of non-conventionaldistillation columns in process retrofits.
Under the intelligent systems technology cluster, four papers are presented. The first describesresearch on face recognition for MyKad security; the second is on virtual environments; thethird is on identification of handwritten digits; and the fourth is on intelligent buildingsdescribing an application of dry walls in residential houses.
In addition to the technology platforms, the interests of our academic staff also cover otherareas, such as physics, social sciences and education, of which contributions have also beenreceived. One paper covers the study of capillary performance in wire bonding operations forintegrated circuits. In the social sciences, a paper provides a perspective from a social scientiston the training of scientists and engineers in the 21st century. Finally, on education, one paperillustrates the integration of multimedia for mathematics education.
These papers illustrate the diversity of research activities currently undertaken by UTPresearchers. I hope this journal will truly be a platform for scientific and academic discourse.
Dr. Kamarul Ariffin Amminudin
Chief Editor

Technology Cluster: TRANSPORTATION
Design And Development Of A Prototype
Free Piston Linear Generator Engine
Abd. Rashid Abd. Aziz
Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS, Bandar Seri Iskandar, 31750 Tronoh, Perak Darul Ridzuan, Malaysia.
A linear generator engine (LG) is an electrical power generating linear engine. Its working principle is based on the free-piston two-stroke engine. The main difference between an LG and a conventional engine is that the LG has only one moving part, which is the piston-rod assembly. The piston-rod assembly comprises two pistons – one connected to each end of the rod – along with a magnet assembly in the center. Combustion energy and stored energy from gas springs will cause the piston-rod assembly to move freely back and forth within the engine blocks, compressing and expanding the combustion and kickback chambers alternately. Magnetic field from the rod's magnet assembly will cut through coils externally located in the middle section of the LG, and generate electricity. Thus, electrical power is extracted directly from the moving piston.
Keywords: linear generator engine, free-piston two stroke engine, prototype design
work in advanced two-stroke engine combustion [1].
The current work, however, is based on the teams' own Currently, small-scale power systems such as generator sets, combustion turbines and fuel cells play a small role in the generation of the nation's electric power.
Advantages of a free-piston generator include However, this is expected to change significantly over reduction of friction losses traditionally associated the next decade and into the next century. In addition, with the crankshaft, connecting rod and other moving there is a growing worldwide market for small-scale parts of a conventional engine, along with reduced power systems, especially in the areas of the world piston friction, in the absence of angular loading [2].
where electrical power distribution is under- However, due to the unconstrained nature of piston developed. At the moment, it is estimated that 40% of motion, engine compression ratio is not constant and the world's population is without electricity. The LG if no effective control strategy is implemented, it could described in this paper represents a new alternative result in low engine reliability, performance and power source, developed from the concept of the free- flexibility [3].
piston engine.
Nonetheless, studies on free-piston engine combined The initial idea for the current LG project originated with Homogeneous Charge Compression Ignition from LOTUS Engineering, which undertook the initial (HCCI) combustion [4] has shown that if the variable This paper was presented at the National R&D Symposium, Kuala Lumpur, 28-30 July 2003.
Technology Cluster: TRANSPORTATION
compression ratio is manipulated to obtain a desired to generate current in the windings around the unit.
value by means of managing piston motion and dynamics, higher compression ratios and reduced A design & development project of a prototype LG compression time can be realized, which would yield engine is currently underway. Four teams from three an engine with superior thermal efficiency, lower NO universities – Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS, Universiti emissions and slower component deterioration. In Malaya and Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia – are addition, the ability to control and vary the involved in the LG Program and are divided into four compression ratio more practically – as opposed to inter-related projects. Below are the project titles and having to change cylinder and port dimensions in the Project Leaders under the program: crankshaft-driven engines – allows for enormous fuel flexibility, extending the range from petrol to Modeling, design, modification and test of hydrogen, natural gas and bio-gas [5].
combustion and fuel system of two-stroke free- piston linear generator engine. (Project Leader: MATERIAL AND METHOD
Dr. Abd. Rashid Abd. Aziz.) Modeling, design, modification and test of The Linear Generator concept is based on a single- lubricant and cooling system of a new free- moving part free piston engine. The central oscillating piston gas generator. (Project Leader: Prof.
piston-rod assembly is constrained between the combustion chamber and the kickback chamber.
Computer aided analysis of linear generator Combustion pressure is converted to electrical power engine. (Project Leader: Assoc. Prof. Dr. Ahmad by the direct use of the oscillating piston-rod assembly Kamal Ariffin Mohd. Ihsan.) Figure 1: Scope and Project Integration

Technology Cluster: TRANSPORTATION
Modeling, design, modification and testing of length is x . The piston on a left to right stroke traverses EMF linear generator of a new free-piston gas from –x to +x . The friction force required to move the generator. (Project Leader: Prof. Khalid Md. Nor.) slider is F . The quantity of heat added to one cylinder during a cycle is Q . The force balance for the left-to- Figure 1 shows the scope of each project, breakdown right (expansion) stroke can be written as in Equation of the activities along with the approximate duration (1) with x positive in the left-to-right direction: for each phase of the project. The Program is funded by the Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment (MOSTE) under the Intensified Research In Priority Areas Programme (IRPA) Grant No. 03-99- where P and P are the instantaneous pressure in the 02-0000-PR0025/4-00. Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS combustion and kickback cylinder, A and A are the acts as the Programme Leader for the project.
areas of the piston in the combustion and kickback chamber, respectively, F is the frictional force, and m RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
is the mass of the translator.
Results of numerical studies of piston velocity in a A numerical experiment about the proposed linear engine incorporating combustion and kickback variational algorithm has been done using the are presented. Initial study of equal-bore cylinders following values of parameters: P shows a larger piston velocity after combustion due 100,000 Pa, Q = 196 J, x = 0.025 m, b = 0.05 m, F = to the lower air pressure at the kickback end of the 900 N, n = 1.33. The velocity and the position had engine. By using variational principle, computations been found by using a numerical integration applied are performed to determine a velocity function as long during expansion and compression strokes, as the piston head does not exceed the maximum respectively. Using the procedure, the initial bore scale position. This function is an important factor to avoid of 1 has been chosen by assuming that the kickback knocking that reduces the compression ratio and bore must be larger than the combustion bore. The engine thermal efficiency.
iteration results are the maximum translator position at each bore scale as depicted in the left side of Figure Consider a two-stroke linear engine model as shown 3. From the figure, it can be seen that the maximum in Figure 2. To derive the governing equation a priori, the following independent variables are specified. The combustion and kickback cylinder bore are b and b respectively. The maximum theoretical half-stroke Figure 3: Kickback Bore Scale and Maximum Translator Position
Figure 2: Schematic View of the Linear Engine [6]

Technology Cluster: TRANSPORTATION
Figure 4: Function of Position for a Variation of Bore Scale (left) and Optimum Function of Velocity and Position [6]
position is directly at the x position. The bore scale Johansen T. A., Egeland O., Johannessen E. A. and Kvamsdal R., "Free-Piston Diesel Engine Timing and Control – Towards tends to 1.4877, as x tends to x . The plot of Electronic Cam- and Crankshaft", in IEEE Transactions on Control translator position versus time for each bore scale and Systems Technology, vol. 10, no.2, March 2002 the function of optimal velocity and position are Peter van Blarigan, "Advanced Internal Combustion Electrical shown in Figure 4.
Generator", Proceedings of the 2002 U.S. DOE Hydrogen ProgramReview, NREL/CP-610-32405 Peter Van Blarigan, "Rapid Combustion Electrical Generator",in Reciprocating Engines Peer Review, Illinois, 2002 The concept of a linear generator with a piston M. I. Ahmad Kamal Ariffin, "LG Progress Report", UKM CAE reciprocating freely between a combustion chamber Group, March 26, 2003.
and an air-kickback chamber is presented. Areas of research and a breakdown of activities for the ongoing design and development project of a prototype linear Abd Rashid Abd Aziz graduated with a B.S.
generator are provided. Results of a numerical and M.S. in Mechanical Engineering fromthe University of Miami in 1988 and 1990 experiment reveal the optimal piston stroke length respectively. He continued his PhD with a and the requirement for unequal combustion and full scholarship from the university and kickback bore sizes. These two parameters – bore and obtained his doctoral degree in 1995. Uponreturning to Malaysia, he lectured shortly at stroke – are not only important factors for engine Universiti Putra Malaysia prior to taking up design, but also critical constraints in the design of the lectureship position at Universiti Teknologi rotor and stator for the electrical generator.
PETRONAS (UTP) in 1996. Currently a senior lecturer in theMechanical Engineering Program at UTP, Dr Abd Rashid is leadingthe Linear Generator Program, a multi-institutional R&D project with funding from the Ministry of Science, Technology andEnvironment (MOSTE).
J. Allen, D. Law and D. Kemp, Patent Filing, 9930380.2, 1999.
Arshad W. M., Bäckström T., Thelin P. and Sadarangani C.,"Integrated Free-Piston Generators: An Overview", inProceedings of the Nordic Workshop on Power and IndustrialElectronics, Stockholm, 2002 PLATFORM VOLUME THREE NUMBER ONE JANUARY - JUNE 2003
Technology Cluster: TRANSPORTATION
Technology Platform: FUEL COMBUSTION
The Effects Of Horizontal Mounting Position Of Atomizer
To Spray Angles In A Confined Tube
Shaharin Anwar Sulaiman
Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS, Bandar Seri Iskandar, 31750 Tronoh, Perak Darul Ridzuan, Malaysia.
Sprays released from a nozzle mounted in a horizontal tube have many engineering applications. An important characteristic of a spray is the spray angle, which is formed by two straight lines drawn from the discharge orifice of the spray nozzle. An experiment was carried out to study the effect of the horizontal mounting position of the atomizer to the spray angle. To investigate the variations in spray angle, water was sprayed from a nozzle which was mounted on the centerline of a horizontal clear Perspex tube. The experiment was carried out using four different discharge pressures for the nozzle, while air flowed inside the tube at a constant velocity of 6 m/s. With the use of a color video camera, the image of the spray was captured and analyzed prior to the measurement of spray angle. The experiment was repeated by shifting the spray nozzle horizontal position along the tube centerline. From the experiment, it was found that the farther downstream the nozzle was mounted with respect to the tube inlet, the wider the spray angle became. In addition, the increase of spray angle was more significant for the case of nozzles with higher nominal spray angles.
Keywords: spray nozzle, combustion processes, atomizer
be desirable [2]. Usually a wide-angle hollow cone spray is preferred in gas turbine combustion. In a Spray characteristics are determined by a few different application, Widger [3] found that in the dust parameters, namely the droplet size, concentration, extraction in coal mines, the airflow rate would reach velocity, and spray angle. The spray angle is defined as a peak if the spray angle was misaligned by 15° from the angle between the formation of two straight lines the centerline of the tube axis.
drawn from the discharge orifice of the spray nozzle.
Being an important parameter, spray angle has specific In this paper, an experiment was conducted on sprays purposes in various engineering applications. For confined in a horizontal tube. The spray nozzle was example, in gas turbine combustion, the spray angle mounted at the upstream of the tube, on its centerline.
has a strong influence on ignition, stability limits and Air in the tube flowed at a constant velocity as a result exhaust smoke. A reduction in spray-cone angle, for of suction effect generated by the fan installed at the instance, is beneficial to ignition, especially at high downstream of the system. The main interest in this altitude [1]. In another instance, if the gas turbine experiment was to observe the difference in the spray combustion chamber length were to be minimized, angle when the position of the nozzle was varied along spray angles of the range between 60° and 90° would the centerline of the confinement tube. The tube used This paper was presented at the 2nd World Engineering Congress, Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia, July 2002.
Technology Platform: FUEL COMBUSTION
Technology Cluster: TRANSPORTATION
was of a clear material therefore enabling the inside mixed with the spray droplets flowed further image of the spray to be captured for the measurement downstream into the rear chamber, followed by the of spray angle. This was done using a video camera cyclone for the removal of moisture from the air prior and a frame grabber interface to produce two- to discharge into the atmosphere.
dimensional image that could be analyzed in a computer. The measured spray angles were then The spray was released by the waterside system analyzed and compared.
through the atomizer nozzle, which was mounted in the confinement tube as shown in Figure 2. Water from the tank was pumped into the atomizer nozzle. The pump, which was driven by a three-phase motor, had The experiment was carried out using a constructed a maximum pressure capacity of 22.9 MPa and a test rig as shown in Figure 1. The test rig comprised of maximum flow capacity of 13 litres per minute. The a ‘waterside system' and an ‘air-side system' to allow pressure during the experiment was set with the use the production and flow of spray in a clear confined of control valve in the piping system.
tube. Both systems were equipped with discharge facilities to maintain proper experimental and working The pump outlet and the atomizer were connected by conditions. All apparatus were calibrated in the proper a flexible hose of 13-mm diameter. In between the two, manner to minimize errors.
a steel manifold and a surge tank were installed at a distance of 40 times the pipe diameter from the pump The apparatus for the air system comprised of a outlet to prevent fluctuations of pressure in the water confinement tube, two air chambers, an air inlet, and a supply. The steel manifold had a water inlet and outlet, cyclone separator. These components were air tight as well as another two outlets each connected to the so that the air inside the tube was isolated from the surge tank and a pressure gauge. The surge tank was ambient air except at the inlet. Air driven by the only partly filled up with water during the experiment, suction fan, connected by an air duct at a different to leave a void to damp out any fluctuations.
room, flowed from the air inlet tube to the front chamber. The average air velocity inside the tube was In this experiment hollow cone spray atomizers were 6 m/s. In the confinement tube, which had a mean selected for use. Table 1 shows the configuration of internal diameter of 192-mm and a length of 1000-mm, the spray selection. The selected nominal spray angles air mixed with the spray droplets released by the were 40°, 60° and 80°, rated at volume flow rates of 0.2, atomizer nozzle. The confinement tube was made of 0.4 and 0.6 liters per minute respectively, and discharge clear Perspex to enable video imaging. The air that had pressure of 1 MPa, thus resulting in the use of nine Figure 1: The experimental rig
Figure 2: The schematic layout of the waterside system.

Technology Cluster: TRANSPORTATION
Technology Platform: FUEL COMBUSTION
Table 1: Configuration of the selected spray atomizers.
Q (L/min)
Nominal Spray Angle (catalogue)
Figure 4. The orientation of camera installation.
atomizers. For identification, atomizers were labeled as, The spray angle was obtained by direct measurement for example 0.4-80, meaning rated at 0.4 L/min flow on the spray images captured using the JVC model TK- and 80° nominal spray angle, or the Lechler 214.245.30 C600E color video camera with RS Components Ltd.
atomizer, if referred to Table 1.
625-772 zoom lens of 18-108/2.5. The image of a steady spray was recorded for ten seconds in videotape using The atomizer holder was fabricated such that the the 4-head double density Computar CTR-3024 video nozzle could be shifted horizontally along the recorder. To get an average value, three frames of spray centerline of the confinement tube. In addition, proper images were transferred into the computer in the form positioning and alignment with the tube axis were of JPEG (Joint Photographic Experts Group) files with made by adjustment at the holder. Three mounting the use of frame grabber interface and the Image Folio positions were selected in this experiment, as indicated v.3.0 and the Video Work v.1.5 software.
in Figure 3.
The spray pictures were then copied into AutoCAD, The video camera was mounted on a tripod at a fixed where lines were carefully drawn between a point position thus allowing the camera to capture a vertical adjacent to the atomizer outlet, and the farthest point area coverage of 75-mm wide by 55-mm high at the on the spray boundary where the edge could be clearly center plane of the tube, which was satisfactory for the defined, as shown in Figure 5. The spray boundaries measurement of spray angles resulted from all the nine were drawn carefully to ensure satisfactory nozzles. Figure 4 shows the orientation for the camera representations of the free edges that had a sharply P1 = 65 mmP2 = 127 mmP3 = 176 mm Figure 5. A sample measurement of spray angle by using
Figure 3. The nozzle horizontal position.
Technology Platform: FUEL COMBUSTION
Technology Cluster: TRANSPORTATION
defined interface, which separated fluid with vorticity occur in the case of 0.2-80, as shown in Figure 8, where and fluid without vorticity. Having the two boundary at the downstream most position and at a small range lines drawn, the spray angle was measured by selecting of discharge pressures, the actual spray angle is very the AutoCAD command for angular dimensioning.
low. The reason could be that the sprays were not fully developed at those pressures.
Another interesting observation is that the gradients From this experiment a set of 108 data were obtained of the curves in Figures 6, 7 and 8 become relatively from the use of nine atomizers at three horizontal- positions and at four pressure levels. The four discharge pressures were 0.5, 1.0, 1.5 and 2.0 MPa. Each data set was obtained by averaging three angle measurements taken from three images captured by the video camera.
The data, which were grouped by nominal angles, were then plotted on graphs of angle (measured) versus pressure. Figures 6, 7 and 8 show the relationship between the atomizer pressure and the resulting spray angles, as well as the horizontal mounting position.
Since each chart is categorized by the same nominal spray angle, nine curves are displayed together in every Figure 6.
Spray angles at various positions and pressure.
Nominal angle of 40°.
From the results shown in Figures 6, 7 and 8, it is clear that there are differences in the spray angles as the horizontal mounting position is varied. The changes in the spray angles are however small. It was also found that for most cases the farther downstream the nozzle is mounted, the wider the resulted actual spray becomes. However, exceptions occur in the cases of atomizers 0.4-80 and 0.6-80, where the spray angles become narrower when operating at higher discharge Figure 7.
Spray angles at various positions and pressure.
From the graphs it is also obvious that the changes of Nominal angle of 60°.
the atomizer horizontal-positions cause a relatively smaller variation in the measured spray angle for the cases of low nominal spray angle. This is clearly shown as a narrow band of curves in Figure 6. For example, in the case of nominal spray angle of 40°, the variationsof spray angle are only around ± 2.5°. Nevertheless thevariations are relatively larger for atomizers with higher nominal spray angle, where the measured spray angles could have a variance of ±10°. This shows that the effectof the atomizer horizontal-position is less significant for the case of narrow nominal spray angles, but is more Figure 8. Spray angles at various positions and pressure.
obvious for wide-angle nominal sprays. Exceptions Nominal angle of 80°.

Technology Cluster: TRANSPORTATION
Technology Platform: FUEL COMBUSTION
steeper as the nozzle is moved farther downstream, particularly for atomizers 0.4-80 and 0.6-80. In each curve, the gradient is an indication of the influence of Variations in the horizontal mounting position of the discharge pressure to the spray angle. This means that atomizer along the tube centerline caused little the farther downstream these atomizers are changes in the spray angles. The changes were positioned, the more sensitive their spray angles would relatively smaller when atomizers of small nominal be to the change in the liquid discharge pressure.
spray angle were used. On the other hand, the changes were larger in the cases of atomizers of high nominal Even though the spray angles at the downstream most spray angle, or also known as the wide-angle spray. For positions are found to be the highest, it was found that most atomizers, the actual spray angles became wider for atomizers 0.6-40 and 0.2-60, the lowest spray angles when they were mounted farther downstream inside did not appear at the upstream position, but rather at the confinement tube. However a few exceptions the middle position.
applied for some of the atomizers, where the possible reasons for the occurrences have been discussed.
Another significant observation was that the spray angles were more sensitive to the change in the liquid From the experimental results, there have been some discharge pressure when installed farther downstream.
inconsistencies where errors are predicted. A few possible sources of errors are discussed. First, during More work needs to be done under this area so that a the experiment, the imaging was done only from one more reliable and a wider range of information could angle, which was from the side. Consideration should be obtained. The work should involve an increase in also be given for the angles measured from images the number of variables for reliability purposes.
captured from the top and another angle, so that the values could be averaged out.
Lefebvre, A.H., Gas Turbine Combustion, Hemisphere It was also realized that during the experiment, the 100- Publication, New York. (1983) W incandescent light was installed in such a manner that it was slightly offset from the centerline of the Chung, I.P., DunnRankin, D., Ganji, A., "Characterization of aSpray from an Ultrasonically Modulated Nozzle," Atomization camera lens. As a result, the top portion of the spray and Sprays, Vol.7, No.3, pp.295-315. (1997) image had a slightly different brightness and contrast.
Widger, I.R., "Improvement of High Pressure Water Sprays Used This could lead to an error in distinguishing the spray for Coal Dust Extraction in Mine safety," PhD Thesis, Mechanical boundary. To overcome this problem, a brighter light Engineering Department, UMIST, UK. (1993) bulb, a 1000-W light for example, should be used and installed farther from the lens, so that a more balanced Shaharin Anwar Sulaiman graduated with
image contrast and brightness could be obtained.
a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from IowaState University, USA in 1993. He earned hisM.Sc. in Thermal Power and Fluids More works are recommended in the future to obtain Engineering from the University of comprehensive results in this study. For example, the Manchester Institute of Science andTechnology (UMIST), UK in 2000. He worked number of horizontal positions should be added so as a Mechanical & Electrical (M&E) Project that results will be more reliable. In addition, the Engineer in YTL Construction for five years distance between the atomizer and the confinement until 1999. Currently he is a lecturer in the Mechanical Engineeringprogram at UTP. He is also a certified Professional Engineer and a tube inlet should be extended so that the effects at Corporate member of the Institution of Engineers Malaysia (IEM).
farther downstream could be observed. Furthermore it is predicted that the airflow inside the tube is a developing flow thus at farther downstream a more consistent velocity profile is expected.
Technology Platform: SYSTEM OPTIMIZATION
Technology Cluster: OIL AND GAS
Industrial Stream Composition Forecasting
Using Neural Network
A.H.S Maulud1, I. Ismail1, R.D. Menez2 and M.A. Shafawi2
1Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS, Bandar Seri Iskandar, 31750 Tronoh, Perak Darul Ridzuan, Malaysia.
2MTBE (M) Sdn. Bhd., P.O. Box 1, 26080 Balok, Pahang Darul Makmur, Malaysia.
Artificial neural network has been reported as a successful tool to model continuous systems. Its application in industrial scale has been reported but not widely. The success of its application is strongly influenced by the understanding of the understudied process. Since the determination of network structure and neuron training is considered well established with appropriate cross validation, the major task is to determine the appropriate inputs without complicating the network model. In most modelling studies, the model has been shown to be a successful tracker by evaluating the sum of squared error or mean of squared error. However, there is no standard performance criterion for acceptance in industrial application. This paper will discuss some important aspects on prediction of component concentration by using neural network method in one important stream in a petrochemical complex. The result will be compared to a linear regression model.
Keywords: artificial neural network, process control, industrial modelling studies
produces side products which are either to be consumed by the plant itself or sold for additional The petrochemical industry is a very important sector revenue. The operation of petrochemical plant is quite in which a commodity petroleum product is converted sensitive since it involves complex reactions and very to higher value materials. The petrochemical complex tight product specification. Thus, changes in certain generally consists of a reactor section where a specific stream composition may affect the overall plant reaction is taking place. This is then followed by the performance. Thus, close monitoring of certain stream separation train to separate the product and unreacted composition is very crucial. Normally samples have to feed. The unreacted feed will be recycled to improve be taken at certain period and sent for laboratory the overall conversion.
analysis for this purpose. Since the complex volume is very large, it is expected that it is adequate to monitor In a typical petrochemical reactor, the reaction takes these stream composition at certain interval period as place under the presence of high technology catalyst the parameter changes are not that frequent. However, to improve the conversion and selectivity. Beside the any upset or parameter change between the sample main reaction, there will be a few side reactions.
cannot be properly monitored. Installation of on-line Sometimes, the production of the main product also analyser may incur a high investment. In addition, it This paper was presented at the International Conference on Advances in Petrochemicals and Polymers in the New Millennium, Bangkok, Thailand, 22-25 July 2003.
Technology Cluster: OIL AND GAS
Technology Platform: SYSTEM OPTIMIZATION
requires a good maintenance for a continuous reliable of the product will be recycled and combined in the result. Thus, alternatively an inferential analyser can be feed. The ratio of total feed A and B to product E in the used for this purpose.
feed must be maintained at specific value for optimum operation requirement. This ratio is greatly influenced For this case study, the reaction involves complex by the purity of product E in the recycle stream. It is reaction mechanisms, which may lead to some non- necessary to predict the product E purity in the recycle linearity characteristic. In view of this situation, the stream. Therefore, a real time monitoring of plant neural network approach could be utilised to provide performance should be carried out.
a good prediction since neural network is able to predict any continuous non-linear systems [2][3].
Application of neural network to predict certain parameters in industrial scale have been reported for A neural network concept has been widely discussed example by Montague [4] and Barry [5].
in the literature [3, 4]. Since this paper is intended for neural network application in industry, only a brief 2.0 PROCESS DESCRIPTION
description of neural network structure will be In this paper, it is not possible to describe the process in detail due to commercial confidentiality. Instead, the A typical neural network model composes of salient features will be illustrated for overall process interconnected neuron layers (an input layer, one or understanding. The process consists of reactor and more hidden layers, and an output layer) between the separation sections as shown in Figure 2.1.
input and output variables. A typical neural network structure is shown in Figure 3.1.
There are two feeds (Feed A and Feed B) which simultaneously react in the reactors to produce The neuron or node is simply a processing unit. In most Product C and Product D as shown in the reaction cases, input neurons have no processing function. Most information processing is done by hidden neurons.
Each hidden neuron will pass the weighted input Feed A → Product C + Product E through a summation function and another specified Feed B → Product D + Product E activation function. The most commonly activation function used in hidden neurons is the sigmoidal transfer function. The output of sigmoidal function Product E is a side product. Unreacted Feed A and B which lies in the range of 0 to 1 is given by: will be recycled for overall conversion improvement.
Product E will be separated. Some of the products will be consumed by certain unit in the plant while most Figure 2.1: Process diagram schematic
Technology Platform: SYSTEM OPTIMIZATION
Technology Cluster: OIL AND GAS
Figure 3.1: A typical neural network structure
by using Levenberg-Marquadt algorithm with mean square error as optimisation performance function.
The ‘early stopping' generalization criteria will be applied to improve the training generalisation.
There are a total of 653 daily average data dating from Figure 3.2: Simplified neuron function
January 2000 to March 2002. The first 430 data will be used as modelling data while the remaining 223 data will used as testing data to measure the prediction Figure 3.2 shows a simplified hidden neuron structure.
robustness on future data. Approximately 85% of For output layer, the neuron has only summation modelling data will be randomly selected as training function in most cases. Normally the hidden and data while the remaining will be used for cross output neurons will have a bias input to improve the validation for the ‘early stopping' training criteria.
An important aspect of industrial modelling is that it 4.0 MODELLING BASIS AND PERFORMANCE
should be able to fit the existing data and to predict the future values within a specific limit. In this case, the testing data will be treated as future data to 4.1 Modelling basis
measure the robustness of the model.
In this study, a multi-layer feed forward network configuration programmed in Matlab 6.0™ software 4.2 Performance criteria
will be used. The network architecture is limited to a In the process, a typical product E concentration in the single hidden layer with non-linear function. The recycle stream is 90%. For performance measurement, neuron numbers will be adjusted to give the the absolute error of product E concentration between appropriate optimisation. Training will be conducted the predicted and actual values (residue) will be used PLATFORM VOLUME THREE NUMBER ONE JANUARY - JUNE 2003
Technology Cluster: OIL AND GAS
Technology Platform: SYSTEM OPTIMIZATION
since the problem statement is to predict the parameters. Thus, we will not complicate the model instantaneous value. Performance criterion such as with unnecessary inputs and waste a lot of sum squared error is more appropriate for cumulative computational time. In order to avoid neuron or overall performance. Since we are dealing with a saturation, all input parameters are scaled to [-1, 1] real industrial problem, it is expected that there are many factors that may affect the process. Thus, appropriate practical targets must be set. Based on Three sets of different number of neurons in hidden practical experience, 95% of prediction error value layer will be evaluated based on the above input should be less than 1% concentration unit.
parameters. The sets are 10, 15 and 20 neurons in hidden layer.
In addition, the neural network prediction will be compared with the prediction using the linear 6.0 RESULT AND DISCUSSION
6.1 Number of neurons
From the initial result, it shows that a sufficiently trained model has been achieved with less than 10 This is a multiple input and single output (MISO) epochs . Figure 6.1 shows the mean squared error problem. The output is product E concentration in a (MSE) for training and cross-validation data with recycle stream. For inputs, based on process respect to the number of epochs.
knowledge and experience, there are 13 parameters that may affect the product E concentration as follows: Table 6.1 shows the training and validation error for 10, 15 and 20 neurons for hidden layer. Although 20- iii. Reactor temperature 1 iv. Reactor temperature 2 Reactor temperature 3 vi. Separator pressure 1 vii. Separator pressure 2 viii. Separator pressure 3 xi. Combined feed flow xii. Recycle product E flow xiii. Recycle product E temperature However, only four parameters (total feed flow, feed B flow, recycle product E flow and recycle product E Figure 6.1: Training and validation errors for 10 neurons in
hidden layer.
temperature) are selected initially, based on their strong direct influence on the recycle product E Table 6.1: MSE for different neurons (10-5)
Although we could include all available input parameters in the beginning, it is pragmatic to use a minimum input parameter and add them individually.
This will help us to identify the most significant input VOLUME THREE NUMBER ONE JANUARY - JUNE 2003 PLATFORM
Technology Platform: SYSTEM OPTIMIZATION
Technology Cluster: OIL AND GAS
neurons has a least training error, the difference is not concentration in recycle stream for the modelling data.
significant compared to 15-neurons error. In addition, It is clearly shown that both neural and linear model the 15-neurons has less error in validation data predictions are able to track the product E compared to 20-neurons. Thus, 15-neurons will be concentration pattern adequately. However, the most considered as the optimal number of neurons in important aspect is its capability to meet the criteria hidden layer for the time being.
as specified in Section 4.2.
From this point, all results and discussion are based Figures 6.3 and 6.4 show the prediction errors (residue) on a neural network with 15-neurons in hidden layer.
and absolute residue respectively. Our discussion will mainly focus on absolute residue.
6.2 Modelling data
Figure 6.2 shows the prediction of neural and linear From Figure 6.4, generally we can say that both neural model compared to actual value of product E and linear models are able to predict the product E concentration accurately where majority absolute residue is below than 1% concentration unit (0.01 on the graph). Visual analysis also shows that neural model gives a better prediction as compared to the linear model. This analysis is verified in Table 6.2, which shows values for 95% percentile of absolute residue in all cases. The neural model has residues of less than 0.91% compared to 1.34% for the linear model on modelling data.
Table 6.2: Absolute residue of the 95% percentile
Figure 6.2: Product E concentration
Figure 6.3: Prediction error (residue)
Figure 6.4: Absolute Prediction error
Technology Cluster: OIL AND GAS
Technology Platform: SYSTEM OPTIMIZATION
6.3 Testing data
model, degradation is been observed. This is verified However, the true performance should be based on by its 95% percentile of absolute residue, as shown in test data. Figure 6.5 shows the absolute residue for Table 6.3. The 95% percentile of absolute residue of neural and linear models on a test data. From neural model on the test data is 1.14%, which slightly observations, the linear model is more robust than the exceeds the performance criteria as stipulated in neural model. Table 6.2 shows that the 95% of absolute section 4.2.
residue of the linear and neural models is less than 1.15% and 2.15% respectively. This clearly shows that Table 6.3: Absolute residue of the revised model at the 95%
the linear model is robust while the neural model is unable to sustain its prediction capability on future It is expected that some characteristics have not been captured by the current input parameters. Thus, there is a need to add more input parameters. Major residue on testing error occurred on day 80 onward. From Based on the test data to measure model performance, input data analysis, it is found that there are significant it is found that the original linear model and the fluctuations on separator pressure 1 during this period.
revised neural model are almost equivalent in From process knowledge, this situation will definitely prediction performance. To evaluate the overall affect the product E concentration in recycle gas.
performance, a comparison of the mean absolute Therefore, separator pressure 1 will be included as residue of the two models using the test data is input parameter.
required, as shown in Table 6.4.
Table 6.4: Mean of Absolute residue
6.4 Revised model
Figure 6.6 shows the absolute residual of revised Mean of Absolute Residue
model on test data.
In comparison with Figure 6.5, which has additional input parameter, an improvement in prediction by the neural model is observed. However, for the linear Figure 6.5: Absolute residual on testing data
Figure 6.6: Absolute residue on testing data (revised NN model)

Technology Platform: SYSTEM OPTIMIZATION
Technology Cluster: OIL AND GAS
From Table 6.4, both models have almost equivalent Abdul Halim S. M. graduated from the
University of Tennessee with B.S. in
performance, where the revised neural model is Chemical Engineering in 1993. He started slightly better with 0.52% of mean of absolute residue.
his career with MTBE/PolypropyleneMalaysia Sdn. Bhd. as a process engineeruntil 1999. He obtained his M.Sc. in Applied For further prediction improvement, it is possible to Process Control from the University of add additional input parameters. However, it must be Newcastle-upon-Tyne in 2000. Since then,he has been lecturing at Universiti Teknologi carefully evaluated since there is a trade-off between PETRONAS (UTP). He is a member of Institution of Engineers prediction improvement and model complexity.
Malaysia and a registered Professional Engineer with the Boardof Engineers Malaysia.
I. Ismail holds an M.Sc. in Control
Engineering (Sheffield, UK) and a B.S. in
Electrical Engineering (Wichita, Kansas) with
Modelling a system to industrial scale needs a good 11 years working experience in Project/ process understanding. This process knowledge is very Maintenance / Technical Services important in selecting the appropriate model input Department as a Project Engineer /Maintenance Engineer / Instrument parameters. Some input variables are related to each Manager serving for PETRONAS Penapisan other, which lead to redundancy and unnecessary (Terengganu) and Ethylene/Polyethylene model complexity. It has been shown that, with (Malaysia). His current position is Electrical Engineering Senior Lecturer at UTP. He is also a member of the combination of process knowledge and proper Institution of Engineers Malaysia and a registered Professional modelling procedure, neural network is able to track Engineer with the Board of Engineers Malaysia.
the product E concentration satisfactorily in recycle M.A. Shafawi obtained a B. Chem. Eng. (Hons) from Universiti
gas in a petrochemical complex .
Teknologi Malaysia in 1995 with 8 years working experience as aprocess engineer in Technical Services Department of MTBEMalaysia Sdn Bhd (MMSB). He was also in the team which was deeply involved in the commissioning of the PropaneDehydrogenation Plant (PDH) in the year 2001. His current Cybenco, G. (1989). Approximations by superpositions of a position is Senior Process Engineer (Advanced Process Control) sigmoidal function, Math. Control Signal & System, Vol 2, pp303- Hornit, K., Stinchombe, M., and White, H. (1989). Multilayerfeedforward networks are universal approximators, NeuralNetworks, Vol 2, pp359-366.
Montague, G., C. Gent, A.J. Morris & J. Buttress (1996) Industrialreactor modeling with artificial neural networks, Trans Inst MC,Vol 18 No 3.
Barry Lennox, Gary A. Montague, Andy M. Frith, Chris Gent andVic Bevan (2001) Industrial application of neural networks –an investigation, Journal of Process Control, Volume 11, Issue 5,October 2001, Pages 497-507 PLATFORM VOLUME THREE NUMBER ONE JANUARY - JUNE 2003
Technology Cluster: OIL AND GAS
Technology Platform: SYSTEM OPTIMIZATION
Debottlenecking of an Existing Fractionation Train
Using the Non-conventional Distillation Columns
Kamarul Ariffin Amminudin
Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS, Bandar Seri Iskandar, 31750 Tronoh, Perak Darul Ridzuan, Malaysia.
Process debottlenecking is a common activity during the plant expansion project. To the operating companies, the biggest issue is how to debottleneck the facilities at a minimum cost without sacrificing the operability and safety aspects. The easiest approach is to develop a parallel process train, which is essentially a duplication of the existing process train at a much lower capacity. Others may involve the revamp of the column internals such as the change to a better type of internals like the advanced trays and structured packings. But too often these options can run into a costly effort and may render the projects uneconomic after all. Do we have other options? This paper will answer the above question by exploring other options to debottleneck the fractionation train.
The paper begins by addressing the issues while carrying out debottlenecking projects such as the need to minimise the use of new equipment, to maximise the use of existing hardware in the existing infrastructure and to reduce the plant downtime. All of these issues will influence our decision to propose the most cost-effective solution to our debottlenecking problems. Hence, in considering these factors, we propose an option that uses a non-conventional distillation column to debottleneck the fractionation system.
The concept of a non-conventional distillation column is not new. Today this type of column has found its application in the petroleum refining, such as the use of side strippers, and the cryogenic air separation, such as the use of side rectifiers. Other forms of these columns such as the prefractionator arrangement, the fully thermally coupled column and the dividing wall column, however, have started to attract the interests of both process designers and operating companies. The justifications for their use have been prompted by the less energy consumption and greater efficiency when compared with the conventional fractionation system.
Thus this paper shows how the benefits of energy saving and efficiency improvements from the non-conventional distillation column system can be translated into a huge debottlenecking opportunity for existing fractionation train. Two case studies will be demonstrated in this paper. These case studies will highlight the issues and opportunities by using such a new fractionation arrangement. The first case study involves the process debottlenecking study of the natural gas liquids (NGL) separation train based on the gas plant in Europe and the second one deals with the feasibility study of the recent project of the PETRONAS Gas Berhad (PGB) GPP-1 rejuvenation and revamp project, which was completed in December 2000.
Keywords: complex columns, process retrofits, prefractionator arrangement
This paper was presented at the First PETRONAS Petrochemical Plant Conference, Kuantan, Malaysia, 28-30 July 2002.
Technology Platform: SYSTEM OPTIMIZATION
Technology Cluster: OIL AND GAS
sitting idle. Obviously, by doing so, we minimize the use of new equipment.
Typically, a debottlenecking project is carried out when • Minimize plant downtime whenever possible.
the plant has been in the operation for almost 2 to 3 • Give top priority on a straightforward and simple years after commissioning. The main objective of the debottlenecking project is to allow more throughputs • Never compromise with safety issues.
to be processed into an existing facility. This is common when the plant is capacity limited to produce more products.
Let us consider an example. The plant is to increase its Depending on the nature of the project, there are two capacity by 20%. It is found that the existing separation major debottlenecking projects. One is the process train has experienced a bottleneck under this new debottlenecking of the separation trains, as in the gas scenario. What are the available options for us to plants (LNG and NGL plants) and the other is the utility debottleneck the separation trains cost effectively? debottlenecking, as in the debottlenecking of the furnace in the crude preheat train system of the crude 1. The quick and easy approach
oil refinery.
This is achieved by creating a duplication of equipment or separation train at a much lower For a given desired increase in capacity, the challenge capacity than the existing ones. But in many cases to the engineers is to debottleneck the existing plant the cost of acquiring such new hardware can be in the most cost effective manner. There are several prohibitively high.
factors that need to be considered: 2. Focusing on the debottlenecking of the column
• Existing infrastructure and equipment, i.e. our investments. The challenge is to exploit the existing This is basically employing the traditional approach to hardware to the maximum possible.
improve the hydraulic performance of the column • Cost implications of doing the project itself.
internals, i.e. to get more hydraulic capacity through • Plant shut down which results in the loss of an existing distillation column. In this case, the objective is to retrofit the column with the internals • Duration of the shutdown itself. How do we plan that allow more vapour or liquid traffic to pass through ourselves to reduce the shutdown period? without the loss of efficiency. In this kind of project, • Attitudes towards change. How can we guarantee one needs to perform a major "surgery" on the existing that the retrofit design is simple and straightforward column to replace the existing internals with the new such that the plant is safe to operate after a one that debottleneck the column. For example, debottlenecking project? advanced trays (Nye Trays and Multiple Downcomer Tray) and structured packings, require the removal of Given all the factors above, the following retrofit the existing tray support rings and the existing strategies for debottlenecking are the key success factors to ensure that the implementation of the project is cost effective: The use of better internals obviously promotes debottlenecking but this is normally achieved at the • Maximize the use of existing hardware. The plant expense of a huge cost. Of concern to us are the costs inherently has a hidden capacity that can be tapped of new types of internals, costs of removing the more readily and if we carry out this exercise existing internals and the opportunity cost of systematically, we may avoid having equipment extensive plant downtime.
Technology Cluster: OIL AND GAS
Technology Platform: SYSTEM OPTIMIZATION
3. Use of the thermal efficiency approach
separation work, resulting in higher energy This approach involves the use of a side reboiler, side condenser, and feed conditioning such as preheater and precooling, to improve the thermal efficiency of To overcome this problem, extra trays or packings are the separation system. Any thermal efficiency required between the side utility exchanger and the improvement made by these units can be translated main utility so that this helps offset the unnecessary into a huge potential for debottlenecking as the liquid increase in energy consumption. Nonetheless, our and vapour loadings are reduced in certain sections concern is the cost implications of acquiring these of the column. For example, a side condenser extra internals.
condenses part of the vapour before it arrives in the main condenser and hence reduces both vapour and INTRODUCTION TO NON-CONVENTIONAL
liquid traffic in the column section between the side DISTILLATION COLUMN SYSTEM
condenser and the main condenser. This effectively debottlenecks the column.
Normally, we deal with a conventional distillation column where we have a single feed with two product However, if the number of stages remains fixed, the stream outlets, namely, the distillates and the bottoms.
use of side condensers or side reboilers always However, anything that does not belong to the single- contributes to a problem of not meeting the original feed and two-product-column system is considered to product specification. This is because the addition of be the non-conventional distillation column, as shown these side utilities reduces the driving force for the in Figure 1.
Figure 1: Typical non-conventional distillation column system available in practice.
Technology Platform: SYSTEM OPTIMIZATION
Technology Cluster: OIL AND GAS
Of interest in Figure 1, the side stripper has been widely prefractionator allows greater freedom to match the used in the crude oil distillation column unit, the column feed composition with the composition in one atmospheric tower and the side rectifier in the of the prefractionator trays. These two major cryogenic air separation units for many years. But improvements can lead to a typical energy saving of today, the least industrially applied system, the fully about 30% compared to the performance of the thermally coupled column, the prefractionator and the conventional distillation column system.
dividing wall column are gaining acceptance in the process industries (Hairston, 1999) even though the Similarly, the fully thermally coupled column has an concept was established some 50 years ago (Brugma, equal energy saving benefit as in prefractionator 1937, 1942).
arrangement. But the former system has a direct mass flow contact and the reboiler of the main column must For example, BASF in Germany has 12 dividing wall supply its vapour to both main and the prefractionator column units currently in operation and they are columns. Such an arrangement may reduce the mainly used to separate mixture of the fine chemical chances for debottlenecking especially in the section products. In 1998, MW Kellogg revamped one of the between the bottom thermal coupling points and the existing distillation column units to become a dividing wall column at the BP Amoco Coryton refinery in Essex, England (MW Kellogg, 1998). Similarly the Sumitomo Thus, to remove this counter productive effect, it is Heavy Industries Co. of Japan also constructed the desirable that some of the heat loads be shifted to the dividing wall column (Parkinson, 1998). UOP, a process prefractionator by a dedicated reboiler. Similarly, some licensor, conducts several feasibility studies on the use of the condenser load needs to be re-distributed to of this type of system in their applications.
Apparently, the process industries are reluctant to apply these types of columns commercially, especially the dividing wall column. The reasons are mainly rooted in the lack of design procedure, fear of problems related to control and operations, and the potential high risks involved in its application.
The major driving force behind the use of the non- conventional column systems such as the prefractionator, the fully thermally coupled column and the dividing wall column is due to energy savings and capital cost saving incentives.
Most of the energy savings in the non-conventional column, as in Figure 2, is attributed to the prefractionator. Here, a major source of separation inefficiency in the conventional column is the remixing effect. A significant reduction of this effect can be achieved by providing a crude split in the prefractionator. In addition, the prefractionator minimizes the mixing losses at the feed tray. This is because the non-sharp separation occurring at the Figure 2: Prefractionator arrangement promotes greater energy
Technology Cluster: OIL AND GAS
Technology Platform: SYSTEM OPTIMIZATION
the prefractionator as well. This makes the use of Figure 5 shows the modifications required to the prefractionator system the most acceptable choice.
existing column system to produce the prefractionator arrangement. It highlights the simplicity involved in CASE STUDY 1 – DEBOTTLENECKING OF NGL
achieving such a design. The original total condenser from the debutanizer can be readily converted into a partial condenser without incurring any substantial This case study focuses on the application of the non- cost. However, it is expected that more pipe work conventional distillation column system in a retrofit would be needed due to the re-arrangement of the of an existing NGL separation train (Lestak and Collins, columns. Pipe work is needed for new streams such 1997). The objective is to increase the capacity of the as the connection between the new bottom stream train by 20%. Figure 3 illustrates the existing of the debutanizer and the deisobutanizer, and to re- separation train and its current operating conditions.
route the feed and product streams to the deisobutanizer. In addition, a new side draw product However, at a much higher production rate, the train stream to yield the nC4 product will be needed from is experiences bottleneck as shown in the shaded the deisobutanizer. The pipework costs depend region of Figure 4.
heavily on the layout constraints that exist in the plant.
Two debottlenecking options are proposed. Option 1 Unlike the two columns, the depropanizer will be involves the use of prefractionator system and Option debottlenecked by using a conventional approach of 2 considers the use of fully thermally coupled column revamping the internals and improving the thermal system, as shown in Figures 5 and 6 respectively.
Figure 3: A simplified flowsheet of the existing NGL separation train
Technology Platform: SYSTEM OPTIMIZATION
Technology Cluster: OIL AND GAS
Figure 4: Significant column bottlenecks occur here especially that involves deisobutanizer.
Figure 5: Prefractionator system that links both debutanizer and deisobutanizer
Technology Cluster: OIL AND GAS
Technology Platform: SYSTEM OPTIMIZATION
Figure 6: The reboiler from the deisobutanizer supplies the heat load for both columns
Figure 6 indicates more pipe work modifications are needed to implement the fully thermally column system. The pipe work modifications are primarily needed to create the thermal coupling connections between the debutanizer and the deisobutanizer. As a result, the condenser and the reboiler from the debutanizer are bypassed. Furthermore, as the load is now shifted to the deisobutanizer, this debottlenecking option may be more restricted as compared to the prefractionator arrangement option.
In this case, the reboiler and condenser may need additional heat exchanger areas.
Figure 7 demonstrates the hydraulic performance profile for the deisobutanizer in option 1 Figure 7: Deisobutanizer capacity is well below the flooding
(prefractionator system). It shows the system results in a better capacity improvement as compared to the fully thermally coupled column system, as seen in Figure 8. This confirms that the prefractionator system, separation train compared with the fully thermally which provides load distribution between the two coupled column system.
reboilers, offers greater additional capacity to the VOLUME THREE NUMBER ONE JANUARY - JUNE 2003 PLATFORM
Technology Platform: SYSTEM OPTIMIZATION
Technology Cluster: OIL AND GAS
Its objective is to use the concept of non-conventional column system into the existing GPP-1 LPGU separation train.
Figure 9 illustrates the simplified GPP-1 LPGU/PRU separation train with its operating conditions. The debutanizer and the depropanizer were chosen for the application of non-conventional distillation columns.
Since the depropanizer has a higher operating pressure than the debutanizer, it is practical to designate the depropanizer as a prefractionator. But to achieve this in practice, significant pipe work modifications will be required and the retrofit project Figure 8: The deisobutanizer for the fully thermally coupled
may be costly . Figure 10 demonstrates some of the column is capacity limited.
concerns raised in a proposed prefractionator option.
This clearly demonstrates that the prefractionator OPPORTUNITIES FOR GPP-1 LPGU/PRU
system is not always suitable for applications in the debottlenecking projects as it may render the whole project uneconomical. There will be additional cost This feasibility study was carried out in August 2000 implications as more constraints arise. Moreover, the as part of the GPP-1 rejuvenation and revamp project.
operational constraints of the existing separation train Figure 9: Existing separation train for GPP-1 LPGU/PRU shows a much higher operating pressure for depropanizer than that in the
Technology Cluster: OIL AND GAS
Technology Platform: SYSTEM OPTIMIZATION
Figure 10: Constraints on the column pressure at A102 severely limits the air fan cooler reusability.
limit the maximum use of existing hardware. This is • The potential benefits derived from the non- indeed undesirable. Thus the prefractionator system conventional distillation columns cannot be ignored.
is not recommended for GPP-1 separation train.
• In particular, prefractionator system promotes The application of the prefractionator arrangement • Not all applications are suitable for non-conventional has started to attract many oil and gas companies. For column system.
example, AspenTech in the UK carried out a feasibility study project on the debottlenecking study using this type of columns for a petrochemical company.
The author would like to express his appreciation to both OGPT Similarly, a UK chemical company has also evaluated and PGB for allowing some of the work here to be presented in this kind of non-conventional applications. Future this conference.
applications may be seen in LNG plants where the intention is to reduce energy consumption.
Lestak, F.; Collins, C., "Advanced Distillation Saves Energy and The following conclusions can be made: Capital", Chem. Eng., July 1997, p72-76.
Amminudin, K.A.; Smith, R., "Design and Optimization of Fully • Non-conventional distillation columns have more to Thermally Coupled Distillation Columns – Part 2: Application offer for process debottlenecking purposes.
of Dividing Wall Columns in Retrofit", Trans IChemE, vol 79, PartA, Oct 2001, p 716-724.

Technology Platform: SYSTEM OPTIMIZATION
Technology Cluster: OIL AND GAS
Hairston, D.; "The Divide in Distillation", Chem Eng., April 1999, Kamarul Ariffin Amminudin earned his
Ph.D. in the area of Process Integration fromthe University of Manchester Institute of Brugma, A.J., Dutch patent no. 41850, Oct 1937 and US patent Science and Technology, England. He is a 2295256, Sept 8, 1942.
senior lecturer for the chemical engineeringprogram at UTP. His expertise is in the area Watkins, R.N.; "Petroleum Refinery Distillation", 2nd ed., Gulf of process integration, pinch analysis, Publishing, Houston, Texas, 1979.
process retrofit and wastewaterminimization. He has published his work in Massimo and Pat, UOP, personal communication, UMIST, journals in the area of complex columns and Manchester, England, 1997.
process debottlenecking. Recently, he published an article aboutpinch analysis application in the process industry for energy M.W. Kellogg Limited press release, 11 Sept 1998., M.W. Kellogg saving measures in the bulletin of the Institution of Engineers Ltd, Middlesex, England.
Malaysia. He was the consultant for several multinationalcompanies such as AspenTech, ICI, BP Amoco and MW Kellogg Parkinson, G.; ed, "Chementator", Chem Eng., July 1998, p 21- while work ing for his Ph.D. degree, especially providing professional advice for separation system processdebottlenecking. In Malaysia, he was involved in a project withOGPT Technical Services (M) Sdn. Bhd. for the PETRONAS GasBerhad GPP-1 separation systems. Currently, he is helping toformulate water minimization strategies, together with PETRONASResearch Scientific Services Sdn Bhd, for PETRONAS Penapisan(Melaka) Sdn Bhd.
He is currently a Corporate Member of the Institution of EngineersMalaysia and a member of the American Institute of ChemicalEngineers.
Technology Platform: SMART CARD TECHNOLOGY
Face Recognition For Mykad Security
Ahmad Fadzil M. H. and Irfan A. R.
University Teknologi PETRONAS, Bandar Seri Iskandar, 31750 Tronoh, Perak Darul Ridzuan, Malaysia.
The application of smart card has been significant during the past few years such as with the introduction of the MyKad and the replacement of magnetic stripes ATM card to smart card. The objective of the project is to design a face recognition system to be incorporated into MyKad for user identification purposes. The system involves two security levels whereby the first level involves the Personal Identification Number (PIN) verification that is stored in the MyKad/Smart Card. The secondary security level uses the face recognition system to confirm the actual owner is seeking authorization. The user's face will be acquired using a digital camera that is interfaced into the computer using a TV Capture Card. The face recognition algorithm was developed using Neural Networks based on a variation in the backpropagation algorithm that is the Fletcher-Reeves method. The neural networks consist of 600 input nodes, 10 hidden nodes and 1 output node. The number of hidden nodes selected varies with test subject. The neural networks were trained to identify two classes of faces, which are the authorized faces acquired from the digital camera, and the non-authorized faces gathered from the FERET Database. The neural networks were tested and produced a performance between the range of 90-100% acceptance for the authorized face and rejection for the non-authorized faces.
Keywords: face recognition, smart card, neural networks.
person's pose, perspective angle and expression.
Neural networks can be used to implement face Biometrics can be defined as a biological recognition [1, 2, 3, 4, 5].
measurement of the human features that is to characterize an individual. Among the techniques of The main goal of this work is to design a face Biometrics employed in the society include the retinal recognition system that will be incorporated into the scans, fingerprints verification, face recognition and smart card to emulate the application of MyKad. The system is implemented by creating two-protection layer for the Smart Card/MyKad. The first layer will One of the most widely researched biometrics involve the PIN verification mechanism that will be applications is the face recognition. Face recognition supported by the face recognition scheme in the is the process of recognizing the owner of the secondary level. By assigning these two protection presented face. Recognition of faces is a complex layers into the Smart Card, the level of security may be problem due to the dependencies of the image on the The paper was presented at the Malaysia-Japan Seminar on Artificial Intelligence Application in Industry (AIAI 2003), Kuala Lumpur, 24-25 June 2003.
Technology Platform: SMART CARD TECHNOLOGY
matrix reshaping, input normalization, and training Figure 1 shows the flowchart of the overall working principle of the system.
In order to train the neural networks face samples are required. The authorized face is taken in ten different poses. This ten poses is then taken three times at different time in order to increase the number of face samples. The images are taken using a digital camera with a resolution of 1.3 megapixels via a TV Capture Card that is interfaced with a computer. Ensuring that the distance between the camera and the test subject is maintained at constant value also standardizes the size of the faces. The ten poses are as follows 2) Normal with Smile 3) Upward by 20°4) Upward by 20° with Smile5) Downward by 20°6) Downward by 20° with Smile7) Left by 20°8) Left by 20° with Smile9) Right by 20° Figure 1: Flow Chart of Security System
10) Right by 20° with Smile The image captured using a digital camera is in the The overall system starts whenever a person inserts format of RGB colour images. An RGB format images his/her MyKad into the card terminal. The person will corresponds to an array of the size m x n x 3 whereby then be prompted to insert his/her PIN number as the m and n is the size of the image pixels. In order to
first layer of security for the system. The system will reduce the data, images are converted to greyscale then compare the PIN number inserted by the user (Matlab function ‘RGB2GRAY'). An area of interest from with the stored number in the Smart Card for the faces is extracted by cropping the face images. The verification and authentication. If the user enters the two eyes from the images are used as the pointer for wrong PIN number the system will prompt the user to setting the region of interest for the faces. The area of either re-enter the PIN number or to exit the system.
interest was standardized to the size of 240 x 160 After the PIN number is verified the system will load the neural data stored in the smart card into the system. The neural data will then be used to generate In order to reduce of input nodes of the neural a specific neural network that will perform the networks a reduction in the image size is necessary. A recognition process. The neural data that will be technique called pixel averaging was used in the work loaded into the smart card is the Input Weight, Layer in order to reduce the size of the face images. In this Weight, Layer Bias and Output Bias.
technique 4 pixels from the original image is taken and averaged to form the new value of the pixel. This The process of designing the face recognition technique is repeated for consecutive level until the algorithm involves the process of image acquisition, next level of averaging will cause the reduce face colour transformation, image rotation, image resizing, PLATFORM VOLUME THREE NUMBER ONE JANUARY - JUNE 2003
Technology Platform: SMART CARD TECHNOLOGY
image to lose its salient features. After experimenting, normalization of the input is performed by the level 3 was found to be the maximum level of following algorithm which was proposed by [3].
averaging to sufficiently recognize a person face. The reduce size of the images is of the size 30 x 20 pixels.
Yi,j = Xi,j Ð 127 Figure 2 illustrates the specified technique.
Where Xi,,j is the pixel value on row i and column j ofthe image Yi,j is the pixel value which is between -127 and 127 Figur Pixels
e 2: Pixel Averaging
L is the vector length of the image Zi,j is the normalized value between -1 and 1 The next step of processing required to be implemented on the reduced image is to change the In order to use the FERET database for training the 2 dimensional array of the images into a vector (1 neural networks, the image provided by the database dimensional array). (see Matlab function ‘RESHAPE') must be firstly standardized in order to create a more This transformation is necessary as the multilayer uniform training specimen in addition to the images peceptron is only capable of accepting vectors as its captured using the digital camera. Two properties were addressed in this process; the head size standardization and the lighting adjustment. In order The value of the pixels varies from 0 to 255. In order to to standardize the face database to match the images use a hypertangent function in the neural network the captured using the digital camera. This is done by vector input is required to be normalized between the manually cropping the face images from the FERET value of -1 and 1. This is because the hypertangent database without any size standard imposed in the function is only sensitive to changes when presented cropping process. The image is then resized to the with an input value between -1 and 1. Any value that size of 240 x 160 pixels (Matlab function ‘IMRESIZE').
resides outside this region will be truncated and thus The face size is then reduced to the size of the 30 x 20 causing information loss. The function of the pixels using pixel averaging as been discussed. Due hypertangent is given by to the lighting variations in the face images a lighting adjustment is required to be implemented on the FERET database. It was found that the average value of the image captured using the digital camera ranges from 85 and 252 therefore the pixel value in the FERET database was linearly adjusted to be between this where x is the input value of the function range (Matlab function ‘IMADJUST').
Therefore this value is required to be normalized In order to create face recognition based on neural before presenting it into the neural networks. The network, a neural network was previously trained using VOLUME THREE NUMBER ONE JANUARY - JUNE 2003 PLATFORM
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the authorized and nonauthorized faces. A three layer The smart card program was written using Visual Basic feed forward neural network has been implemented 6. The functions that were previously implemented in consisting of 600 neurons 10 hidden layer and 1 MATLAB will be performed under the Visual Basic neuron in the output layer. The activation function platform. This is done by converting the m-file created that was used in both layers is the hypertangent into a DLL files which can be readily integrated into function with outputs between -1 and 1. The training any COM available application. The conversion is algorithm that was used is a variation of the implemented using the MATLAB COM Builder.
backpropagation algorithm that is the Fletcher-Reeves method based on the conjugate gradient. In the 3. RESULTS & DISCUSSION
conjugate gradient algorithms a search is performed along the conjugate directions of the gradient, which Figure 3 shows the cropped and resized image of produces generally faster convergence than steepest the test subject.
descent directions. The weight and bias is initialized using the Nguyen & Widrow method.
A problem which might arise is the overfitting the neural networks. This occurs when the neural network has been extensively trained using the training subject.
Unfortunately when the neural network is presented with a new set of data, the neural network will not be able to produce the targeted value for the test subject.
This is because the error in the training data has been Figure 3: Reduced Images
driven to a very small value making the neural network too exclusive for the training data without the capability to generalize for new unseen data. In order The decision of the neural network architecture was to prevent the case of overfitting in the neural network, based on a few factors. The number of the input nodes a technique called early stopping has been is determined by the size of face image that have been implemented. In this method the available data is reduced to 30 by 20 pixels. The number of the divided into 3 subsets of data; training data, validation optimum hidden nodes is determined by the lowest data and test data. The training data is used to train mean square error (mse) generated by the test data the data as required in any normal neural network in and training data. The mean square error of the test order to enable the neural network to identify the data is computed by the following formula.
pattern of the training data. The validation data is used for monitoring the error made by the neural network during the training process. When the neural network starts to overfit the data this will cause the error in the validation data to rise and after a specified number of iterations, the training is stopped, and the weights and As can be seen from Figure 4, the minimum number biases at the minimum of the validation error are taken.
of mse occurs when the value of hidden nodes is equal The test data will also be used to determine the to 10, 15 and 17. In order to reduce the number of optimum number of hidden nodes required for weights generated in the neural network, the particular neural networks. Finding the error minimum number of the hidden nodes used is 10.
produced by the neural networks when simulated using the test data does this.
The total input weight is obtained by multiplying the number of hidden nodes with in the number of input PLATFORM VOLUME THREE NUMBER ONE JANUARY - JUNE 2003
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The validation curve actually follows the training curve that indicates a good correlation between the training and validation data. This usually happens when there are a good distribution data between the training and the validation data.
The output from the neural network is thresholded so that any output which is greater than 0.75 is considered 1 and any value that is smaller than -0.75 is considered as -1 and any output that is located between -0.75 and 0.75 is considered as undefined Figure 4: Performance of Training & Test Data
It was also found that different authorized faces require different number of hidden nodes. The number of nodes which in this case is 600 x 10 = 6000 elements.
hidden nodes is determined based on the same Each element requires a storage capacity of 8 bytes or method as described earlier. This is due to the fact that 64 bits (double datatype). This will cause the system different faces will eventually reside at certain region to consume a total storage of 8 x 6000 = 48000 bytes that might be different from the other authorized faces.
or 48 kbytes in order to store the input weight in the The optimum number of hidden nodes for a particular face will eventually differs at different iteration. This is fully understood as the initialization function that is The system was then again trained using 10 hidden based on the Nguyen Widrow method randomises the nodes and the performance curve is observed. Figure initial weight, which will affect the convergence of the 5 shows the performance curve of the neural networks neural networks to the targeted value.
training process.
The different success rate for different authorized faces There are three distinct curves, which is which are the is due to the fact that some of the authorized face training curve, validation curve and the test curve. It might have a high degree of similarity between the can be seen that the training curve performance non-authorized faces. If this condition occurs this will reaches a value of mse which is lower than the goal of cause some difficulties to the neural networks to the training which is set at 1e-5.
establish the separation boundary between the authorized and non authorized faces. Therefore in order to improve the performance of this authorized faces a higher number of sample faces has to be gathered in order for the neural networks to better classify the two classes. Figure 6 shows a chart indicating the success rate for three different authorized faces.
In order to integrate processing scheme, which was implemented using MATLAB into the Visual Basic environment a DLL extension file was created from the m-file. This is done in order to liberate the system from being processed using MATLAB and thus can operate Figure 5: Neural networks performance curves
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independently without the use of MATLAB analysis tools. Figure 7 shows the implementation of rotating an image in Visual Basic that was based from the A face recognition system based on neural networks function ‘IMROTATE' created in MATLAB.
has been successfully implemented. The process of training the face samples involves the procedure of transforming the coloured images, reducing the size and normalizing the pixel value.
In order to prevent overfitting the neural networks, a method of early stopping was employed in the system whereby three subsets of data is used in this technique namely the training data, validation data and test data.
This technique will also reduce the necessary training data that is required to be presented into the neural The optimum number of hidden nodes is determined Figure 6: Overall Test Data for 3 Authorized faces
by finding the lowest mean square error given by the neural networks on the test data that was presented to the neural networks. The different number of hidden nodes for different test subject is due to the poor generalization of the available data towards certain faces.
By employing the early stopping method and using the optimum number of hidden nodes we were able to achieve an efficient face recognition system with a high recognition rate.
Further study should be conducted in the area of reducing the storage capacity required by the neural networks in the smart card in order to fully integrate the face recognition system in the smart card.
Kingston Sew Eng Hock. 1994. Pemprosesan Imej: RangkaianNeural untuk Pengecaman Muka, B.Sc. Dissertation, UniversitiSains Malaysia, Malaysia.
Kong Peng Yong. 1995. Sistem Pengecaman Muka BerasaskanRangkaian Neural dan Kad Cerdik, B.Sc. Dissertation, UniversitiSains Malaysia, Malaysia Figure 7: Rotating an Image
Abu Bakar Hassan. 1994. Human Face Recognition System basedon Neural Networks, M.Sc. Dissertation, Universiti SainsMalaysia, Malaysia PLATFORM VOLUME THREE NUMBER ONE JANUARY - JUNE 2003
Technology Platform: SMART CARD TECHNOLOGY
Lim Cheah Choon. 1996. Pemproses Imej : Sistem PengecamMuka Berdasarkan Kecirian Muka, B.Sc. Dissertation, UniversitiSains Malaysia, Malaysia.
Henry A. Rowley, Shumeet Baluja & Takeo Kanade, 1998,"Neural Network-Based Face Detection," Transaction on PatternAnalysis and Machine Intelligence 20(1) : 23 - 38 Anil Jain, Ruud Bolle and Sharath Pankanti. 1999. BiometricsPersonal Identification in Networked Society, Massachusetts,USA, Kluwer Academic Publishers.
Shaogang Gong, Stephen J McKenna, Alexandra Psarrou. 2000.
Dynamic Vision : From Images to Face Recognition, London UK,Imperial College Press.
Laurene Fausett. 1994. Fundamentals of Neural NetworksArchitectures, Algorithms, and Applications, New Jersey US,Prentice-Hall, Inc.
Ahmad Fadzil M.H. graduated in 1983 from
the University of Essex, UK with an Honours
B.Sc. degree in Electronic Engineering. He
completed his M.Sc. in Telematics in 1984
and Ph.D. in Image Processing in 1991 at the
same university.
He has been a Lecturer in Signal Processingand Researcher in Image Processing at Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) since 1984. Between 1988-91, heserved at University of Essex, UK initially as a Senior ResearchOfficer in Image Processing and subsequently as a Lecturer. Onhis return to Malaysia, he was made Dean of the School of Electrical& Electronic Engineering at USM from 1992-96. In 1997, hebecame the founding Dean of the Engineering Faculty at thenewly established UTP. He became the Director of AcademicStudies at the university in 1999. Currently, he is the Director ofPostgraduate Studies, a position he assumed in 2003.
Dr Ahmad Fadzil is a Fellow and a Council Member of the Figure 8: Sample faces at different poses
Institution of Engineers, Malaysia. He is a registered ProfessionalEngineer with the Board of Engineers, Malaysia. He is also aMember of the IEEE, USA. His research interests include imagecompression and image processing applications in telemedicineand artificial intelligence.
Technology Platform: SMART CARD TECHNOLOGY
Enhancing Design Criteria For Novice Virtual Environment
Designers Through The Identification Of Usability Problems
Suziah Sulaiman and Rohiza Ahmad
Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS Bandar Seri Iskandar, 31750 Tronoh, Perak Darul Ridzuan, Malaysia.
In this paper we investigate common problems made by novice designers in their virtual environment (VE) designs. Our aim through this study is to alleviate some of the problems encountered by novice designers in their attempts to design and implement their first VEs. The investigation involves the application of usability evaluation techniques as used in Human-Computer Interaction (HCI). Some existing guidelines in VE design are used as a basis for the preliminary work. In our work, we rank usability problems according to how serious they are in the design process. Then, based on this ranking we suggest a set of candidate's criteria for VE design meant specifically for novice designers. The findings from this study highlight the importance of these existing guidelines and the need to modify some of them to suit the requirements of novice designers.
Keywords: human-computer interaction (HCI), usability evaluation, virtual reality (VR), virtual environment (VE)
expertise [4]. To instil the usability elements as part of the design poses another big challenge especially to Designing effective and usable content of a virtual novice VE designers. The question of how we inform environment (VE) is becoming increasingly important novice designers to incorporate usability in their with the proliferation of many applications in real- design is an issue to be discussed.
world visualisation. It is essential to look at the usability of the VE application design as not to get users This paper identifies common problems made by frustrated when exploring the environment. Much novice designers in their VE design. The intention is to groundwork in the domain of evaluating VE guide designers not to repeat the same mistakes again.
application starts from the traditional human- The investigation is extended to ranking the usability computer interface usability [3,5,6]. Applying Human- problems based on how critical or serious they are in Computer Interaction (HCI) concepts which the VE design process.
encompass notions from inter-related fields enable one to obtain the immersive feeling in the VE 2. BACKGROUND OF STUDY
In designing an effective VE application, there are many Usability issues are concerned with obtaining products factors that need to be considered. These factors which are user friendly or easy to use. International include the technology used, the time, the cost and Standards Organisation (ISO) defines usability as ‘…the This paper was presented at the International Conference on Engineering Education, UMIST, United Kingdom, August 18-21, 2002.
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effectiveness, efficiency and satisfaction with which In conducting usability evaluation, there are no single specified users can achieve specified goals in particular techniques which could capture all usability problems.
environments' (ISO DIS 9241-11). Designing for Often, combination of techniques proves to be usability takes into consideration elements which beneficial [12]. However, at times, a ‘quick and dirty' include specifying user characteristics, requirements technique is required in order to obtain a fast feedback capture, usability specification and iterative design and while maintaining the quality. Usability inspection prototyping [8]. The integration of usability in design techniques which include heuristic evaluation meet will result in acceptance of the system by the users as this requirement and are reported to be cost-effective reported in many success cases (e.g. [13]).
[11]. Heuristics evaluation conducted by 5 experts could capture 75% of the usability problems [10].
Evaluation techniques as used in the area of Human- Many researchers (e.g. [9]) have applied this result to Computer Interaction (HCI) could be applied to virtual their work and reported the same findings in terms of reality (VR) especially in designing effective virtual the number of experts and usability problems found.
environment. Adopting matured techniques from Reference [9] reported that experienced and novice other disciplines to VR could accelerate the usability specialists differ in terms of judgement in development of virtual environment (VE). This is evaluating a graphical user interface. The experienced necessary as a VE is difficult to design and use [14]. VE evaluators were able to use the knowledge of previous systems differ from previously computer-centred user testing results and the knowledge of similar systems in the extent to which real-time interaction is designs to identify problems which were missed by facilitated. In terms of characteristics, VE systems the novices.
require a 3-D visual space, a multi-modal interface and an immersive environment [1]. These characteristics are not required by other computer-centred systems as they could be displayed on 2-D. Real-time interactions, which may lead to users' immersive In our work, we replicate Lee et al.'s [9] and Nielsen [10] feelings, are not necessary too. One possible way to heuristics evaluation approach. Using these facilitate development of a VE is through an approaches, we meant: enhancement on the evaluation technique. Evaluation • to identify common problems/ mistakes made by activity as described in the Star Life Cycle [7] is central novice designers, and to the whole design process. Feedback received from • to rank the problems accordingly using Nielsen's [10] the evaluation process is used to inform the design approach to decide how critical the problems are in team about how well the proposed design fits the needs of users.
3.1 Subjects
Reference [2] has formulated some guidelines for Five usability experts who are members of staff at evaluating usability of a VE based on HCI. The purpose Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS were selected for this of her guidelines is to advise developers when study. An ‘expert' is defined to be someone who had designing VE. These guidelines contain elements to three or more years of experience evaluating students' be considered when designing the objects, user projects. All usability experts chosen have a actions and system control of a VE. Reference [5] took background in either computer science and/ or IT a user-centred design and evaluation approach in ensuring the usability of their virtual environments.
Their technique is based on user task analysis, expert guidelines-based evaluation, formative and A training document was created for the guidelines described in Deol [2]. This document describes the VOLUME THREE NUMBER ONE JANUARY - JUNE 2003 PLATFORM
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guidelines and provides examples for each. Three major problem by the evaluator as it could hinder users small VE applications developed by final year IT from achieving immersive feeling in the virtual students were selected. This selection was based on environment. All usability problems were compiled their scores obtained during an exhibition on campus and checked for any similarities among them.
during the semester.
Problems which are of the same nature, i.e. sharing a common theme/area are grouped together. From a Guidelines developed by Deol [2] which are used total of 48 usability problems in Table 1, we have during the evaluation, specify ways to design objects, identified only 9 groups of usability problems. These how to control them and their interactions in the groups of usability problems (in random order) are: environment. These guidelines serve as useful objects should look real; objects should behave checklist to designers in ensuring the usability of the naturally like in real world; objects should be easy to design. They also provide a basis for encouraging distinguish; interactions should follow real world usability earlier in the development lifecycle.
convention; allow users to be in control of the application; allow easy navigation as in normal real world; allow users to move freely in the environment; 3.3 Design and Procedure
objects should have correct scale as in real world; All five expert evaluators went through the following purpose of objects and environment should be made • Answer a questionnaire about their background • Learn about the guidelines Table 1: Total number of usability problems found by each
• Evaluate the VE applications Evaluators were tested individually. They were asked to think aloud as they carried out the task and were prompted to continue thinking aloud when they fell silent. Evaluators were given a maximum time limit of 1 hour to complete the evaluation. They were encouraged to use all their time even if they had finished early. During the evaluation, evaluators were asked to describe any problems encountered and recommend a possible solution. Their feedback was recorded on hardcopy forms. They were asked to use the guidelines to assist them in identifying those 4.2 Ranking the usability problems
We presented the 9 groups of usability problems noted in the previous section to the same evaluators where 4. DATA ANALYSIS
they have a joint discussion. This activity is part of heuristics evaluation developed by Nielsen [10] which 4.1 Compilation of usability problems
is used in Lee et al.'s [9]. The objective of this discussion All usability problems reported by evaluators were first is to gain consensus among all the five evaluators on analysed by the authors. (A complete listing of the findings that we have compiled. It should be noted usability problem reported by individual evaluators is that the authors only took the facilitators role and were included in Appendix 1.) The process started with not part of this discussion. During the discussion, the counting the total number of usability problems evaluators reviewed the compiled usability problems identified by each evaluator. This is shown in Table 1.
(those performed by the authors) and suggested that Each usability problem reported is considered as a some of the groups could be combined as they are PLATFORM VOLUME THREE NUMBER ONE JANUARY - JUNE 2003
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related. This has reduced the groups of usability Navigations are made easy, as users are able to move problems from 9 to 6 only. Each evaluator was asked freely in the environment. This co-relates with our to rank these 6 new groups on the basis of how critical human characteristics which have been applied in they are in terms of the effect they may have on virtual reality such as viewpoint, navigation, reducing the usability in VE design. A rating scale of 1 manipulation and immersion. The ability to access the to 5 was used in which 1 means less critical and 5 environment without restraints could then assist users means most critical. The average score given by all in achieving the main objective of VE design which is evaluators for each problem group was calculated and the immersive feeling. Evaluators further suggested is presented in Table 2.
that for smooth navigation, there should be indicators to notify the users that certain areas should be Table 2: Ranking of usability problems
restricted. As an example, mouse cursors changed when user collides with objects such as walls or trees.
Usability problem groups
From the findings, evaluators have pointed out that issues in designing VE objects are secondary to Make the purpose of objects interaction. They argued that virtual reality is a and environment clear component of three elements: imagination, Allow users to be in control of interaction and immersiveness. The design of the objects which appear and behave like the conventional situation constitute a step forward Allow easy navigation in which towards achieving the immersive feeling in the VE users could move freely environment. In designing the objects, emphasis (as in real world) should be on 3D modelling which includes lighting, Make objects behave and texture, collision detection, choice of colour and scale.
interact naturally as in These are all important to create the realism aspect in the objects. The behaviour of the objects is another Make objects look real and area that needs to be looked into so that they resemble have correct scale as in or function as closely as possible to those in the real Make objects easy to 5. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
In our last section, we obtained six usability problem Table 2 shows the revised version of these six groups groups, which were derived from the discussion of the of usability problems and how critical they are in the five evaluators in the study. During the study each design. Evaluators pointed out that the most important group was also named accordingly so that these new element in designing VE is the sense of purpose of the groups could match Deol's [2] set of guidelines. Table environment and objects used in it. Users need to 3 shows both Deol's guidelines and our new list of understand the goal and objectives of a particular usability problems. It should be highlighted here again environment. This will give them a mindset of what that Deol's set of guidelines is used in this study as a the environment or objects are trying to imitate or basis to identify our new list of usability problems.
mimic. Once users have realised or understood the environment, it would be easier for them to be in control of the VE application.
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Table 3: Deol's guidelines and our new list of usability problems
Make objects easy to distinguish Make the purpose of objects and environment clear Make objects easy to identify Allow users to be in control of the Make the interactivity and significance of Allow easy navigation in which users could move freely as in real world Make objects easy to access Make objects behave and interact naturally as in real world Make objects look real and have correct scale as in real world DESIGN OF USER ACTIONS
Make objects easy to distinguish Show what actions are available Make the purpose of actions clear Show how to carry out actions Make actions easy to execute Show the effect of completed actions DESIGN OF SYSTEM CONTROL
Show that control has begun or ended Show why control has taken place Show what actions are available during Deol [2] has categorised the guidelines into two: (i) mechanism to advise novice designers in designing Design of Objects and (ii) Design Interaction. Design their first VE application.
Interaction is further segregated into: Design of User Actions and Design of System Control. Each category From Table 3, some observations are made which consists of several criteria. On the other hand, our new findings could strengthened the importance of Deol's list does not have any categories. This list consists of [2] guidelines in system design but at the same time usability problem groups taken from Table 2. It is more needing some adjustment to suit novice designers.
condensed in terms of the number of criteria (group) as compared to that of Deol. Each group is assigned a Overlapping of guidelines
value that indicates how critical the group is in the There appears to be an overlap in some of our groups design. A higher value implies that the usability with Deol's. Our group overlaps with one or more of problem group associated to it should be given more Deol's guidelines as shown in Table 4.
priority when designing VE as compared to those assigned with lower values. This approach could be a PLATFORM VOLUME THREE NUMBER ONE JANUARY - JUNE 2003
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Table 4: Overlapping of guidelines
Table 6: New groups
Our Group
Make objects behave and interact naturally as in Make objects easy to Make objects easy to Make objects look real and have correct scale as in Make the purpose of Make the purpose of environment clear Make the interactivity and significance of In this paper we have highlighted the importance of usability in designing virtual environments (VEs).
Concepts in the matured inter-disciplinary fields of Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) could be applied in VE design. This paper raises the question of how we • Addressing a more higher level issues
inculcate and assist young and creative novice Some of our usability problem groups seem to be designers so that they could integrate usability as early addressing a more higher level issues when compared as possible in their development cycle. The approach to Deol's. A combination of more than one criterion in taken in this investigation is by identifying common Deol's could be a subset of our group. This is shown in mistakes made by novice designers. The set of problem groups identified and discussed in this paper were converted to a set of "good design guidelines" • Identification of new groups
for novice users. These guidelines will hopefully There are two other groups identified in our list that eliminate the occurrence of common mistakes the are different from Deol. These groups may seem trivial future designs of VE.
but could be useful especially for beginners in order to guide them in designing appropriate object These new guidelines include making the purpose of modelling which resembles the real world. The new objects and environment clear; allowing users to be groups are shown in Table 6.
Table 5: Addressing higher level issues
Our Group
Allow users to be in control of the application Show that control has begun or ended Show why control has taken place Allow easy navigation in which users could Show what actions are available move freely as in real world Make the purpose of actions clear Show how to carry out actions Make actions easy to execute Show the effect of completed actions Show that control has begun or ended Show why control has taken place Show what actions are available during control VOLUME THREE NUMBER ONE JANUARY - JUNE 2003 PLATFORM
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in control of the application; allowing easy navigation Lee W.O., Dye K. and Airth D. (1995), Evaluating DesignSpecifications Using Heuristic Evaluation, In Human-Computer in which users could move freely as in the real world; Interaction, Interact '95, Norby K., Helmersen P.H., Gilmore D.J.
making objects behave and interact naturally as in the and Arnesen S.A. (eds.), Chapman & Hall real world; making objects look real and have correct [10] Nielsen J. (1993), Usability Engineering, Academic Press scale as in the real world; making objects easy to distinguish. In this, we have emphasized the [11] Nielsen J. (1994), Guerrilla HCI: Using Discount Usability Engineering to Penetrate the Intimidation Barrier, In Cost- importance of existing guidelines in VE design. We Justifying Usability, Bias R.G. and Mayhew D.J. (eds.), Academic believe that this additional new set of criteria will help novice designers to focus even more on ensuring [12] Preece J., Rogers Y., Sharp H., Benyon D., Holland S. and Carey T.
usability when building new VEs. This investigation has (1994), Human-Computer Interaction, Addison-Wesley also laid some groundwork for future research on [13] Preece J., Rogers Y. and Sharp H. (2002), Interaction Design: usability issues in the design of VEs.
Beyond Human-Computer Interaction, John Wiley & Sons [14] Vince (1995), Virtual Reality Systems, Addison-Wesley Banerjee P. and Zetu D. (2001), Virtual Manufacturing, John Wiley & Sons, Inc The authors would like to thank Dr. Mohamed Benbrahim, Dr. Abas Deol K.K. (1998), "Designing Virtual Environments for Usability", Md. Said and Mr. Halabi Hasbullah for their contributions to the URL: dj524/kully.html [accessed early drafts of this paper. Also thank you to all evaluators who 15th November 2001] took part in this study and all students taking the VR course duringJune 2001 and January 2002 sessions at UTP.
Deol K.K., Sutcliffe A., Maiden N. (1999), A design advice toolpresenting usability guidance for virtual environments. Paperpresented at the Workshop on User Centred Design andImplementation of Virtual Environments, York, UK, September Suziah Sulaiman received her M.Phil. degree in Human Factors
in Computing from South Bank University, London, in 1998. Shejoined UTP as an IT/IS lecturer in July 1998. Among her research Earnshaw R.A., Vince J.A., Jones H. (1995), Virtual Reality interests include human computer interaction, virtual Applications, Academic Press Limited environment and haptic interactions. Currently, she is pursuingher Ph.D. studies at University College, London.
Gabbard J.L., Hix D., Edward Swan II, J. (1999), User-CentredDesign and Evaluation of Virtual Environments, IEEE Computer Rohiza Ahmad received her M.S. degree in
Graphics and Applications Computer Science from the University ofNorth Texas, U.S.A. in 1989. She is currently Hix D., Edward Swan II J., Gabbard J.L., McGee M., Durbin J., a lecturer in the IT/IS program at UTP. Earlier, King T. (1999), User-Centred Design and Evaluation of a Real- she held lecturing positions at various Time Battlefield Visualisation Virtual Environment, IEEE higher institutions in Malaysia includingUniversiti Teknologi MARA, Kolej Yayasan Hix D. and Hartson H.R. (1993), Developing User Interfaces: Pelajaran MARA and the Sepang Institute of Ensuring Usability Through Product and Process. New York: Technology. Her main interests are in the areas of educational technology, databasedevelopment and applied object-oriented Jordan P.W. (1998), An Introduction to Usability, Taylor & Francis PLATFORM VOLUME THREE NUMBER ONE JANUARY - JUNE 2003
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Hit No. Usability problems
Hit No. Usability problems
Objects are easy to distinguish but they do Some objects could not be distinguished/ not look so real. Adding shadow to object identified e.g. windows can make them real.
Effects of lighting should be considered.
Can walk through walls! Some chairs are too affected by lights, Colour of the objects are too bright Consider the use of white colour as "wall" Shelves and cabinet are not easy to Navigation is not easy. User does not know the restricted area to navigate. There No interactivity e.g. water running from should be some indicators whereby the user should be notified with. For example, No indication to show that control has the mouse cursors should be changed when the user collides with the restricted Objects are not easy to distinguish area such as walls, trees Objects in the water are not easy to Some objects could not be distinguished.
For example, windows and doors. It should be designed distinctively with respect to Texture of the grass is not real the textures and shapes The movement of objects – some objects A small movement of the mouse make the in the application move rapidly for entire environment move example the canoe and the butterfly. These User has less control on the mouse objects seem to move at specific location and continuously without having any The landscape texture and design should be improved in the sense that: the design should be made with less slopes and curves make it more horizontal the structure of the building must be straight with the structure of the land Scale in comparison with the real world.
Objects should be scaled comparatively with the real world VOLUME THREE NUMBER ONE JANUARY - JUNE 2003 PLATFORM
Technology Platform: SMART CARD TECHNOLOGY
Hit No. Usability problems
Hit No. Usability problems
Objects are not easily accessed and Objects are easy to identify but difficult to navigate, there are no doors or exit to distinguish when focus to a particular enter into the building Difficult to walk around the environment Separation between wall and floor is not smooth (We can see the separated line) The objects are not real (without any No interactivity – switch button to on/off the light does not work Click on the mouse, sometimes makes Selection of shape used – sometime it is movement forward and backward not suitable e.g. tree Some objects are not easily distinguished Combination between 2 objects are not well organised (we can see the space, it is Does not have precise navigation/ movement by the mouse – users cannot navigate through the environment as No interactivity. Should have a sun to show the shadow of the object Movements are too fast and unpredictable Objects are not real – esp trees, canoes, butterfly (not easily identified) Does not show the motives of the Hit No. Usability problems
The interactivities assigned to the objects are not intuitive (e.g. click on the door – Walls are not easy to distinguish result: viewpoint by the lake instead of Interactivity & significant of object is not being inside the building) clear (Pintu tak terbuka masa masuk the The interactivity and significance of the objects are not clearly understood Do not portray real environment since you Actions are not easily executed, effect of can walk through the walls to access the the actions was not as users intended to Lights are not easy to distinguish too Does not indicate the purpose of the Difficult to control the system Object (butterfly) scale is not appropriate There are no clear identification whether with the actual project scale the objects have interactivities Viewpoint (box) is quite irritating to my Shades of objects (grass) is not realistic to show that certain area is higher/lower PLATFORM VOLUME THREE NUMBER ONE JANUARY - JUNE 2003
Technology Platform: SMART CARD TECHNOLOGY
Identification of Handwritten Digits
Ahmad Fadzil M. H. and Intan Mastura A. M.
Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS, Bandar Seri Iskandar, 31750 Tronoh, Perak Darul Ridzuan, Malaysia.
The paper describes the development of an imaging scheme that recognizes and identifies handwritten digits using a combination of image processing and neural network techniques. The scheme is designed to recognise postcodes so that mail-sorting task can be performed with minimum human intervention, reducing labour cost while increasing speed and accuracy. The imaging scheme is a combination of four processes, namely, data acquisition of postcodes, image pre-processing, image segmentation and neural network-based digit identification. Image pre-processing process is essential to obtain a binary image for segmentation. Here, noise reduction, thresholding and greyscale to binary conversion operations are performed. Postcode image samples are then segmented into separated digit regions. The segmentation process involving normalization and morphological operations produces skeleton image of a digit. This is followed by a histogram operation that produces vertical, horizontal, right- and left-diagonal histograms as input to a neural network identification process. A database of 500 handwritten samples of postcodes is used in trials in which samples are used for image processing, training of the neural network and as test data for performance measure. During segmentation process, 90% of all samples are successfully segmented into single digits. In tests, it is found that the recognition rate is 100% for training data (100 samples) and 80% for test data (50 samples).
Keywords: handwritten digit identification, mail sorting, morphological operation, histogram operation, neural
mail and facsimile, the use of mail letters is still pervasive in society; this is especially true during In an automated mail-sorting process, it is essential to festive seasons. Without automation, the number of recognize only the postcodes, which contain a series sorters during peak times may need to be increased of digits. Normally, the recipient's address is to ensure no backlog in delivery.
handwritten. Therefore, pattern recognition and image In recent years, Optical Character Recognition (OCR) processing techniques are used to recognize the scheme is used to automate sorting [1, 4, 5, 6]. However, handwritten digits in postcodes.
OCR implementation is only applicable for characters that are either computer generated or typewritten.
Traditionally, mail letters are sorted manually. Even Therefore, handwritten digit recognition is still though there are other ways to send mails such as e- necessary for ordinary mails, cheques etc.
This paper was presented at the International Association of Science and Technology for Development (IASTED) International Conference on Applied Informatics (AI 2003), Innsbruck, Austria, 10-13 Feb 2003.
Technology Platform: SMART CARD TECHNOLOGY
The main goal of this work is to develop a writer- independent recogniser that is essentially an imaging scheme that recognizes and identifies handwritten digits using a combination of image processing and neural network techniques. As an application example, the imaging scheme was developed on MATLAB to identify handwritten postcodes in order to sort mail 2. SYSTEM DESIGN
Figure 1 shows the block diagram of handwritten digit identification scheme. The scheme consists of four processes, which are data acquisition, image pre- processing, image segmentation and digit The data acquisition is a scanning process in which a sample is converted to a format that can be processed by computer [2]. During the development of the system, 500 handwritten postcode samples were Figure 1: Block diagram of handwritten digit identification
collected, scanned at 200 dpi in grey scale and stored imaging scheme.
in JPEG format. 300 samples are used as training and Isodata algorithm is an iterative technique given by the following equation:- Image pre-processing mainly consists of two parts, which are noise reduction and thresholding operations. Noise reduction is necessary in order to remove noise in a sample. There are three methods The histogram is initially segmented into the available in removing noise namely, linear filtering, foreground and background portions. The sample median filtering and adaptive filtering [3]. In linear mean (mf, 0) of the grey values associated with the filtering the value of output pixel is a linear foreground pixels and the sample mean (mb, 0) of the combination of the pixel values in the neighbourhood.
grey values associated with the background pixels are Median filtering is similar with averaging filtering computed. A new threshold value q1 is now computed except that it takes the median of neighbourhood as the average of these two sample means. The process pixels rather than the mean to perform filtering is repeated, based upon the new threshold, until the operation. An adaptive filter depends on image threshold value does not change any more.
variance. Masking operation has been added for further noise reduction process. In this operation, Triangle algorithm is as illustrated in Figure 2. A line is sliding operation is performed to remove isolated pixel constructed between the maximum of the histogram (noise spikes) in image array.
at brightness bmax and the lowest value bmin of theimage. The distance d between the line and the In the thresholding operation, threshold level is histogram h(b) is computed for all values of b from b = determined automatically [11]. Two histogram- bmin to b = bmax. The brightness value bo where the derived algorithms have been investigated namely, distance between h[bo] and the line is maximal is the isodata and triangle algorithms [4].
Technology Platform: SMART CARD TECHNOLOGY
of the weighted distances from the centroid points of rows to the straight line. The estimated slant is the slope of the straight line, which is given by G(j) is the weight associated with the jth row and (xÕ, Figure 2: The triangle algorithm
yÕ) is the centroid of the image.
threshold value, that is, q = bo. This technique is The morphological operations namely ‘close', ‘thin' and particularly effective when the object pixels produce ‘fill' functions are used to produce skeleton images of a weak peak in the histogram. Both techniques were the digits. The ‘close' function performs binary closure; a dilation followed by an erosion. The ‘fill' function fills isolated interior pixels (individual 0's that are Image segmentation process consists of four parts, surrounded by 1's). Function ‘thin' transforms objects which are segmentation, normalization, slant to lines. It removes pixels so that an object without correction and morphological operations. The process holes shrink to a minimally connected stroke, and separates the postcode sample (number) into its object with holes shrinks to connected ring halfway individual digits. In order to perform this operation between each hole and the outer boundary.
automatically, two methods can be used which are either implicit or explicit methods [5]. However, the In order to identify the segmented digits contained in implicit method is used since it is accurate for digits a postcode, a 3-layer feed-forward neural network has that are well separated from each other. Generally, the been implemented; 88 inputs, 14 neurons in hidden component in image array is either 1 (white) or 0 layer and 10 outputs. Backpropagation algorithm is (black) after thresholding is performed. By using these used as a learning algorithm. The inputs for the neural properties, a sliding operation is performed in order network are based on histograms of zeros for a given to separate the digits. Next, the normalization digit sample. Specifically, the histograms for number operation resizes the image to a uniform size that is, of zeros for each row, column, left-diagonal and right- 15x15 pixels. The MATLAB ‘IMRESIZE' function uses diagonal for a digit sample are determined. These four bilinear interpolation to perform this process [3].
integer parameters are concatenated and used as an Slant correction is necessary to eliminate any input to the neural network for digits identification distortion in the digit due to its slant characteristic. A common example is the digit ‘1'. Methods using invariant features and removing variations were Before training, it is important to normalise the inputs investigated [6]. By simply rotating the digit a slant and targets so that they always fall within a specified can be corrected. The angle of rotation is determined range [7]. The MATLAB functions ‘premnmx' and by the centroid of the digit. The centroid (xoj, j) for ‘postmnmx' can be used to scale inputs, targets and every row of a given image is calculated. Hence, H row outputs so that they fall in the range [-1, 1]. The centroid points are obtained. H is the height of the network output ‘an' will correspond to the normalized image. Then linear regression is used to best fit a targets ‘tn'. The un-normalized network output ‘a' is in straight line of the form x = a + by minimizing the sum the same units as the original targets ‘t'.
Technology Platform: SMART CARD TECHNOLOGY
Before training session is performed, the network weight and biases are initialized.
Once the network weights and biases have been initialized, the network is ready for training. The training process requires a set of examples of proper network behaviour - network inputs ‘p' and target outputs ‘t'. During training the weights and biases of the network are iteratively adjusted to minimize the network performance function ‘net.performFcn'.
The performance function for this project is sum square error (SSE). SSE is the sum- squared error between the networks outputs ‘a' and the target outputs ‘t'. After Figure 5: Sample undergoing segmentation and morphological operation
training, simulation with test data is Some of samples are clearly written while others are not. This is due to different types of media used for 3. RESULTS & DISCUSSION
writing such as the pen or pencil. Blurry images might be produced during the scanning process.
Figure 3 shows some of the samples being collected for this project. All samples are in greyscale format.
Figure 4 shows a postcode sample undergoing image Each sample has a different handwriting pattern, background level and signal-to-noise level.
After performing segmentation and normalization, 90% of the sample set is effectively segmented and resized. The information contained in segmented digits is preserved except for number ‘1'. It is observed that this type of digit experiences distortion especially to its slant characteristic. Therefore, slant correction is necessary to overcome this problem. It was found that the remaining 10% cannot be segmented properly because the digits are connected to each other. Figure 5 (last page) shows a sample undergoing the Figure 3: Samples collected in data acquisition.
segmentation and normalization operations.
Figure 4: Image preprocessing on a postcode sample.
Technology Platform: SMART CARD TECHNOLOGY
Figure 6 shows the image after slant correction is performed on segmented digits. It can be seen that there is an improvement in the slant characteristic of digit ‘1'.
Figure 7: Concatenated histograms for a sample digit ‘3'.
The ‘traingdx' function has been used as a training algorithm. It is a network training function that updates weight and bias values according to gradient descent momentum and an adaptive learning rate.
This network uses hyperbolic tangent sigmoid transfer function as its neuron model. The weight value and bias value have been initialized to 0.01. Sum square error has been used as performance function. The Figure 6: Digit sample undergoing slant correction.
network will be continuously trained until sum- squared error goal of 0.01 is reached. The momentum Figure 7 shows the example of integer sequence being constant has been set to 0.95 and the maximum epoch fed to neural network. For horizontal and vertical to 5000. After the network has been initialized, the histogram, each contains 15-integer sequences. The training process is performed.
right diagonal and left diagonal, each contains 29- integer sequences. Hence, the neural network will have Figure 8 shows the error being reduced during training 88 inputs. This integer sequence is the digit of 100 samples. In this particular case, the process is representation that will be fed into the neural network.
stopped at 93 epochs when error is less than 0.01.
Figure 8: Training performance for digit ‘0'
Technology Platform: SMART CARD TECHNOLOGY
Network simulation is conducted and it is found that 100% of training sample data is recognized. For the El-Yacoubi A, Sabourin R & Suen C.Y., An HMM-Based Approach test data, a recognition rate of 80% is achieved.
For Offline Unconstraint Handwritten Word Modelling AndRecognition, IEEE Transactions On Pattern Analysis And Machine Awcock G.W & Thomas R, Applied Image Processing (London: In the handwritten digit identification imaging scheme, 4 processes have been used namely, data MATLAB Image Processing Toolbox, (The MathWorks, Inc., 1997).
acquisition, image pre-processing, image segmentation and digits identification.
Wakahara T & Odaka K, Adaptive Normalization of HandwrittenCharacters Using Global/Local Affine Transformation, IEEETransaction On Pattern Analysis And Machine Intelligence, 1999.
Using segmentation, normalization, slant correction Lee J.S & Ching Y.S, Analysis of Class Separation & Combination and morphological operations, 90 % of samples are of Class-Dependent Features for Handwriting Recognition.
successfully segmented. This corresponds to digits IEEE transaction on Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence.
that are clearly separated from each other. Further Jinhai C. and Zhi Q.L., Integration of Structural and Statistical investigation on segmentation process is necessary for Information for Unconstrained Handwritten Numeral digits that are not well separated from each other.
Recognition IEEE transaction on Pattern Analysis and MachineIntelligence, 1999.
Normalization is performed after segmentation Kartalopoulos S.V, Understanding Neural Networks and Fuzzy process in order to obtain a uniform size of segmented Logic: Basic Concepts And Applications, (IEEE Press, 1996).
images. Slant correction is performed to eliminate any MATLAB Neural Network Toolbox (The MathWorks, Inc., 1998).
distortion in segmented images in terms of its slant characteristic. In morphological operation, the Solihin Y and Leedham C.G. 1999, Integral Ratio: A New Class ofGlobal Thresholding Techniques for Handwriting Images, IEEE segmented image is being thinned in order to produce Transaction On Pattern Analysis And Machine Intelligence.
skeleton image.
For digit identification, histogramming and neural Ahmad Fadzil M.H. graduated in 1983 from
the University of Essex, UK with an Honours
network techniques are performed. Histogramming B.Sc. degree in Electronic Engineering. He is used in order to determine inputs to an 88-14-10 completed his M.Sc. in Telematics in 1984and Ph.D. in Image Processing in 1991 at the neural network. The inputs are normalised to be within same university.
the range [-1,1]. It is found that the recognition rate for test data is 80%. Improvement in recognition rates He has been a Lecturer in Signal Processingand Researcher in Image Processing at can be achieved by using more samples during Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) since 1984. Between 1988-91, he served at University of Essex, UK initially as a Senior ResearchOfficer in Image Processing and subsequently as a Lecturer. Onhis return to Malaysia, he was made Dean of the School of Electrical The imaging scheme can be used in various & Electronic Engineering at USM from 1992-96. In 1997, he applications such as mail sorting via postcodes, became the founding Dean of the Engineering Faculty at thenewly established UTP. He became the Director of Academic handwritten cheques etc.
Studies at the university in 1999. Currently, he is the Director ofPostgraduate Studies, a position he assumed in 2003.
Dr Ahmad Fadzil is a Fellow and a Council Member of theInstitution of Engineers, Malaysia. He is a registered ProfessionalEngineer with the Board of Engineers, Malaysia. He is also aMember of the IEEE, USA. His research interests include imagecompression and image processing applications in telemedicineand artificial intelligence.
Application Of Dry Walls In Residential Houses:
A Buildable System
Noor Amila W.A.Z., Nasir Shafiq, Ibrahim Kamaruddin
Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS, Bandar Seri Iskandar, 31750 Tronoh, Perak Darul Ridzuan, Malaysia.
Flexibility, durability, cost-effectiveness, and buildability are the major criteria in the value based construction and design of residential houses, which is the current approach emerging in the industry. Flexibility in the construction of wall system is an important concern to homeowners in relocating the walls to suit their changing needs. Dry walls system, which are finished with paint or tiles, are easy to install, durable, well insulated and would be the preferred option in residential development to meet the requirements of value based design. A case study based on seven types of dry walls system is presented. These walls can be removed and replaced with relative ease and minimal mess compared to the conventional brick wall, and hence most buildable system, which may add value to the construction of mass scale housing development.
Keyword: dry walls, buildable design, partition wall, fire rating, sound insulation
home environment. Details of installation, concealment of services and joint treatment are given Under the current trends in the global economy the major emphasis in the design of the system.
construction industry is exploring new ways and methods to meet the challenges in the industry. Non- This paper presents a case study of a buildable structural walling in a building structure has a relatively showhome constructed at the Construction Industry larger quantum as compared to the other building Training Institute (CITI), Building and Construction elements. Traditionally, brick masonry walls have been Authority (BCA), Singapore, as part of its ongoing extensively used in the construction industry. Despite efforts to promote wider use of buildable designs for the advantages of the brick masonry wall system, there are some constraints in its application such as speed of construction, buildability, cost and appearance.
Currently, the dry walls system is becoming popular In July 2000, BCA opened its buildable showhome at as an alternative to the brick masonry wall system in Construction Industry Training Institute (CITI). The many parts of the world such as USA, UK and buildable showhome was put together using seven Singapore. The design of the dry walls system is aimed different dry wall systems (BCA, 2000), to demonstrate at demonstrating the actual condition within a typical the actual condition within a typical home The paper was presented at the Inaugural Management in Construction Researchers Association (MICRA) Seminar, Penang, October 2002.
environment. These walls are easier and faster to build dB. This is comparable to single layer brick wall. These than the traditional brick wall. They have better quality factory produced prefabricated walls also ensure good and finishes as they are being manufactured under quality and consistency.
controlled factory conditions, .
To demonstrate the performance of these dry walls, These walls were finished with paint or tiles according each wall was put through a series of 11 tests at the to the design of a typical residential unit. Unlike Singapore Productivity and Standard Board (PSB) conventional brick wall, cement and sand plaster were Testing Centre in accordance to BS5234: Partition Wall not needed for these walls. The installation process Part 2: 1992. These tests included stiffness test, impact was simple, easy and required less labour. These dry test, crowd pressure test, door slam test and anchorage walls systems are the preferred option in residential test. In addition, the walls also passed the non- development in advanced countries such as USA, combustibility test in accordance to BS476: Part 4: 1970, Japan, Australia, and many parts of the European and fire rating test in accordance to BS476: Part 20: countries (BCA, 2000).
An important concern to the homeowner is the To set the minimum quality standard for greater flexibility in relocating the walls. Dry walls have the confidence and acceptance of dry walls, BCA and PSB advantage of giving homeowners flexibility to change jointly published the new Singapore Standard: Code the layout of their homes to meet their changing of Practice for Partition Wall (2000), which is based on needs. The dry walls used in the showhome can be BS5234. The same may be considered as the reference removed and placed with relative ease and minimal code for the construction industry practitioners in mess compared to conventional brick wall.
Strength, sound insulation and quality are other major 2.1 Dry Wall Systems: Materials And Dimensions
considerations to homebuyers. The walls were also subjected to heavy loading by cabinets. The sound Table 1 shows the material type and physical insulation of these dry walls is in the range of 30 - 40 properties of seven different types of dry walls as presented in the BCA showhome.
Table 1: Material used and physical properties of dry wall systems
(kg/m2) for Productivity
3m height m2/man-day
Cement, cellulose fibre and limestone and chemical admixture Cement, sand and lime Vermiculite sandwiched between Gypsum with recycled cellulose fibre Gypsum with rock dust Sand, cement and foaming agent PLATFORM VOLUME THREE NUMBER ONE JANUARY - JUNE 2003
2.2 Tests Procedure And Resuts
iv. Door Slam (DS): a 35 or 60 kg door is slammed with a force of 15 kg. No damage should be Table 2 shows the results of different tests on dry wall observed. The test simulates a door slam caused systems conducted at PSB Mechanical Test Centres.
by wind, or people closing the door energetically, The procedures and objectives of different tests as which is characterized by a perfect function of the conducted are as follows: Stiffness: the wall is subjected to a horizontal force Crowd Pressure (CP): the wall is subjected to a of 500 N applied at a height of 1.5 m. Maximum sustained load transmitted through 2.5 m deflection and residual deformation should be horizontal beam, at a height of 1.5 m. No damage within specified limits as specified by the relevant or collapse should be observed. The test simulates codes. The test simulates bending caused by loads caused by a crowd leaning against a wall.
people leaning on the wall.
vi. Lightweight Anchorage (LA): the wall is subjected Small Hard Body Impact (SHBI): the wall is to a force transmitted through a bracket, with a subjected to a 3 kg impactor with a 50 mm shim plate positioned between the bracket and diameter steel sphere head, swung the surface of the wall. No damage should be perpendicularly against the wall. The extent of observed and shim plate should not be dislodged.
damage is assessed. The test simulates impact The test simulates loadings from lightweight caused by sharp or pointed objects, such as trolleys fixtures such as wall pictures, clothing hooks and and wheelchairs.
basic wall shelving.
iii. Large Soft Body Impact (LSBI): the wall is subjected vii. Heavyweight Anchorage (HA): The test simulates to a 50 kg load in the form of spheroconical bag heavyweight fittings such as wall cupboards, swung against the wall. Permanent deformation washbasins and water closets.
should not exceed 2 mm, with no structural damage. The test simulates the impact caused by Table 3 shows the data obtained from different wall people falling against the wall.
manufacturers in order to describe the functional requirement of different wall system.
Table 2: Wall Comparison by Strength and Robustness Test in Accordance with BS5234: Part 2
USG Fiberock
Severe Duty (SD) is a measure of its suitability for use in areas prone to vandalism and rough use.
Minimum passing value for Heavyweight Anchorage is 1500 N.
Table 3: Wall Comparison by Functional Requirements
USG Fiberock
Fire Rating (minutes) BS476: Part 20: 1987 Sound Insulation (dB) BS2750: Part 3: 1980 Surface Appearance BS5234: Part 2: 1992 BS476: Part 4: 1970 3. DISCUSSION OF RESULTS
Table 3 shows that the fire rating properties of brick wall is superior to that of the dry walls system except As shown in Table 1, the unit weights of dry walls are in the case of CSR ALC Panel. However, all dry walls approximately one half to one twelfth that of the brick systems meet the fire rating requirement of the British wall, which will result in a lighter design of the Standard for residential building, which is specified as structural system.
The productivity of dry walls system ranges from four The sound insulation property of brick wall system is to six times of that of the conventional brick wall superior to the dry walls system except for Styroplast.
system. This results in a faster speed of construction, However, the permissible sound insulation which makes it more cost effective.
requirement for residential building is below 60 dB, which qualifies all the dry walls systems.
Based on a number of actual structural design and construction practices by the authors, it is obtained As mentioned earlier, the expected quality of the dry that the net reinforcement content of the overall walls can be more superior to the brick wall system structural system has been reduced between 20 – 25% since it is manufactured within factory-controlled by maintaining the same sizes of structural components for all the above dry walls systems.
Similarly, the construction time has been reduced by up to 40% because of high productivity rate and faster construction and erection time.
The major conclusions made from of this study are as Table 2 shows that the performance of the dry walls system is comparable to the brick wall system with Dry walls systems are easier and faster to build and respect to all aspects as defined by the British Code more cost effective than the traditional brick wall BS5234: Part 2. Only the CSR ALC shows a fair performance for Heavyweight Anchorage with the value of 1287 N.
Dry walls systems offer more flexibility in relocating the walls to suit the requirements as desired by the homeowners.
iii. Dry walls systems ensure higher quality, better Noor Amila W.A.Z. earned her first degree
in Housing, Building and Planning (Building
appearance and lighter weight than the traditional Engineering) from Universiti Sains Malaysia, brick wall system.
Penang, in 1998. Later she pursued her M.Sc.
in Building Technology from the sameuniversity in 1999. She began her career as iv. Certain dry walls systems considered in the study a lecturer in L&G Twintech Institute of are functionally better than the brick wall system.
Technology in 1999. Currently, she is alecturer in the Civil Engineering program at Nasir Shafiq earned his first degree in Civil
Engineering from NED University, Karachi,
BCA Buildability Series, 2000, The Buildable Showhome.
Pakistan, in 1982. He did his M.Eng. inStructural Engineering and Construction at British Code BS5234: Partition, Part 2: Code of Practice for the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT ), Testing of Partition Walls.
Bangkok, Thailand, in 1987 and Ph.D. inConcrete Durability at the University of British Code BS476: Part 4: Code of Practice for Non- Leeds, UK, in 1999. He worked as structural Combustibility Test engineer in Civil Aviation Authority, Pakistan for 3 years. He served as Assistant Professor in the Civil Engineering British Code BS476, Part 20: Code of Practice for Fire rating Department, NED University from 1987 to 1994. In 1994, he joined Meinhard (Singapore) Pte. Ltd. as Senior Structural Engineer. In2000, he worked as Principal Structural Engineer and HOD Singapore Standard, 2001: Code of Practice for Partition Wall (Engineering) for 2 years at Hainal-Konyi (Singapore) Pte. Ltd.
Currently, he is an Associate Professor in the Civil Engineeringprogram at UTP.
Ibrahim Kamaruddin is an Associate
Professor in the Civil Engineering program
of UTP. He obtained his Ph.D. from the
University of Leeds, UK, on work pertaining
to the use of synthetic fibres in road
construction materials. His research interest
is in construction materials focussing on
highway building materials and bituminous
composites. He was a lecturer at Universiti
Teknologi MARA prior to joining UTP. He is currently the Directorof Undergraduate Studies at UTP.
Study On The Capillary Performance In Wire Bonding
Operation For Integrated Circuit (IC)
Norani M. Mohamed1, Sivabalan Sasthiryar2
1Universiti Teknologi Petronas, Bandar Seri Iskandar, 31750 Tronoh, Perak Darul Ridzuan, Malaysia.
2 Agilent Technologies (Malaysia), Bayan Lepas Free Industrial Zone, 11900 Penang, Malaysia.
Wire bonding of gold wire in microelectronic devices has remained the oldest and most commonly used method in interconnecting technology. These interconnections are made possible by using the ceramic capillary. Here, investigations were conducted on the performance of the capillaries and the quality of wire bonding produced.
The study focused on two different types of capillaries namely, PIKO, which is made of zirconia composites with special additives, and NORM, which is made of fine grain alumina ceramic.
Using a spool of 1.2 mils gold wire (purity 99.9968%), the wire bonding process was carried out with a wirebonder machine, with thermosonic power. The bonded integrated circuits (IC) then underwent a series of stress tests.
Subsequently, the capillaries used were inspected visually by electron microscopy and the materials characteristics were analysed.
Results have revealed that PIKO showed better performance and reliability (up to 2500 x temperature cycles) than NORM. In fact, PIKO capillary produced a much better and longer lasting wire bonding (<300,00 bonds) without compromising the quality of the microelectronic devices. In addition, PIKO capillary only required lower operating power and force at wire bonding machine than NORM which itself is utility cost saving for semiconductor industries. Moreover PIKO purchase cost is much lower than NORM.
Keywords: solid state physics, semiconductor, wire bonding, integrated circuit
surface and gold wire. With the ultrasonic bonding technique, a bond is made directly between the wire Wire bonding has been used extensively in and the bond pad. Thermosonic tailless ball and stitch semiconductor products to connect the internal bonding [1] is a widely used assembly technique. A semiconductor die to the external leads. Wire bonding fine gold wire ranging from 18 mm to 33 mm in techniques include thermosonic or gold ball bonding diameter is fed down through the capillary. Normally and ultrasonic or aluminum wedge bonding. In wire bonding capillaries are formed out of ultrapure thermosonic bonding, gold ball is formed at the end 99.99% Al2O3 powder for standard non-pitch of the wire and a bond is made between the bond application. But with the advancement of ceramic This paper was presented at the XVIII Regional Conference on Solid State Science & Technology, Pulau Langkawi, 7-9 September 2001.
It is also published in the Journal of Solid State Science & Technology 2001.
material technology, a new generation of material has were used to describe the reliability and quality of wire emerged. This choice of capillary material for ultra- bonding on IC packages. These tests are in accordance fine pitch application comes in the form of zirconia with the standard of the Joint Electronic Development composites with special additives. The sintered Engineering Council (JEDEC). The first test, termed capillary has a well-defined surface finish with all its temperature cycle (TMCL) or thermal shock, is where specified dimensions moulded by the state-of-the-art IC packages are subjected to a number of cycles at ceramic injection moulding technology [2]. The temperatures of –25 °C to 85 °C within 10 minutes continuous growth in the development of new interchange. The second test, known as wet high packaging technology has posed a greater challenge temperature operating live (WHTOL), is a test that is for wire bonding tools.
conducted at 25 °C in 85% relative humidity whileoperating at 5 V current. The third test, referred to by the term high temperature operating live (HTOL) is similar to the second test with the exception of being in a dry environment. For each test, 33 IC units were To determine the bonding quality and performance, pull test and ball shear were conducted with the use Figure 1: Tailless ball and stitch bonding
of the 2400A Dage Multitester. All the completed wire bonded IC packages were observed under SEM The new packaging technology specifically for ultra- Cambridge Model 360 Stereoscan in order to fine pitch application has made Ball Grid Array (BGA) determine the bonding quality and density package the choice for high pin count devices besides characteristics. Examination of the capillaries by SEM the commonly used Quad Flat Pack package. This has was carried out at PECO Industries Pte. Limited, Korea.
resulted in further shrinkage of the die and consequently, a much closer pad pitch of less than 100 mm. Smaller ball size of less than 55 mm and optimisation of the stitch length are major Results of the stress tests can be illustrated in three consideration in the design of the capillary.
tables encompassing TMCL test, WHTOL test and HTOL test. The functional reliability and capability of the The work here focused on the performance and quality device bonded by PIKO and NORM capillary can be of two types of capillaries, PIKO and NORM. This also determined by thermal cycle (TMCL) test. Table 1 includes the study on the quality of the wire bonded shows that PIKO and NORM have the same wire on integrated circuit (IC) packages.
bonding performance without failure until 1000 x (cycles). Beyond 1000 x, the performance of NORM started to fail with an increase from 2 to 7 IC units at 2500 x. Unlike NORM, failures with PIKO are few and Two types of capillaries, PIKO and NORM were used in consistent, exhibited by one or two units only. At the the wire bonding process. A spool of 1.2 mils gold wire final stage of 2500 x, a failure of 7 IC units of NORM (purity of 99.9968%) was used for bonding the gives 21.2% whereas PIKO shows only 3.0% failure.
integrated circuit package, in this case a photosensor Failure analysis shows that all PIKO failures are related operating at 5.0 V. Wire bonding was carried out with to disintegration of dies rather than the bonding the wire bonder machine, Kaijo FB131 with performance, which is due to the capillary used. On thermosonic power. After the ICs are bonded, they will the other hand, NORM failure is a typical wire bonding undergo a series of stress test. Three major stress tests failure where the wire over stress and snaps resulting VOLUME THREE NUMBER ONE JANUARY - JUNE 2003 PLATFORM
disintegration of die, giving percentage failure of only 3.0%, far below NORM capillary. As for WHTOL test, no significant difference can be observed between PIKO and NORM (Table 2). Both PIKO and NORM give 3% failure after 1000 hrs and the cause was not due to the bonding but to disintegration of the die. With HTOL, where the test was done without the humidity, IC units Figure 2: Wire bonding exhibiting open short
bonded by both capillaries have not shown any sign of failure at any stage of the test.
Section B of Table 1 describes the result of TMCL test at 1,000 cycles with varying number of bonds starting The strength of wire bonding will be reflected by the from 0 to 900,000. The first failure with NORM is bondability measurement. Such measurement were observed at 300,000 bonds. As the number of bonds obtained by conducting pull test on 12 wires taken increased to 900,000, the number of units that failed from each photosensor package that have undergone increased tremendously resulting in 78.7% failure.
every stress test. Figure 3 shows a graph of the pull Almost all failures of NORM is in the form of open short test for 12 wires bonded by PIKO and NORM that had which is related to the bonding. IC units of PIKO did undergone HTOL test. Minimum requirement of pull not show any failure until the number of bonds test is 8.0 g. Both showed similar strength distribution reached 700,000 where one unit failed and then the at 0 to 168 hrs. Apparently after 1000 hrs., PIKO showed continued to 900,000 bonds without further failure. It higher strength with an average of 12.4 g as compared is observed that the failure of PIKO is associated with to NORM with 8.54 g.
(a) PIKO bonded wires (a) PIKO bonded wires (b) NORM bonded wires (b) NORM bonded wires Figure 3: Graph of the pull test conducted on (a) NORM and (b)
PIKO bonded wires after being subjected to HTOL stress test at
Figure 4: Graph of the pull test conducted on (a) PIKO (b) NORM
different time duration.
bonded wires after being subjected to WHTOL stress test.
As depicted in Figure 4, both PIKO and NORM exhibited category would be for the highest cycles of 1000 and same strength after undergoing WHTOL test for 0 and 2500 giving the lowest mean value of 6.0 g.
168 hrs. The NORM wires, which had been subjected to the test for 500 hrs, had shown a decrease in The result of the pull test conducted on 12 wires strength giving a value of 9.68 g as compared to 14.1 bonded by the capillaries that have been used for a g for PIKO. The strength of the NORM 500 hrs.-wires varying number of bonds is illustrated in Figure 6. It continuously degraded to 7.51 g whereas PIKO was found that the performance of PIKO wires is remained stronger at 12.0 g.
excellent as at 900 K (900,000 bonds), the pull strength is still above 8.0 g. Generally, PIKO wires shows In the pull test for the wires subjected to TMCL test consistent strength after bonding of 50 K to 900 K, (Figure 5), PIKO wires showed satisfactory and giving average value of 14.0 g. As shown in Figure 6b, consistent strength values even at 1500 x. In contrast, the values for NORM wires can be clearly classified into NORM wires seemed to be divided into three 3 groups. The first would consist of the lower range of categories. The first class would be for 0 x (no cycles) bond, 50 K to 150 K, with average value of 15.0 g. The and 200 cycles with the mean value of 14.0 g. The second is the middle range, 300 K to 500 K, where the second class involved the 500 cycles and 1000 cycles average value remains above 8.0 g. A very much lower with the mean value not exceeding 8.0 g. The last value, between 7.0 g and 6.0 g can be obtained for the highest bond range, 600 K to 900 K.
(a) PIKO bonded wires (a) PIKO bonded wires (b) NORM bonded wires (b) NORM bonded wires Figure 5: Graph of the pull test conducted on (a) PIKO (b) NORM
Figure 6: Graph of the pull test conducted on (a) PIKO (b) NORM
bonded wires after being subjected to TMCL stress test.
bonded wires after being used for varying number of bonding.
Shear test was conducted with the purpose of testing giving average values above 40.0 g. However, the shear the formation of the gold ball at the die pad, forming strength tends to decay for the ones subjected to 500 intermetallic connection during the device operational hrs. and 1000 hrs of WHTOL. PIKO balls have also shown period Minimum requirement of 40.0 g should be some decrease but the rate is very much smaller.
observed in order to qualify the performance bonding.
On the whole, gold balls bonded by PIKO showed Shear test for TMCL (Figure 9) shows a significant better bonding strength compared to NORMs in all 3 difference between the strength of PIKO and NORM stress tests. Average shear strength for PIKO bonded balls. PIKO balls can still maintain shear strength above wires after undergoing HTOL test was found to exceed 45.0 g for 1000 cycles TMCL, and this is considered to 55 g (Figure 7(a)). In the case of NORM bonded wires, be a very good result. At the early stage with no cycle the strength value decreases linearly until for a in TMCL test, NORM balls seem to exceed 65.0 g, similar duration of 1000 hrs, the value dipped below 35 g to PIKO. However, this value reduced by 50% at the (Figure 7(b)).
later stage of 1000 cycles with the average above Figure 8 shows the graphs of shear test for PIKO and NORM balls, which had undergone WHTOL tests. Balls Surface analysis conducted by SEM showed that the bonded by PIKO and subjected to <100hrs. WHTOL stitch and ball bonding by PIKO are satisfactory even tests seem able to maintain the bonding strength though they have undergone TMCL stress test at 2500 above 35.0 g. NORM balls showed good shear strength cycles. At this stage NORM bonding has failed resulting only after undergoing 0 hr. and 168 hrs. of WHTOL, in an "open short", as shown in Figure 2. PIKO and (a) PIKO bonded wires (a) PIKO bonded wire (b) NORM bonded wires (b) NORM bonded wire Figure 7: Graph of the shear test conducted on the (a) PIKO (b)
Figure 8: Graph of the shear test conducted on the (a) PIKO (b)
NORM bonded wires after being subjected to HTOL stress test.
NORM bonded wires after being subjected to WHTOL stress test.
(a) NORM capillary (a) PIKO bonded wires (b) PIKO capillary Figure 10: Outer and inner tip of (a) NORM and (b) PIKO
capillary after 900,000 bonds.
(b) NORM bonded wires Figure 9: Graph of the shear test conducted on the (a) PIKO (b)
Figure 11: A line marked by the diamond tip (140g) on the (a)
NORM bonded wires after being subjected to HTOL stress test.
PIKO and (b) NORM capillary.
Table 1: Summary of experiments and observations
ZrO2 with additives [3] Translucent White [3] Density: 5.5 g/cm3 [4] Density: 3.99g/cm3 [4] Average Grain size: <0.25 mm Average Grain size: <2 mm Finishing: Fine Matte & Polished Finishing: Fine Matte & Polished Bending strength: 2400 Mpa Bending strength: 850 Mpa No damage exhibited by the die Certain level of die damage occurs No damage of capillary Damage to capillary through gold build-up Better reliability up to 2500 cycles TMCL Reliability degrades after 1000 cycles TMCL Consistence bonding quality until 600,000 bonds Consistence bonding quality until 30,000 bonds Low power and force used during operation Higher power and force needed Lifetime is much longer (>300,000 bonds) Lifetime is shorter (<300,000 bonds) VOLUME THREE NUMBER ONE JANUARY - JUNE 2003 PLATFORM
NORM capillary have also been analyzed in order to detect any changes on the surface. As evidence in Figure 10, there is little change in view of cracks and The authors would like to express their gratitude for wear at the tip of PIKO capillary after 900,000 bonds the technical support given by Agilent Technologies as compared to NORM capillary. Thus this proves that Malaysia, PECO Industries Pte. Ltd., Korea and Universiti the original condition of PIKO capillary is longer lasting, Sains Malaysia. Financial support from Universiti maintaining good bondability performance. The Teknologi PETRONAS is gratefully appreciated.
comparatively even and straight groove on the surface (shown in Figure 11), displayed by PIKO infers higher density and finer grain material.
Babur, N., (1996), "Total Energy Management Strategies forWafer Fabs.", Acom Engineering and Consulting, p152.
Table 1 shows a summary of the experiments and observations, which indicates the superiority of PIKO Smith, W.M., (1998), EPRI: Presentation on EPRI's ElectronicsIndustry Target Semiconductors /Tools, p19.
and areas needed to be improved by NORM capillary.
Report: "Capillary Technology" PECO KOREA Pte. Ltd.
Busch, J., (1998), "Energy Efficiency Potential in SemiconductorCleanrooms" Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, p163.
The results have shown that PIKO capability and performance with respect to material strength and Norani M. Mohamed graduated from the
wire-bonding quality is far better compared to NORM University of Essex with an Honours B.Sc.
degree in Physics in 1983. She then capillary. It was found that PIKO capillary is much more continued her M.Sc. in Lasers & Their reliable and is suitable for high-speed wire bonding Application in 1984 at the same university.
process, which require fine pitch bonding quality.
Later in 1992, she completed her Ph.D. inPhysics, specifically in the area of UltrathinLangmuir-Blodgett Films.
She began her career as a lecturer at the School of Physics, USMin 1984, teaching courses such as Modern Physics and Lasers. In1986, she moved to the School of Materials & Mineral ResourcesEngineering at the new engineering branch campus of USM inIpoh. Here, she taught courses such as engineering materials,semiconductor physics, semiconductor technology,semiconductor & opto-electronic devices. During her tenure, shewas appointed the Deputy Dean for the distance learningprogram, and then as the Program Chairman for PostgraduateStudies and finally as the Program Chairman of AdvancedMaterials. She joined UTP in May 2001 and is currently theassociate professor at the Electrical & Electronic Engineeringprogram. Her research interests include thin film technology andsemiconductor processing (both hardware and software). She isnow actively involved in developing nanotechnology research atUTP.
The Training of Scientists and Engineers
in the 21st Century: a Social Science Perspective
Victor T. King
Department of Politics and International Studies University of Hull, United Kingdom.
There are complex relationships between scientific enquiry and practice and the societies and cultures in which they are embedded. Social relations and cultural values shape and are shaped by scientific and technological innovations. For this reason university programs for scientists and engineers in the 21st century must also devote some attention to the social sciences and humanities. The well rounded graduate is someone who is equipped not only with knowledge of his or her subject but also with a social and cultural imagination and a sensitivity to the ways in which scientific endeavor and technological innovations are perceived, evaluated and received into society. The internationalization of scientific knowledge and the global processes affecting work, business and social life also suggest that scientists and engineers require an increasingly international outlook and the ability to operate effectively in cross-cultural situations.
Keywords: science, technology, society, culture, training
technology on the one hand and the social sciences, and for that matter the humanities, on the other are, I What might an anthropologist usefully say to scientists think, becoming closer as we recognize the and engineers? My remarks are based on the premise importance of interdisciplinary and cross-disciplinary that social scientists do have theoretical interests in approaches to understanding the ever-increasing the processes of scientific and technological practice complexity of the environment within which we live.
and innovation, on the ways in which science is What has become of vital concern for us all in a world organized as a profession, and on the culture of in which there has been dramatic advances in genetics, scientific endeavor. We must recognize that scientific innovative health technologies, informatics and activity is embedded in particular socio-cultural and robotics is how these innovations are received on the economic contexts, that all of us have perspectives on ground and the moral and social implications of science which are developed through our experience adopting them.
of living and working in societies and cultures, and that this in turn shapes the ways in which technology is My own experience has been in the study of processes acquired and used. Of course, this does not require of development in Southeast Asia with specific social scientists to understand the details of what reference to rural and community development and scientist and engineers think and do. Furthermore, the environmental change (King, 1998,1999), and this has relationships between the natural sciences and involved me in working with scientists (irrigation The author is currently the external examiner for General Studies program at Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS.
engineers, agronomists, hydrologists, geologists, scientists in addition to studying scientific institutions among others). We do tend to see the world rather and the organization of scientific life produce differently; we use a different technical vocabulary and technologies as a result of the methods they use and different methods; and often our priorities are rather promote, and they do so in the course of their different. Nevertheless we need each other, and in the collaboration with, for example virtual reality world of rural development, the scientist or technology to enable appropriate simulation of technologist ignores the social and cultural dimension of change at his or her peril, and the social scientist is often unable to do very much at all without the Therefore, we need constantly to remind scientists and expertise and knowledge of the engineer or the engineers that both within and beyond the laboratory and the classroom we all interact socially with others; together we form, sustain and change social THE SOCIAL AND CULTURAL CONTEXT OF SCIENCE
relationships; we live and work in social groups of various kinds; we hold to certain shared cultural values, So in training scientists and engineers for the 21st ideas and beliefs, including religious ones, and we century we need to remind ourselves that in facing behave in certain ways so that, despite the enormous and responding to a rapidly changing world, indeed a variety of individual behavior, there are discernible computer- and technological-based world in which patterns in our values and actions. We also seek the pace of change will continue to accelerate, we shall meaning in what we do and what we are, and these have to develop approaches to teaching and learning meanings are discovered in the realm of cultural (not just for students but for those at different stages symbols and interpretations. So science and of their working lives) to be adaptable, flexible and technology operate within societies and cultures; they responsive, to be international in outlook, and to be are interwoven into our everyday lives, and, in my view, able to address and understand the problems with to train good scientists and engineers we should at which they are presented from different perspectives least be aware of the powerful influence which social and with a broader based knowledge than traditional relations and cultural values have on technology, and educational systems have generally provided. I accept also the powerful influence scientific discoveries and that scientists and engineers at such institutions as technological innovations in turn have on our Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS will be preoccupied everyday lives. Technology shapes and is shaped by with developing and applying the specific subject or social and cultural action; there is mutual adaptation disciplinary knowledge acquired in the course of one with another. With that observation I have been scientific and professional training. However, this especially pleased to see, in my capacity as external process of knowledge acquisition is undertaken by examiner of the General Studies program at Universiti individuals as members of organizations, and these Teknologi PETRONAS, that it imparts to its students organizations, whether they be universities, public skills and knowledge which go beyond the boundaries sector institutions, private companies or professional of science and engineering, and that those who study associations, operate according to particular social at the University have the opportunity to learn principles, cultural values and moral considerations.
something about the social sciences and about their Social and cultural anthropologists for example have own society, culture and history.
undertaken important and revealing studies of science and technology laboratories and institutes not just as MEDICINE AND THE ARTS
places where scientific research is carried out, but where scientists are also devoted to maintaining their A recent article in the Times Higher Education symbolic stature, legitimacy, identity, career structure, Supplement (THES) in the United Kingdom entitled and material resources. We should also note that social ‘Try an aspirin and a bit of Shakespeare?' posed the PLATFORM VOLUME THREE NUMBER ONE JANUARY - JUNE 2003
question ‘Does an appreciation of the arts make for a and Technology (1973), that not only will "science and better doctor, or should prospective medical students technologyÖnot leave us alone" but they " appear to stick to science?' The medical profession in the UK is promote contradictory states of affairs". I shall return divided in its views, although Sir George Alberti, to this issue of contradiction in a moment. Science President of the Royal College of Physicians, has said and technology are now central to our lives. They have recently that by studying the humanities ‘It will help become the dominant cultural form; their values are (doctors) to empathize and deal sensitively with pre-eminent in all modern states and there has patients and their families when they are often at their emerged an increasingly close relationship between most vulnerable and in need of understanding'. The the state or government and science and technology.
THES article also draws attention to a conference States increasingly concern themselves with science: sponsored by the Nuffield Trust some three years ago policies are designed to encourage scientific research which called for medical students to be recruited from and the application of science to productive, military more liberal educational backgrounds and for the and welfare policies; politicians and government medical curriculum to incorporate the humanities.
officials seek scientific advice and information for Indeed, the first Professorship in Medicine and the Arts decision-making and policy formulation. The most is about to be established at King's College in the direct way in which the state and science and University of London.
technology interact is through the national education and training system, and through state policies for Of course, there is always a balance to be struck in a science in schools, colleges, universities and other curriculum and it is not the intention of those who argue for the arts and humanities to replace instruction in medical science with the study of drama, dance, Since the Industrial Revolution we have become much music, painting, literature and poetry. Rather it is to more conscious of the role scientific and technological broaden the curriculum in relevant ways, as well as to change plays in society and the effects it has, and in open scientific training to those students with a non- consequence much more concerned about the need science background, or those with mixed science and to plan for change and to try to control it, however humanities qualifications. A recent Australian study imperfectly. We have had to become more aware of also showed that those students with some arts the power of technological innovation for very obvious background made good doctors and did slightly better reasons. Prior to the Industrial Revolution inventions in their training than other graduate entrants. What is tended to be sporadic, exceptional and more localized also being proposed is that by broadening the field of in their effects, and therefore societies could usually learning and by introducing the experience of adjust to and accommodate them without major and students from diverse backgrounds into an academic rapid disruptions to social and cultural arrangements.
program one has the opportunity to present problems However, increasingly from the nineteenth century, and issues in interesting and novel ways so that they innovations have become more general, regular, and stick in students' minds and that this broader training widespread and more dramatic in their impacts.
gives students different ways of conceptualizing, Technology has also acquired its own legitimacy based understanding and approaching particular issues. I primarily on its contribution to the efficiency of would suggest that the same arguments apply to the business and other operations, its role in promoting relationship between science, technology and the economic growth and increasing national wealth, and social sciences.
its central position in the process of modernization, enabling developing countries to catch up with others SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY AND THE STATE
or at least compete more effectively with them.
Commercial and manufacturing developments based Leslie Sklair has stated pertinently in his book on the new technologies have become increasingly Organized Knowledge. A Sociological View of Science VOLUME THREE NUMBER ONE JANUARY - JUNE 2003 PLATFORM
vital to a nation's international competitiveness and and popular music and film are everywhere. Cultural its capacities for creating wealth.
differences persist and ethnic and national identities are constantly reaffirmed, although they might well In Malaysia, the government has repeatedly change in form and content.
emphasized the importance of reorienting the education system towards a greater emphasis on SCIENCE AND A CONTRADICTORY STATE OF
science and technology and technical education. It is a frank recognition of the need to be able to compete economically, to provide industries and the service Nevertheless, in the writings of nineteenth and early sector with skilled labor, to ensure that there is an twentieth century social thinkers on processes of effective response to changing industrial structures, industrialization and modernization there was a deep to realize major benefits from technology transfer and ambivalence about their consequences for human to encourage local innovation. From the 1990s and societies, values, and well-being. Indeed, there has beyond, the universities, including Universiti Teknologi always been this tension between science and the PETRONAS, have been charged with a direct and social sciences. These writers recognized that there positive role in Malaysia's industrial development in was an increasingly close relationship between science order to respond to rapid global scientific and and technology which produced the machine-based technological changes and to help meet the manufacturing society and its associated social and government's objective of increasing the share of cultural arrangements. They acknowledged the manufacturing in Malaysia's total output and to move positive contributions of modernity, also expressed more and more into high-tech, high value-added, among earlier eighteenth century Enlightenment thinkers in terms of progress, economic growth, the development of rational thought and action, and the It is unnecessary to dwell on the phenomenon of encouragement of political democracy.
globalization, other than to note the impact that the information revolution is having on us all, the powerful Yet the founding fathers of sociology and influence of the international media, and the dramatic anthropology, among them Max Weber, Emile increase in communications and physical mobility.
Durkheim, and Karl Marx all expressed misgivings These developments are obvious to us all. There are about what the technology might do to people: the very positive gains to be had from these innovations, negative effects of widespread urbanization, and they certainly act to keep governments on their industrialization, and modernization expressed in the toes in ensuring that their nation can rise to the concepts alienation, anomie, class conflict, social challenges presented by an increasingly inequality, exploitation, and imperialism. Then again interconnected world dominated by large after the optimism of American social science in the international organizations. It also requires us to be 1950s, sociologists in particular, began to point to the more outward-looking, to be able to work with people less desirable consequences of the globalization of from other cultural backgrounds and to know capitalism; the underdevelopment and something about the world beyond our own national impoverishment of certain parts of the world and borders. What is clear, and despite the predictions to certain groups in society and the enrichment of others; the contrary, is that processes of globalization and the the destruction of the environment, industrial powerful cultural influences conveyed by international pollution, state-sponsored militarism and communications and transnational companies are not authoritarianism, the breakdown of established social making us all the same, even though American fast- groups and cultural values, and the disaffection of food outlets, international retailers and designer-ware, young people.
My position too is that modern society, and its recent and national harmony. So the questions are: How do manifestation in post-modern, consumerist society, is we humanize and indeed socialize science and not an unqualified blessing; the development of a technology? How do we make it more relevant and modern technology-based society is neither a solution understandable in human terms to ordinary people? to all our problems nor is it an unmitigated disaster as This demands first of all a consideration of what some of the more militant environmentalists and eco- motivates people and what is important to them. In warriors would have it. As Leslie Sklair proposed it has short, it requires us to realize that different people and a contradictory character. It both creates new different social groups may well put different cultural opportunities and generates new problems and meanings and different cultural understandings on a challenges. Industrial technology strengthens the piece of technology. This social conscience, this economy and increases wealth on the one hand, and awareness of the broader context within which science dislocates some businesses and jobs on the other; and technology operate, this ability to communicate improvements in transport increase our physical effectively what science and technology are and what mobility, yet they have led to pollution, increased noise they do to those affected by it, must come, at least in level and road-deaths and overcrowding in our cities; part, from the ways in which scientists and engineers new electronics and communication devices can be are trained and the kind of curriculum which they used to combat crime but create opportunities for new crimes or furnish new methods for committing old crimes; mass communications technology benefits TECHNOLOGY, HEALTH AND SOCIETY
education, journalism and the media, but it aggravates unrest and social tensions by widening the gap There has been some interesting social research between expectations and reality, and creates undertaken during the past 15 to 20 years on the problems for sustaining moral standards.
complex relationships between technology, society Developments in genetic engineering in humans, and culture, and this has intensified recently. The field animals and plants give the promise for major is usually referred to as socio-technology. For example, advances in the treatment of diseases and for the in May 2001, the UK's Economic and Social Research increase in food production, but, given the recent Council launched its 5-year Innovative Health widespread public rejection of GM foods in the Technologies (IHT) Program with a budget of 5 million European Union and controversies about cloning and pounds sterling. IHTs comprise genetics, imaging the development of genetic databases, they generate technologies, new drugs, cloning, stem cell research major ethical and moral dilemmas and concerns about and e-health (new information sourcing on health the unknown impacts on human health and the issues via the Internet). These innovations raise many apparent need in some of these areas for more questions which can be addressed by social science.
experiments on animals.
The research is directed to exploring what role these new technologies currently play and will play in Bearing these contradictions in mind, it should be one redefining the way we manage and experience health of the concerns, I think, of scientists and engineers to and medicine, and our concepts of what it is to be cultivate a social conscience, a sensitivity to social and ‘healthy' and to ‘receive healthcare'. They also arouse cultural issues and at least to consider and keep in much public interest and concern and raise questions mind the possible effects of what scientists invent, about the ways in which new technology is explained develop, produce, apply, or implement on their fellow (in terms of its risks, for example, as well as its benefits), human-beings; on their work patterns, prospects for the ways in which consumers then make sense of a employment and self-realization, their family life and new technology, how the media shapes the public the socialization of their children, their life outside response, and the social processes involved in its work, their cultural values, and the prospects for social adoption. It is noticeable that there has been VOLUME THREE NUMBER ONE JANUARY - JUNE 2003 PLATFORM
considerable volatility in the way in which consumers culture'. I am prepared to grant that there have been have reacted to certain health-related research, in some success stories in managing cultural change, but genetic research and cloning for example. This in turn there have been some spectacular failures as well, has led to governments becoming increasingly often because there was insufficient realization that involved in establishing special advisory committees cultures are created through the process of interaction and commissions with ethical and moral between individuals and groups as they try to make responsibilities in order to address public concern.
sense of their own position and role in the organization in which they work, and their cultural conception of their own organization.
Let me turn now to another area of research again It is not simply a question of managers dictating a broadly within the socio-technology field but which particular corporate culture, although obviously they includes what is referred to as organizational or have a greater opportunity to guide and influence corporate culture; in other words, the importance of others. Cultures are dynamic, variable, flexible and the relationships between technology and the ways negotiated so that individuals and groups depending in which it is received, used and managed in on their position and function in an organization, and companies and public sector organizations. An on other variables such as gender and ethnicity will important impetus for the increasing interest among often put different meanings and interpretations on social scientists in the social and cultural context of the symbols, language, behavior and action which technology and industry will be one familiar to comprise culture.
Malaysians, and it fed into the field of management science and business studies. This impetus was THE INTRODUCTION AND ACQUISITION OF
provided by the startling success of Japanese companies in the 1980s onwards. The distinctive culture of Japanese firms was seen as vital to their It is into this complexity that new technologies are ability to compete and win market share. Obviously introduced and individuals and groups will interpret the remedy proposed at that time was that if you could ‘technology' using their own cultural assumptions and identify successful organizational cultures then will usually develop new interpretations as they managers could copy these and implant them in their interact with technology and with other colleagues own companies. It also alerted us to the increasing who are using it (Preece, 1995). This is where the importance of knowing something about other important concept of ‘needs' comes in and the research cultures, other ways of organizing and doing things; which has been undertaken by social scientists on in other words the importance of a cross-cultural and consumerism. We all assume that as individuals or members of organization when we buy something (such as a piece of new technology like a computer), Nevertheless, this early research was soon criticized for we do so to satisfy a clearly defined need. It is a rational its lack of attention to the different types of culture decision. Yet in research done in the UK in the late required for different types of company of different 1980s and the early 1990s on the purchase and use of size, structure, product type or range, organization, home computers, it became clear that the definition history and environment, or indeed to the fact that of needs in a cultural context is complex. The different groups within the same company develop enormous demand for this new technology from the their own sub-cultures. This field of corporate culture mid-1980s could not be explained simply in terms of and management organization led to the publication the satisfaction of pre-existing needs. Many customers of a large number of books and manuals for managers had little idea of the capabilities of the computers which claimed that ‘you can learn how to manage when they bought them. Users began to develop PLATFORM VOLUME THREE NUMBER ONE JANUARY - JUNE 2003
needs and uses after purchase and they related to their university administrators, centralized strategic machines in different ways giving them meanings and planning, increasing efficiency in delivering teaching values or simply devaluing them and leaving them and research, and generating funds from sources unused, responses which had not been anticipated outside government. These processes contributed to either by the designers or the retailers.
the ever-increasing demands on higher education and the expectation that universities as institutions With regard to the adoption of new technology by an primarily funded by the tax-payer should be organization made up of many groups and individuals transparent in their procedures and publicly we can appreciate the increased complexity of the processes of technology acquisition. If we are sensitive to social and cultural matters, to individuals as seekers The system was designed to provide standardized after meaning, it is misguided to assume that the kinds of management information across the then meaning of a piece of technology and the needs it is university sector involving Student Records, Finance, supposed to meet are objectively determined, set Physical Resources, Payroll and Personnel, Research down in advance and are constant. This is seldom the and Consultancy, and Management Information. It case and there is usually a tension between managers engendered considerable problems, and I remember who wish to deploy technology in standardized ways well my departmental secretaries being critical of the and company workers who wish to localize it and extra workload which the system generated and the evaluate it in their own terms. We probably all know fact that the schedule in which information had to be of cases where the introduction of technological inputted completely disrupted the arrangements that innovations has been resisted or sabotaged, and this they had in place to spread their work more evenly is invariably because of issues to do with social across the academic year. The MAC initiative largely organization and cultural evaluation. In other words failed to realize its objectives fully for two major acquisition is a much more uncertain, drawn-out and open-ended process than we might like to think.
Firstly, at the time that it was introduced it contained To illustrate these points I have chosen an interesting within its design features certain assumptions about sociological study undertaken by Janice McLaughlin, the way in which universities were organized which Paul Rosen, David Skinner and Andrew Webster in the did not match the perceptions of the people who mid-1990s and described in their book "Valuing worked in the institution, and the way they organized Technology" (1999). Their research compared their working lives. It assumed that university decision- technology acquisition in three different UK making was centralized when invariably academic organizations: a staff management system in a retailing departments enjoyed considerable independence in company, a clinical information system in a hospital teaching and research and the ways in which they and a management and administrative system in a organized the delivery of their academic programs and university. For obvious reasons I am especially the conduct of their scholarly activities. The MAC interested in the case of the university because as a system demanded that universities deliver certain senior academic manager in my own university at the standard kinds of data in a defined way which began time I had to live and work through the introduction to undermine the autonomy of academic of this system. It was called the Management and departments. It was also difficult to cope with the Administrative Computing (MAC) system, which was range of different kinds of university in size, subject initiated in the late 1980s, and generally it failed to do mix, structure and history, and this was compounded what was expected of it. As the researchers point out by the great variety of working practices, needs and its introduction was part of the general trend in missions of academic departments. Interestingly there universities towards the professionalization of were particular groups and categories of employee in VOLUME THREE NUMBER ONE JANUARY - JUNE 2003 PLATFORM
the university selected for the case-study which were argued that new times require new approaches and more successful than others in resisting and modifying new ways of thinking, and that to equip ourselves to the MAC system.
meet novel situations we have to combine the strengths of a variety of disciplines embracing the Secondly, by the time it was implemented the MAC humanities, social sciences and natural sciences. This system was already being overtaken by changes in the was not an altogether unexpected statement, but it is sector; the raising of the polytechnics to university true nonetheless, and it is much easier said than done, status, the shifts to semester-based, modular courses, particularly when academics still tend to have strong and the move away from the use of terminals linked commitments to their own academic discipline. Yet to mainframe computers towards Windows-based these commitments have to be overcome if we wish desktop PCs supported by central servers. The MAC to provide a broad-based, innovative curriculum and system had simply not anticipated these changes or produce well rounded and well equipped graduates the rapid pace with which they would be introduced.
to meet the challenges of the 21st century.
For these reasons, parts of the system were abandoned, some other elements were modified to such an extent King, Victor T. (ed), Environmental Challenges in South-East in the local setting that they had moved considerably Asia, Richmond, Curzon Press, and Copenhagen, Nordic away from the overall objective of providing a national Institute of Asian Studies, 1998.
system, and today, despite the enormous resource in King, Victor T., Anthropology and Development in South-East finance and staff time invested in the system, it is being Asia. Theory and Practice, Kuala Lumpur, Oxford University either further modified or set aside and replaced with Press, 1999.
other more effective alternatives.
McLaughlin, J., Rosen, P., Skinner, D., Webster, A., ValuingTechnology, London and New York, Routledge, 1999.
Preece, David, Organizations and Technical Change. Strategy,Objectives and Involvement, London and New York, Routledge, This case study provides a lesson for us all. It is obvious that we shall have to continue to embrace new Sklair, Leslie, Organized Knowledge. A Sociological View of technological innovations; it is inevitable, although in Science and Technology, London, Allen and Unwin, 1973.
specific cases technology is not necessarily the best method of solving particular managerial or Victor T. King is a professor and a center
organizational problems. However, we should not lose director of South-East Asian Studies at the sight of the fact that what we do is part of a cultural University of Hull, UK. He held severalacademic positions at the university prior and moral universe and that technological to his appointment as the center director of development however wondrous it is does not have a South-East Asian Studies. His researchinterests include socio-economic life and momentum of its own. It is given meaning development and applied anthropology, and value by people. Finally, in my view, scientists and especially in Malaysia, Brunei and Indonesia; engineers will be better equipped if they recognize religion, symbolism and material culture in South-East Asia. Hisrecent work focuses on resettlement and land development fully and openly that they work within and for society.
schemes in East Malaysia, environmental change in Sarawak, It also requires them to acknowledge the international tourism and development, and business culture in South-East Asia.
His ongoing projects, among others, include the study of socio- dimensions of their work and to keep their minds open economic development in the state of Perak, Malaysia.
to other academic disciplines and to other ways of seeing and understanding the world.
In a recent debate in my own university about academic reorganization, one of my senior colleagues PLATFORM VOLUME THREE NUMBER ONE JANUARY - JUNE 2003
Integration of Multimedia in
Visualising Geometric Transformations
for Mathematics Education: A Preliminary Review
1 Wan Fatimah Bt Wan Ahmad
2 Halimah Badioze Zaman
1 Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS, Bandar Seri Iskandar, 31750 Tronoh, Perak Darul Ridzuan, Malaysia.
2 Faculty of Information Science and Technology, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, 43600 Bangi, Selangor.
The growth of personal computers usage and the introduction of the Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC), coupled with the availability of a wide range of educational software have changed forever the face of education in the country. Since then, computers have revolutionised the educational delivery system. Multimedia in education has taken centre stage in the educational technology initiatives under taken in recently. This is because personal computers allow us to create and use documents with multimedia objects such as pictures, photographs, animations, texts, voices etc. The use of computer system together with the interactive multimedia techniques will create the learning environment and resources for our education system. This paper intends to highlight the definitions and benefits of multimedia in mathematics education. Technology generally, can help all students understand mathematics and interactive multimedia courseware particularly, may give students with special instructional needs to access mathematics in a way that they might not otherwise experience. Students of mathematics tend to find the subject difficult due to the inability to visualize the abstract of mathematical concept. With multimedia, it is hoped that this problem can be overcome.
Students can naturally use their own experiences with shapes to learn about transformations such as slides (translations), turns (rotations), and flips (reflections). The purpose of this paper is to discuss the issues that has been raised in teaching and learning of geometric transformations and the research that has been done. The authors will also highlight a conceptual model of a multimedia based tutoring system on geometrical transformations; pedagogical approaches suitable for teaching and learning mathematics and the modules that will be developed through a prototype. The modules will be based on the student learning approach that is the reinforcement, revision and enrichment modules. We hope that this tutoring module for recognising the geometric transformations will be beneficial in teaching and learning of mathematics in the smart schools.
Keywords: multimedia, education, mathematics
This paper was presented at the Second Conference On Conference on Information Technology in Asia 2001 (CITA'01), Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS), October 17-19, 2001 VOLUME THREE NUMBER ONE JANUARY - JUNE 2003 PLATFORM
Technological advances have changed and are still During the last decade, multimedia technology has changing many aspects of society and education.
been a dominant focus of the computer industry. In These changes are seen in both the delivery method its many forms, multimedia offers exciting possibilities as well as content of many subjects offered in the for education and entertainment.
educational institutions. The National Council of Teachers Mathematics (NCTM) has taken a strong Multimedia is the integration of more than one interest of integrating technology in the teaching and medium into some form of communication or learning of mathematics [1]. Technology is particularly experience delivered via computer. Most often, useful for facilitating the teaching and learning of multimedia refers to the integration of media such as mathematics concepts for students [2].
text, sound, graphics, animation, video, imaging, spatial modelling into a computer system [4]. Employing a The use of computer for enhancement of learning is relatively inexpensive desktop computer, users are not a new concept. From the early 1970's there has now able to capture sounds and video, manipulate been a push for the computer to gradually take a audio and images to achieve special effects, synthesize leading role in education. In Malaysia, the use of audio and video, create sophisticated graphics computer in formal education was first introduced into including animation, and integrate them all into a schools in 1981 when 20 schools were selected to be single multimedia presentation. Multimedia is not a in the pilot ‘computer in education project' [3]. By late form of instruction to learn from, but rather a tool for 1996, Smart School had become one of the seven constructing and learning with [5]. Learners may create flagship applications of the Multimedia Super Corridor their own multimedia knowledge presentations that (MSC). The Malaysian Smart School is a learning reflect their own perspectives on understanding of institution that has been systemically reinvented in terms of teaching-learning and management practices to help children cope with the Information Age.
Multimedia is considered as a breakthrough in Through this program, computer and multimedia will teaching and learning aids because it allows the user become the main medium in the process of teaching to be an active participant rather than a spectator [6].
and learning.
The author also discusses the difficulties commonly found in middle school environment, which include 2.0 PURPOSE OF PAPER
the use of the technology and how the teachers can integrate this new teaching aid into their curriculum.
The purpose of this paper is to highlight the definitions and benefits of multimedia in mathematics education Saga [7] discusses the integration of different media specifically in the area of geometric transformations.
developed in Japan. The study tested the effectiveness This paper also provides an overview of the issues that of the system including the results related to level of have been raised in teaching and learning of interest, learning of factual information and degree of geometric transformations and the researches that have been done. The authors will also highlight a conceptual model of a multimedia based tutoring 3.1 Benefits of Multimedia
system on geometrical transformations; pedagogical Multimedia technology has been said to be able to approaches suitable for teaching and learning enhance teaching and learning and teachers and mathematics and the prototype modules that will be students can benefit from it tremendously, if the technology is used well during the design and development stage of the multimedia courseware.
Among the benefits reported on multimedia traditionally introduced to students through technology used in education are: constructing the figures with compass and ruler or a Enhance students' achievement; model. The introduction of geometric shapes begins Help students master skills required for the in infancy with blocks, puzzles, sorting toys, mobiles and books. Students first learn to recognise a shape Serve as a motivational tool, improving attitude by its appearance as a whole. Students can create towards learning, confidence, and self- esteem; shapes on a piece of paper and represent them in Enhance ability to remember and understand drawings, learn about geometric properties by combining apart shapes to form new shapes. Students Enhance organisational and problem-solving can naturally use their own experiences with shapes to learn about transformations.
Help students become independent learners and Transformations are required in many geometrical Improve skills and knowledge of teachers [8].
constructions as part of mathematics curriculum.
Geometrical transformation involves mental or The following benefits are identified by students: physical manipulation of shapes to new positions or Students can work at their own pace.
orientations. It is a study of movements such as Students get constant feedback on progress.
translations, reflections and rotations or, as they are More flexible access to education, commonly referred to as slides, flips and turns.
Reduction of lecturer activity coupled with more Explorations and activities with transformations active student centred learning.
encourage development of spatial reasoning as More time for the teacher to talk with individual students practice visualizing what shapes look like as they're slide, turned and flipped.
Fewer students waiting for assistance, there is increased student motivation.
Visualization has been an area of interest concerning Students cooperatively help one another, moving mathematics education, particularly with the advent around the room.
of computer technology that allows the possibility of A more relaxed classroom atmosphere a wide range of visual displays. Many researchers Increased mastery, especially by weaker students emphasize the importance of visualization and visual Consistency in course content.
reasoning for learning mathematics [11, 12]. They have Reduces ‘catch up' problems if a student is sick [9].
made use of visual forms of representation and suggest that visual thinking can be alternative and One of the areas of mathematics that can benefit from powerful resource for students doing mathematics.
visual aspects of multimedia is geometry.
These visual representations also seem to have a powerful influence on students' development of GEOMETRY AND VISUALIZATION
geometric concepts.
Geometry is the study of spatial relationships that can Apart from these, learning geometry is important be found in the three-dimensional space we live in and because other courses such as Physics, art, mechanical on any two-dimensional surface in this three drawing, Chemistry (for atomic and molecular dimensional space [10]. Geometry deals with the structure), Biology (for cell structure) and Geology (for investigation of shapes and objects in two and three crystalline structure) also use geometry as a dimensions, their locations, relationships and properties. Shapes are one of the most common ways to represent geometric objects. Geometric objects are VOLUME THREE NUMBER ONE JANUARY - JUNE 2003 PLATFORM
1.1 Issues in the learning and teaching
ways to help their students to think and to analyze problems, and in developing insight in their students.
Gorgorio [13] listed topics where students with poorly The "van Hiele Model of Thinking in Geometry" [15], as developed spatial abilities have difficulties in in Figure 1, provides strategies and suggested activities geometrical transformations such as translation, for helping students focus on levels of thinking in reflections, rotations, dilations and expansions. All these topics are part of our curricular content.
At Level 0, students recognize the geometric shapes Geometrical transformation is difficult because it on the basis of their visual appearance for example, requires high abstractive thinking and logical triangles and squares. However, they do not recognize deduction. Students usually encounter with these properties of these figures yet. At Level 1, students will difficulties when they study it. Students' performance analyse the geometric shapes but at this stage they will be even poorer when it comes to items that involve are not able to explain the interrelationships between the understanding of features and properties of figures and properties. At Level 2, students can shapes. National and international surveys revealed establish interrelationships of the properties within the that secondary school students could not identify and figures and among the figures. Informal proofs can be name shapes like kite, rhombus, trapezium, followed but students do not see how the logical parallelogram and triangle [10]. Students have shown order/proof could be altered. At Level 3, students will lack of ability to connect a diagram with its symbolic understand the significance of deduction as a way of representation. Learning the characteristics and establishing geometric theory with axiom. At Level 4, properties of a geometrical shape is essential because students can compare different axioms. It is highly they can form the basis of higher levels of thinking and abstract and this level of study is suitable for study of help in gaining a practical and intuitive grasp in geometry in college.
mathematical space. Representation of geometrical object involves the use of diagrams, along with words, Van Hiele proposed a sequence of five "phases" of apparatus and activities. The ability to interpret the learning as in Figure 2 and Table 1.
figural language of geometry, manipulate figural stimuli, associate theorems with previous experiences In another research, Ha and Duc [16] have listed five and translate non-figural stimuli into figural terms are levels of activities in the learning process of geometric very important in the learning of geometry [14].
transformations in order to develop skills in the solving of transformations (refer to Table 2). According to Ha, Learning geometry can also be difficult and studies in Level 1 and Level 2, students can use software to have shown that students need experience in deal with problems effectively. However, in the other "thinking" at different levels. The most influential levels, students can use software and their deduction research into learning of geometry was the work of in order to solve the problems. The procedures two Dutch, Pierre van Hiele and Dina van Hiele-Geldof, involved are shown in Table 3.
during the late 1950s. They were interested in finding Figure 1: Van Hiele's thinking model
Figure 2: Learning phases
Table 1: Learning phases
Students will discuss and develop questions on a topic to be explored Students explore the topic through materials that has been carefully sequences by the Students express and exchange views about the structures that have been observed Students encounter more complex tasks and gain experience in finding their own way of resolving the problems Students are able to internalise and unify relations into a new body of thought Table 2: Activities levels
Recognize transformation through activity of discovering invariance.
Construct image of a figure through a given figure transformation. With the variant nature, transformation is considered as a deductive tool but it is not systematic.
Use the invariance in the simple situation which is based on deduction.
Use figure transformation like useful tool to solve mathematical problem.
Use figure transformation among algebraic viewpoint. (The product of figure Table 3: Solving procedure
Construct figure and distinguish the nature of problems and define supposition and conclusion on problems.
Realize operations on the figure to find out the necessary correspondences, define the relation between the elements in the problem and discover the most suitable figure to deal with the problems.
Use the figure transformation to solve problem.
Check and make a conclusion.
Hoffer [17] has identified five geometric skills that is understand mathematics and interactive multimedia visual, verbal, drawing, logical and application while courseware may help some students to access De Villiers [18] referred to the processes in the study mathematics in a way that they might not otherwise of geometry as axiomatising, proving, defining, experimenting, refuting, pattern finding, generalising, specialising, classifying and theorem finding.
Four types of mathematical questions regarding According to Piaget [21], "To know an object is to act on navigation and maps can help students develop a it. To know it is to modify, to transform the object and to variety of spatial understandings: direction (which understand the process of this transformation and, as a way?), distance (how far?), location (where?) and consequence, to understand the way the object is representation (what objects are abstract?). In constructed" (pg 176). Therefore, learning experiences answering these questions, students need to develop will require a ‘hands-on' involvement of the students.
a variety of skills that relate to direction, distance, and Based on the issues raised in the teaching and learning position in space. Computer can help students to of geometric transformations, the authors have abstract, generalise, and symbolise their experiences proposed a prototype. The proposed prototype will through the navigation process.
include the following topics: rotation, translation, reflection and combinations of transformations.
Students using interactive multimedia courseware pertaining to shapes very often have to choose a A conceptual Instructional Design (ID) model of the motion to solve a puzzle. These actions are multimedia courseware to be developed is as shown explorations with geometric transformations and are in Figure 3, which includes medium, development important part of spatial learning. They help students approach and learning theories. Multimedia will be become conscious of the motions and encourage used in the presentation of the prototype. This means them to predict the results of changing a shape's that the presentation is not only in text but also will position or orientation. Students should be given be in text, graphics, audio and animation.
opportunities to practice the skills until they achieve their own understanding. The interactive environment The proposed multimedia prototype will be based on provided by multimedia courseware or programs has a tutoring system that will relate mathematics with real the potential to foster students' movement from life. The objectives of the courseware are that the concrete experience with mathematics to more formal students are able 1) to define, use and visualize the levels of abstraction and to improve the students' effect of translations, rotations and reflections and mathematical thinking. Spatial visualization can be understand the effects of repeated transformations developed by building and manipulating a concrete and 2) to draw the image of the object under the and mental representation of shapes, relationships, combinations of the transformations given. These require the learners' mental and physical manipulation of shapes to construct a new image under the given Studies conducted by Khalili & Shashaani [19] and Butler & Mautz [20] have shown that the use of multimedia technology has a positive effect on The teaching and learning theories will include the learning and achievement from elementary schools to cognitive theory, constructivism theory and Van Hiele's college. Interactive multimedia courseware can theory of thought. There will be three modules that provide a rich environment for activities in which the students can choose from, depending on the levels students can compose and decompose shapes.
of the learners. The modules are reinforcement module, Multimedia technology can help all students revision module and enrichment module. The PLATFORM VOLUME THREE NUMBER ONE JANUARY - JUNE 2003
reinforcement module consists of the introduction of system. The performance will be recorded and geometrical transformations, steps and examples on how to identify the various transformations, exercises set by the systems. In the revision module, slow learners and learners who are weak in certain topics can relearn the topic until they fully understand. These In the world of computers or the digital information learners can work for as long as they want before they age, the education systems should also provide move to a new topic in the reinforcement module.
students with integrated and diverse ways of learning.
Enrichment module consists of exploration and Students should be given the opportunities to application problems. These questions are more experience and learn in ways that have never been challenging, require learners to think, to analyze and imaginable before. Due to the fact that students learn apply concepts learnt earlier. There will be activities in various ways that are unique to their own interests that learners have to explore and apply the and experiences, the learning aids provided should geometrical transformations. Learners will be assessed also cater for this diversity in learning styles. Learning in the assessment module that will be built into the aids that are designed and developed should be both Figure 3: Conceptual model of courseware
in conventional as well as electronic form (e.g.
[11] Triadafillidis, T.A. 1995, "Circumventing Visual Limitations in Teaching the Geomerty of Shapes, Educational Studies in multimedia). Students can interact with the various Mathematics, 29: 225-235.
forms of multimedia in order to properly structure their knowledge and allow them to become better learners [12] Battisha, M.T. 1994, "On Greeno's Environmental/Model View of Conceptual Domains: A Spatial /Geometric Perspective", as well as problem-solvers.
Journal for Research in Mathematics Education,25(1). 86-99.
[13] Gorgorio, N. 1998, "Exploring The Functionality of Visual and The paper reviewed a few issues that had been raised Non-visual Strategies in Solving Rotations Problems".
in the teaching and learning geometric of Educational Studies in Mathematics. 35: 207- 231.
transformations and the research that has been done.
[14] Del Drande, J.J. 1987, "Learning and Teaching Geometry, K- The authors have also highlighted a conceptual model 12,USA", Spatial Perception and Geometry in NTCM 1987 of a multimedia based tutoring system on geometrical Yearbook. 126-135.
transformations, pedagogical approaches suitable for [15] Fuys, D., Geddes, D. and Tischler, R. 1988, "The van hiele Model teaching and learning mathematics and the modules of Thinking in Geometry among Adolescents",Journal for that will be developed through a prototype. It is hoped Research in Mathematics Education Monograph No.3 Reston,VA.:National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. 210-221.
that with the help of the developed prototype, the students are able to access the information that can interest them on the learning abilities and techniques [16] Ha, T.T.T. and Duc, N.H., 1999, "Developing Student's Activities in using Transformations to Solve problems on Plane in geometric transformations.
Geometry with the Assistance of Informatics". ICE on ESH'99(30Nov -2 Dec 1999), SEMEO RECSAM, Penang, Malaysia. 164-170.
[17] Hoffer, A. 1981, "Geometry is More Than Proof", Mathematics National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. 1989, "Curriculum and Evaluation Standards for School Mathematics", Reston, VA.
[18] De Villiers, M.D. 1997, "Possibilities for Doing More Mathematics Falba, C.J. and Williams, D.L. 1998, "Exploring Mathematics with Via Congruence Geometry", Paper presented at MALATI/ interactive Computer Multimedia: An Investigation of Mirror EMSLEP Geometry Thinkshop, University of Stellenbosch, South Symmetry", Intervention in School & Clinic, 33(3). 187-190.
Yussuf Hashim. 1998, Teknologi Pengajaran. Shah Alam: [19] Khalili, A.& Shashaani, L. 1994, "The effectiveness of Computer Penerbit Fajar Bakti Sdn. Bhd.
Applications: A Meta-analysis", Journal of Research on
Computing in Education
, 27(1), 48 - 61.
Von Wodtke, M. 1993, Mind over Media: Creative thinking Skillsfor Electronic Media, New York: McGraw Hill.
[20] Butler, J.B. & Mautz Jr., R.D. 1996, "Multimedia Presentations and Learning: A Laboratory Experiment", Issues in Accounting Lajoie, S.P. and Derry, S.J. 1993, Computers as Cognitive Tools, Education, 11(2), 259 - 281.
Hillsdale, N.J.:Lawrence Erlbaum.
[21] Piaget, J. 1964. "Development and Learning", Journal of Research Kanning, R.G. 1994, "What Multimedia Can Do in Our in Science Teaching, 2, 176-186.
Classrooms", Educational Leadership, 51(7), 40 - 44.
Saga, H. 1993, "Are We Ready Enough to Learn from Interactive Wan Fatimah Wan Ahmad received her
Multimedia?" Educational Media International, 29(3), 181- 188.
M.S. degree in Mathematics from CaliforniaState University, Long Beach, California, U.S. Department of education. 1996b, (Available on online) U.S.A. in 1987. She is currently a lecturer in the IT/IS program at UTP. She was a lecturer at Universiti Sains Malaysia, Tronoh beforejoining UTP. Her main interests are in the Waddick, J. 1994, "Case Study: The Creation of a computer areas of educational technology, Learning environment as an alternative to traditional multimedia and mathematics education.
Lecturing Methods in Chemistry", Journal of Education And She was involved in a project under the Intensified Research in Teaching Technology International (ETTI), 31(2)
Priority Areas (IRPA) in 1996-1999. The name of the project was"Multimedia in the Learning of Engineering Mathematics".
[10] Bennie, K. 1998. "Shape and Space": An Approach to the study Currently, she is pursuing her Ph.D. studies at Universiti of Geometry in the Intermediate Phase, Paper presented at the 4th Annual Congress of the association for MathematicsEducation of South Africa, Pietersburg, July 1998.
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Volume 3 Number 1
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Design and Development of a Prototype Free Piston Linear Generator Engine Abd. Rashid Abd. Aziz
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The Effects of Horizontal Mounting Position of Atomizer to Spray Angles in a Confined Tube
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Technology Platform: System Optimization
Industrial Stream Composition Forecasting Using Neural Network Abdul Halim S. M, I. Ismail, R.D. Menez, and M.A. Shafawi
Debottlenecking of an Existing Fractionation Train Using the Non-conventional Distillation Columns
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Technology Platform: Smart Card Technology
THREE NUMBER ONE JANU Face Recognition for MyKad Security Ahmad Fadzil M.H. , Irfan A.R.
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Identification of Handwritten Digits Ahmad Fadzil M. H., Intan Mastura A.M.
Technology Platform: Intelligent Building
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The Training of Scientists and Engineers in the 21st Century: a Social Science Perspective
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Integration of Multimedia in Visualizing Geometric Transformation for Mathematics Education: A Preliminary Review
Wan Fatimah Wan Ahmad, Halimah Badioze Zaman


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