Providing Value to a Business Using a Lightweight Design System to Support Knowledge Reuse by Designers

DS 58-8: Proceedings of ICED 09, the 17th International Conference on Engineering Design, Vol. 8, Design Information and Knowledge, Palo Alto, CA, USA, 24.-27.08.2009

Year: 2009
Editor: Norell Bergendahl, M.; Grimheden, M.; Leifer, L.; Skogstad, P.; Lindemann, U.
Author: Reed, Nicholas J.; Scanlan, James P.; Wills, Gary B.; Halliday, Steven T.
Series: ICED
Section: Design Information and Knowledge
Page(s): 135-146


This paper describes an alternative approach to knowledge based systems in engineering than traditional geometry or explicit knowledge focused systems. Past systems have supported product optimization rather than creative solutions and provide little benefit to businesses for bespoke and low volume products or products which do not benefit from optimisation. The approach here addresses this by supporting the creativity of designers through codified tacit knowledge and encouraging knowledge reuse for bespoke product development, in particular for small to medium sized enterprises. The implementation and evaluation of the approach is described within a company producing bespoke fixtures and tooling in shorter than average lead times. The active support of knowledge management in the company is intended to add value to the business by further reducing the lead times of the designs and creating a positive impact to business processes. The evaluation demonstrates a viable alternative framework to the traditional management of knowledge in engineering, which could be implemented by other small to medium enterprises.

Keywords: Engineering Design, Knowledge Management, Knowledge Based Systems


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