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Knowledge based engineering for SMEs
2000 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (professional degree), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

As prices for computers and software fall, more companies are able to use them to make their business more efficient. However, a lot of companies do not use the full potential of their software. The purpose of this report is to describe how information technology in general, and knowledge based engineering in particular, can be used in smaller companies. A literary survey and two case studies have been used to investigate this. One of the case studies was performed at Clamason Industries: they produce high volume precision bending. The other case study was performed at Leslie Group: they produce hot forgings. Both the companies are situated in the outskirts of Birmingham. Results indicate that knowledge based engineering can be used as a labour saving device, by collecting process information in a database. This database can be used to generate four different reports for process control to fulfil QS9000 requirements. The same database can also be used as a decision support system for strategic quality planning. The recommendation for Clamason Industries is to continue the development of this database. This will give them a powerful tool to fulfil the requirements for QS9000. Clamason may need some assistance to develop the management of process data. The KEM Centre at Coventry University or any other organisation with experience of product data management may perform this work. KEM Centre can also use the demonstrator to create a commercial application for other SMEs. The staff at Clamason can perform other development that is specific for their company, such as creating more reports and forms needed for warranties and packing instructions. The tool for strategic quality planning also needs further development. Today, this is just included in the demonstrator to view the possibilities. By developing the query used to create the pareto charts, the information can be filtered in different ways. This means that can be possible to create pareto charts not only for all products, but also to limit the chart to potential failures specific for a customer, machine, safety critical products or any other feature that need to be investigated. This can be developed by an external organisation or by the staff at Clamason after some training in Access and Excel. Further investigation is required to be able to give an appropriate recommendation for Leslie Group. Their current awareness of information technology is not enough to introduce any KBE application. However, there are probably areas in the company where convenient KBE application can be used, but further education from the KEM Centre is required. The thesis illustrates that the method used to develop knowledge based engineering can be a determining factor for its usefulness. The conclusion of the project is that knowledge based engineering can be used in small and medium sized enterprises. However, the company's awareness of information technology is crucial for success.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
Technology, KBE, KBS, SME, knowledge based engineering, QS9000
Keyword [sv]
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-52014ISRN: LTU-EX--00/077--SELocal ID: 92bac84f-5f24-4ca1-a664-261a9e69e086OAI: diva2:1025380
Subject / course
Student thesis, at least 30 credits
Educational program
Civil Engineering programmes 1997-2000, master's level
Validerat; 20101217 (root)Available from: 2016-10-04 Created: 2016-10-04Bibliographically approved

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