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Knowledge engineering models as experience carriers
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Innovation and Design.
2009 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Today’s manufacturing industry is experiencing an increased competitive environment due to the effects of market globalisation. To stay competitive there has been an increased interest in providing Total Offers, Integrated Product Service Offerings, Functional Products, commonly known as Product Service Systems. The development of Functional Products enhances the pressure on cross-disciplinary design work, concerned with integrating hardware and service development into the same development process, i.e. the Functional Product Development (FPD) process. In the FPD context of enhanced collaboration, engineering knowledge management has gained increased attention. Today, most of the experience is documented in plain text, such as white-papers and lessons learned. Text and design and decision support tools, such as those presented in the demonstrators, are built upon facts and explicit knowledge that support thinking-first, but can these tools also support seeing-first and doing-first? This means that the focus of creating tools to support the design process also includes aspects that support transfer of knowledge and experience, thus widening the purpose of the methods. The thesis examines how tools developed with the purpose to capture and formalize engineering design knowledge and thus support the design process can support experience feedback within product development organizations. The results present issues to consider when performing functional product development. Intellectual Property issues regarding what information to share and with whom become important in an extended enterprise setting. Design support tools intended for use between partners in the extended enterprise need to consider these questions to not loose core-knowledge to partners and competitors. Design support tools used in the early design phases, when developing total offers or conducting functional product development, need to consider knowledge from diverse disciplines to examine how life cycle aspects are affected through design decisions and vice versa. When creating total offers, i.e. Functional Products, there is a need to understand which state the product development process for the total offer is in. In an attempt to create a visual tool that shows the Total Offer Readiness Level (TORL) for the product development process a demonstrator has been developed. The use of agent-based modelling to create the activities that constitute the design process seems as a promising approach to realizing a dynamic TORL. Communicating knowledge and experience within an organization is not an easy task. It is discussed that approaches such as those described in the results section (KBE, Agent-based modelling and decisions support tools that visualize life cycle aspects (TORL)) could be used in experience feedback because to that they support thinking-, seeing- and doing-first, the three approaches to decision-making. However, most experience is presently hidden within formalized computer code, i.e. Knowledge Based Systems, making it difficult to interpret for persons other than the developer. If the goal is to reuse the design and decision support tool itself (in the way KBS are used) for experience feedback, nothing changes. However, if knowledge and experience implemented in the tool become more transparent (easier to see the connection between computer code and the rationale to how it became) to the user, the design and decisions support tools would increase the learning effect and parts of the knowledge implemented could be used in other projects. The thesis has contributed to an increased understanding of how KBE (Knowledge Based Engineering) can be used in design support tools that have been implemented with multi-disciplinary knowledge and information. Further KBE tools can be used to support cross-company collaboration between partners in the extended enterprise, since design and analysis processes have been automated and an interface for collaboration between partners has been accomplished. The use of agent-based modelling to create models that describe product development activities from a micro-level perspective and thus support the realization of a TORL has been investigated further. It is concluded that tools and methods as presented in this thesis and the papers can support knowledge and experience transfer if they are completed with aids that support thinking-first, seeing-first and doing-first effect.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Luleå: Luleå tekniska universitet, 2009. , 72 p.
Doctoral thesis / Luleå University of Technology 1 jan 1997 → …, ISSN 1402-1544
Research subject
Functional Product Development
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-18420Local ID: 889f2db0-3bbb-11de-a8ec-000ea68e967bISBN: 978-91-86233-56-3OAI: diva2:991429
ProViking THINK - Team för Heterogen Innovationskunskap
Godkänd; 2009; 20090508 (hene); DISPUTATION Ämnesområde: Funktionella produkter/Functional Product Development Opponent: Professor Staffan Sunnersjö, Ingenjörshögskolan i Jönköping Ordförande: Professor Tobias Larsson, Luleå tekniska universitet Tid: Torsdag den 11 juni 2009, kl 09.00 Plats: E 632, Luleå tekniska universitetAvailable from: 2016-09-29 Created: 2016-09-29Bibliographically approved

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