Title: A knowledge acquisition method to model parametric engineering design processes

Authors: Wouter O. Schotborgh; Chris McMahon; Fred J.A.M. Van Houten

Addresses: Faculty of Engineering Technology, Department of Design, Production and Management, University of Twente, P.O. Box 217, 7500 AE Enschede, The Netherlands. ' Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Bath, Claverton Down, Bath BA2 7AY, UK. ' Faculty of Engineering Technology, Department of Design, Production and Management, University of Twente, P.O. Box 217, 7500 AE Enschede, The Netherlands

Abstract: This paper proposes an interview-style method to create models of engineering design processes intended for design automation. Development of design automation tools often requires a model of the design artefact, design process or design knowledge. However, the knowledge about product development often resides tacitly inside the mind of designers and is difficult to make explicit. The lack of explicit process models creates a challenge for organisations to improve their design processes. A method is proposed to create explicit models of tacit design knowledge of structured design problems. A standardised model of the design process is used to classify sets of information and processes. The content of the model is filled step-by-step through a series of questions. A prescriptive modelling method reduces the required effort for knowledge modelling and allows design processes to be supported more effectively. The method is demonstrated for a design case with tacit knowledge and a further nine cases are used to demonstrate scalability and comparison between design knowledge of mechanical components and complex product systems.

Keywords: knowledge acquisition; knowledge engineering; parametric modelling; engineering design; design automation; computer aided engineering; CAE; parametric design; tacit knowledge; design knowledge.

DOI: 10.1504/IJCAET.2012.047812

International Journal of Computer Aided Engineering and Technology, 2012 Vol.4 No.4, pp.373 - 391

Available online: 12 Jul 2012 *

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