Date: 18 Jun 2001

Knowledge Decomposition for Conceptual Product Design: An Approach to Develop Specific Domain Expert Systems for Supporting Concurrent Engineering Projects

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Abstract

The conceptual product design is highly dependent on people’s experience, creativity, tacit knowledge and their availability. The proposed methodology guides the product design knowledge decomposition and acquisition, including information about consumers, product and manufacturing process required at the conceptual design stage. The methodology also proposes a framework for building up an expert system to support concurrent engineering teams early in the design by simulating the design process. The expert system, using object oriented programming structure, has the objective of detailing the product components from specific product requirements. A case study was developed in an appliance company to validate the proposed methodology. Several cases were ran comparing the simulated results with real projects. The speed in generating and evaluating product concept alternatives, the framework for knowledge construction and the transformation of tacit (company technology) into explicit knowledge (that can be manageable) were identified as the main benefits.