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Service knowledge capture and re-use to support product design

By Athanasia Doultsinou


A significant change is taking place in manufacturing company strategies around the globe. With new monitoring and service methods, new opportunities of product use and service provision emerge. The manufacturing companies once focused on mere product manufacture, now have started to provide ‘systemic solutions’, i.e. products combined with service packages, which are often referred to as Product-Service Systems (PSS). Currently, there is not a well-established feedback mechanism between service and design. The aim of this research is to develop a methodology to capture, represent, and re-use service knowledge to support product design. For the accomplishment of this aim an extensive literature review of the related themes to the research area took place. It was found that the feedback from service to design is fundamental for the enhancement of product performance; however, the existing literature in this area is not adequate. The industrial investigation led to the realisation that there is not an established mechanism in place to show how service knowledge (SK) can be used by designers. An in- depth investigation took place with the collaboration of, in total, four UK manufacturing companies. The author studied both the conceptual and detailed design, focusing on the design requirements (DR) and the design/service features (DF/SF) respectively. The first step was the capture of SK and its representation using Protégé software. Following this, at the conceptual design stage, SK can be re-used through the DR-SK tool. The two main purposes of the tool are the knowledge retrieval by designers, and the identification of gaps in SK. At the detailed design stage, designers can access SK through the DF-SK tool, and the developed knowledge templates. The SKaD framework was created, as a result of the amalgamation among the SKaD methodology, the knowledge templates, and the tools developed to link SK and DR, SF, and DF. Conclusively, the framework was applied on case studies within the pump manufacturing and aerospace industries, and its purpose (to aid designers accessing and re-using SK) was validated by experts within the collaborating organisations. As a result of this research’s findings, the service personnel can capture SK in a structured manner, which can then be re- used by product designers at both the conceptual and detailed design stage

Topics: service knowledge re-use, knowledge management, design for service
Publisher: Cranfield University
Year: 2010
OAI identifier:
Provided by: Cranfield CERES

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