As manufacturers shift their focus from selling products to providing services, designers must therefore increasingly consider the life-cycle requirements in addition to conventional design parameters. To identify possible areas of concern, engineers must consider knowledge gained through the life cycle of a related product. However, because of the size and distributed nature of a company’s operation, engineers often do not have access to front-line maintenance data. Additionally, the large number of documents generated during the design and operation of a product makes it impractical to manually review all documents thoroughly during a design task. This paper presents a prototype knowledge-based document repository for an aeroengine manufacturer. The developed system searches and analyzes distributed document resources, and provides engineers with a summary view of the underlying knowledge. The aim is to aid engineers in creating design requirements that incorporate maintenance issues. Unlike existing document repositories and digital libraries, our approach is knowledge based, where users browse summary reports instead of following suggested links. To test the validity of our architecture, we have developed and deployed a prototype of our knowledge-based document repository. The repository has been demonstrated to and validated by the engine design community.