Research Papers

Knowledge Transfer: From Maintenance to Engine Design

[+] Author and Article Information
Sylvia C. Wong

School of Electronics and Computer Science,  University of Southampton, Southampton SO17 1BJ, UKsw2@ecs.soton.ac.uk

Richard M. Crowder

School of Electronics and Computer Science,  University of Southampton, Southampton SO17 1BJ, UKrmc@ecs.soton.ac.uk

Gary B. Wills

School of Electronics and Computer Science,  University of Southampton, Southampton SO17 1BJ, UKgbw@ecs.soton.ac.uk

Nigel R. Shadbolt

School of Electronics and Computer Science,  University of Southampton, Southampton SO17 1BJ, UKnrs@ecs.soton.ac.uk

The scenario is entirely fictitious and does not derive from any real event.


For further details see http:∕∕jcp.org∕jsr∕detail∕168.jsp

J. Comput. Inf. Sci. Eng 8(1), 011001 (Feb 14, 2008) (7 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2840777 History: Received November 27, 2006; Revised January 07, 2008; Published February 14, 2008

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.

Copyright © 2008 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 6

Screenshot from the current portal implementation

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Figure 7

RDQL query for obtaining all maintenance actions that involve the part ET10935

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Figure 8

RDQL query for obtaining all maintenance actions that involve air duct joints

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Figure 5

UML class diagram for the ontology used to describe maintenance events. This is a simplified view and does not show all properties and classes defined in the ontology.

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Figure 1

Information flow between the different stages in the life of an engine. The vertical line between production and operation represents the transfer of the engine from its manufacturer to its user, typically an airline.

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Figure 2

We aim to facilitate the flow of information gained during the life cycle of one engine variant to inform the design of the next variant. The dotted arrows indicate the flow of design rationale and related knowledge. The solid arrows represent all other information flows including design documentation and real time engine information.

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Figure 3

The four key activities within a knowledge management cycles

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Figure 4

A conceptual view of the prototype’s architecture, showing three typical web services, two for search and retrieval, the third for interfacing to the life-cycle cost modeler



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