Kbe - knowledge based engineering

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Achieving Competitive Advantage Through Knowledge-Based Engineering


Achieving Competitive Advantage through Knowledge-Based Engineering
Stephen Cooper, Ip-Shing Fan and Guihua Li Cranfield University

Foreword by Jeff Jupp MA, FRAeS, FREng
The Industrial Revolution created a critical mass of factory-produced goods, a critical mass ofpossibility. Its impetus sustains our industries today but increasing product complexity threatens progress. Once, small groups could hold the knowledge for a car or ‘plane in their heads. They understood the how, what and why of each system and resolved problems daily. This is no longer possible. Today, if the specialists in one area of a design make a change, unresolved impacts elsewhere may easilyincrease delay and cost. Current methods of resolution must improve. ‘What ifs’ need to be answered as they are asked. Expensive and time-wasting feasibility testing destroys creativity, the lifeblood of progress. Small groups cannot hold the knowledge required and large groups cannot control it. The ‘Intellectual Capital’ of an enterprise must be trapped and deployed within a technology thatunderstands the ‘DNA of a design’. It has to behave intuitively, delivering knowledge not ‘on demand’ but ‘as required’, analysing the impacts of changes as they are made and allowing trade-offs to be made from a position of knowledge optimisation not compromise. And it must be expandable to manage the process across an enterprise. Tomorrow’s engineers need to be free to innovate and to realise and assesstheir ideas ‘virtually’. There can be no brake on creativity, no let up in the quest for better products faster, and with lower cost.
Jeff Jupp is Director Technical responsible for Engineering Process Development and IT at British Aerospace Airbus.

One of the answers to these ambitious needs exists. In Airbus we have used it on real projects and know its impact. Read on, as the astonishingpotential of the Knowledge Revolution is revealed. Use it carefully, a little knowledge is a dangerous thing!

BEST PRACTICE GUIDE - ACHIEVING COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE THROUGH KNOWLEDGE-BASED ENGINEERING Prepared for the Department of Trade and Industry by: Department of Enterprise Integration Cranfield University Cranfield Bedford MK43 0AL The authors kindly acknowledge the contributions made by thefollowing companies in the production of this publication: British Aerospace Airbus Ltd British Steel Plc CSC Computer Sciences Ltd Jaguar Cars Ltd Knowledge Technologies International Ltd New Design Paradigm Ltd Designed, printed and bound in the United Kingdom by: DesignPrint, Letchworth. Photographs and screenshots reproduced with kind permission of British Aerospace Airbus Ltd, British SteelLtd, Jaguar Cars Ltd and New Design Paradigm Ltd. Cover shows Airbus A340-600, reproduced with kind permission of British Aerospace Airbus Ltd © Copyright Knowledge Technologies International Ltd ICAD® is a module of The KBO Environment™ from Knowledge Technologies International (KTI). All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted,in any form or by any means now known or hereafter invented, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission of Knowledge Technologies International Ltd.



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The aims of this booklet Knowledge-Based Engineering Generative modelling Integrated modelling Impact of Knowledge-Based Engineering CASE STUDY 1: British AerospaceAirbus KBE and CAD KBE and the supply chain CASE STUDY 2: New Design Paradigm Implementation of KBE Options for initial deployment Retaining a KBE resource CASE STUDY 3: British Aerospace Airbus Selecting a pilot application Building internal support Impact upon the product development process CASE STUDY 4: British Steel Development of KBE applications The structured development process CASE STUDY...