An Internet-based Collaborative Platform for Managing Manufacturing Knowledge


  Es ist nicht genug zu wissen, man muss auch anwenden.
Knowing is not enough, we must also apply the knowledge.
Goethe – 1809


Current digital manufacturing ICT platforms have provided a series of useful tools, including CAx, PDM and PLM systems, to support engineers in a series of activities, allowing them to communicate as well as to design and validate the manufacturing processes in a collaborative fashion. However, they still have a long way to go for effectively addressing engineering knowledge management issues:

  • Today’s ERP systems are often detached from the engineering knowledge they are associated with, while PLM systems provide no link to actual performance indicators, such as cost, time, and quality parameters.
  • Knowledge is often dispersed over many stakeholders and many IT systems.
  • There is still a significant absence of robust tools for automatic knowledge capturing as well as for systematic reuse of knowledge, especially in the area of engineering.
  • Current User Interfaces (UI) are often to complex and require much effort to follow and use effectively either in the shop floor or in the engineering office.
  • A large part of the revisions and the process iterations during the product and process development could be avoided with the use of new IT tools taking advantage of existing knowledge and experience. 


The Know4Car project will address the following objectives:

More efficient knowledge management and collaboration, throughout the process lifecycle, supporting the capture and systematic organization, in the form of manufacturing templates, of knowledge across different stakeholders:

  • Systematic analysis of shop floor data for process and product design specifications.
  • Automatic extraction and representation of knowledge from history of design changes, focusing on the process design and operation sequences.

Revolutionize the UI context in the engineering office and the shop floor, addressing the needs of blue-collar workers and engineers with particular emphasis on training activities:
  • Faster, easier, error-free UI for data entry / checking in the shop floor.
  • Intuitive UI for instantaneous knowledge retrieval from workers and engineers.
  • Serious games options for training and design purposes, such as intuitive design involving shop floor workers.

Ultimately, Know4Car aims at delivering a state-of-the-art web-based ICT platform for managing manufacturing knowledge, comprising the following key characteristics:
  • Web-based “Engineering Desktop” for agent-based collaborative design (using cross-platform runtime environments and cloud computing solutions) throughout the value chain, using Production Performance Indicators (PPIs) and manufacturing templates;
  • Faster, easier, guided UI for blue collar workers and engineers.


The Know4Car Agent-based Process Design Collaboration Platform


Dipl.-Inform. Jan Siebel

Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)
Institute for Information Management in Engineering (IMI)

Zirkel 2
Bld. 20.20 (RZ ), R.259
76131 Karlsruhe, Germany

Phone:     +49 721 608 4-6653
Email:       jan.siebel∂kit edu 




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