Improved codification and transfer of engineering knowledge through human intermediaries

DS 87-6 Proceedings of the 21st International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED 17) Vol 6: Design Information and Knowledge, Vancouver, Canada, 21-25.08.2017

Year: 2017
Editor: Anja Maier, Stanko Škec, Harrison Kim, Michael Kokkolaras, Josef Oehmen, Georges Fadel, Filippo Salustri, Mike Van der Loos
Author: Ruck, Tobias; Albers, Albert; Reiß, Nicolas
Series: ICED
Institution: Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Germany
Section: Design Information and Knowledge
Page(s): 257-266
ISBN: 978-1-904670-94-0
ISSN: 2220-4342


In multi-domain product development and companies with a high division of expertise, there is a permanent need to transfer expert knowledge to mechanical designers. Especially in large distributed organizations, the “people-to-documents” approach plays an important role since experts are often temporarily or locally not available. However, experts face several problems when they independently codify their knowledge for mechanical designers into a computer-based knowledge system. Difficulties are resulting from the characteristics of expert-layperson communication or from cognitive and motivational barriers. In order to overcome the problems, an intermediary is suggested as a medium to reduce the experts’ effort and support them in anticipating designers’ knowledge needs. For this purpose, an intermediary based knowledge codification method has been applied in a case study in the German automotive supplier industry. Thereafter, the method was evaluated by interviews with experts who have participated in that process.

Keywords: Information management, Communication, Case study


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