Using Semantic Technologies for the Support of Engineering Design Processes
Sebastian C. Brandt (RWTH Aachen University, Germany), Marcus Schlüter (aiXtrusion GmbH, Germany) and Matthias Jarke (RWTH Aachen University and Fraunhofer FIT, Germany)
Copyright: © 2008
The design and development processes of complex technical systems are of crucial importance to the competitiveness of a technology-oriented enterprise. These processes are characterised by high creativity and strong non deterministic dynamics. Established information science methods, however, are intended for more deterministic work processes. They cannot be effectively applied to support creative activities like conceptual synthesis, analysis, and decision-making. Therefore methods of experience management need to be exploited here. This paper presents a new integrated approach to such design process guidance based on capturing the process traces in a Process Data Warehouse (PDW). Both the products to be designed and the process steps corresponding, are structured and stored as extended method traces. This trace capture facilitates the processing and subsequent reuse of the information through a process-integrated development environment. The concept of the PDW has been evaluated in several engineering design case studies. One of those, which focuses on the conceptual design of a chemical production plant, will be described in more detail.