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Specification of an information capture system to support distributed engineering design teams

Conway, Alastair and Wodehouse, Andrew and Ion, William and Lynn, Andrew (2008) Specification of an information capture system to support distributed engineering design teams. In: Proceedings of International Conference on Advanced Design and Manufacture, 2008-01-14 - 2008-01-16.

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The global distribution of design teams and the support of design activities within the digital domain has seen an increase in the need for computational systems for information capture, storage and use. Although significant work has taken place in managing detailed design information, such as CAD data and BOMS, there is currently little support for teams in the capture and communication of the informal and tacit information exchanged, often intensively, in design meetings and other non-computational based activity. The challenge facing organisations is to easily capture this information and knowledge for re-use within the life cycle of the project or for future projects without inhibiting either the designer or the design process. This paper introduces an information capture system architecture and highlights how the system can be of significant benefit when providing design teams with information and knowledge support within distributed design environments. The overall aim is to provide design teams with pertinent information, past examples and possible solutions to the design problem irrespective of their location, providing greater efficiency and more sustainable approaches to engineering by improving the through-life support. Current and future work in this regard is outlined.