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Title: A knowledge management framework to support the automotive systems engineering lifecycle
Author: Saunders, Timothy
Awarding Body: University of Greenwich
Current Institution: University of Greenwich
Date of Award: 2017
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In recent decades global automotive companies have evolved into extended enterprises of geographically dispersed teams that collaborate simultaneously on the development of new product technologies and vehicle platforms. Furthermore, robust systems engineering design and high quality manufacturing are highly reliant on the valuable knowledge and experience embedded within company ICT systems, processes, documents and employees. However, current knowledge management strategies are not well suited to effectively capture all the new Systems Engineering (SE) knowledge generated during continuous innovation, and then make it widely accessible to support the complete vehicle product lifecycle. This is particularly the case when new reliability failures emerge during vehicle operational service but the investigating team of engineers have no pathway to reference the system engineering knowledge associated with the original product development program. This thesis reports the findings of an industrial investigation exploring the current Knowledge Management (KM) practices in a large-scale multinational automotive company. Although a wide spectrum of knowledge management tools are already in use there is a clear disadvantage caused through critical knowledge residing in discrete isolated silo's rather than in a central well-structured support tool that is accessible to all members of the global extended enterprise. A significant number of powertrain reliability failure investigation reports are examined to establish a meta-knowledge classification scheme which is then used to form the central construct for the proposed new Knowledge Management (KM) framework. The framework is particularly focused on reliability failures that occur on vehicles in operational service and providing a mechanism to integrate new systems engineering knowledge into future multigenerational vehicle PD programs. Finally, a prototype collaborative ICT support tool and user navigation guide are developed as an implementation of the KM framework and the proposition is then evaluated with industrial practitioners to assess the likelihood of user adoption.
Supervisor: Gao, James Xiaoyu Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: TA Engineering (General). Civil engineering (General)