The reuse of knowledge and information arising from the different phases of a product’s lifecycle is crucial for a company in order to achieve competitive advantage. This paper describes a case study from the oil industry investigating the transfer of knowledge within the service phase and also between the service and design phases. Interviews with engineering designers and service engineers were conducted. Knowledge arising from servicing the drilling equipment that was identified as relevant for service engineers was compared to that relevant for engineering designers. Furthermore, the mechanisms involved in the transfer of knowledge between service and design were investigated. Knowledge about changes, issues and improvements generated during service was found to be relevant to both groups; however, engineering designers were interested in knowledge of equipment at a component level whilst service engineers were more interested in obtaining an overview of the systems. The study showed that communication between the departments consisted prevalently of the service engineers pushing knowledge and information to the engineering designers. The reusing service knowledge (RSK) model is proposed based upon the findings and the understanding from a general framework for developing a knowledge management strategy. Additionally, the initial model was revised to explicitly address the factors that emerged from the case study. The RSK model was developed based on a case study from a customised industry; however, previous studies indicated that similar issues are also of relevance to a variant design industry.
Bibliographical note© The Author(s) 2014. This article is published with open access at Springerlink.com
- Engineering changes
- Knowledge management strategy
- Engineering knowledge
- Product lifecycle