The importance of product design becomes more critical to satisfy contradictory necessities like varied product functions, high reliability, cost reduction and development period reduction. Nevertheless, defects due to improper product and process designs have been consistently occurring at marker or during initial or final stages of development processes. These defects result in very severe consequences like cost increase due to recall or recovery of sold products and extension of product development period. Generally, a design defect occurs due to short of advanced technologies, but many numbers of defects due to simple mistakes.
Design know-how about defects exists as documents like fact sheets about various cases of poor design, failure analysis sheets, FMEA sheets, FT diagrams, reliability test information, analysis reports on poor manufacturing processes, facility maintenance, histories of water quality, and etc. These documents have been scattered not only in a design office but also throughout the whole structures of companies. Also, some of leading companies have already recognized the importance of managing knowledge related to defects, built up technical knowledge information systems, and utilized the information through LAN to improve their design. However, a reality is that the number of cases of reutilizing this knowledge is extremely low even though enormous information has been systematically organized and owned by these companies. The problem inherent in this case tells us that the formats of accumulated knowledge are more important than quality and quantity of information when designers want to take advantage of it. Thus, it is highly required that information should be managed and accumulated in effective formats for maximizing its reutilization. DKMmaster provides designers necessary information during product and system design processes including product defect knowledge in user friendly formats and as a result, improves designersí» ability to predict defects as a design trouble prevention solution. DKMmaster has been being co developed with research staffs of Iizuka Lab of University of Tokyo.