Lakshmi S. Vora and Robert E. Veres, Ford Motor Company; Philip C. Jackson and Philip Klahr, Inference Corporation
The technical information engineering system (Ties) is a computer-assisted methodology to help achieve significant improvements in product quality, production cycle time, and market share. Ties builds on the foundation of quality function deployment (QFD), a systematic method of ensuring that customer demands are accurately translated into appropriate technical requirements and actions. Ties is a design tool and provides a framework in which cross-functional product-process design teams can collect and store relevant engineering information, experience, and knowledge. This common framework allows separate groups to design components or elements while they maintain consistency with the designs of other groups. Ties incorporates several AI techniques, particularly in the area of knowledge acquisition and knowledge-based system development. Ties represents one of the first deployed systems that is both a knowledge-acquisition tool focused on engineering design and a system to support team design. Ties is being used to support the design applications varying from specific automobile components (for example, an instrument panel) to a complete new vehicle.