Thesis for the Degree of Master of Science


Year 2005
Tiina Jokinen

Utilizing filter-related data flows in fault situation management and after-sales service development

In a knowledge-intensive environment, it is challenging to extract the right information from a massive amount of data. The information exists, but does not flow in the right form or the right way. This has placed machine vendors in a new situation where information and knowledge can be utilized in the design of machines and the development of new service concepts. The aim of this study was to examine pressure filter-related data flows and the applicability of data flow models in the analysis of fault situations. An additional objective was to chart the opinions of machine vendors on the development of new after-sales services.

The literature review introduces the definition of data, information and knowledge, and considers how knowledge can be utilized in a process environment. It also examines the definition and strategy of knowledge management in an industrial environment and looks at the theory for modeling data flows in the system, with a focus on data flow diagrams (DFDs). Standards for integratginformation flows in the fields of product data, maintenance data and process data are also reviewed. The concept of ‘extended product’ and its service focus are introduced.

The experimental part of the thesis examines the data flows needed for analyzing a fault situation in the operation of the pressure filter. These data flows were modeled with data flow diagrams. The data, information and knowledge needed for modeling data flows was collected through interviews conducted mainly with machine vendors. The interviews also charted their opinions on new and existing after-sales services for automatic pressure filters.

Fault situations yield a great deal of information and knowledge on the customer’s filter. This valuable knowledge is not stored or utilized efficiently. There is an obvious demand for more sophisticated methods of collecting and analyzing knowledge obtained from fault situations.

Performance factors classifying the usability of a pressure filter were deemed important in defining its reliability and in drawing up maintenance contracts. In addition, it is important to collect condition-monitoring data and to share this knowledge with users. Furthermore, the knowledge gathered during maintenance actions could be used more effectively in research and development.

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