Sally M. Chan and Terence L. Lammers
Case-based reasoning (CBR) technology is known for its success in help desk applications and knowledge management. CBR problem solving techniques fit in the manufacturing environment as well. The difference between the two applications is the end user. In a help desk environment, human interaction takes place with the CBR system. In a manufacturing environment the interaction is often with machines or systems. This paper describes the experience of applying CBR technology in a manufacturing application for the Chemical Monitoring and Diagnosis (CM&D) project. Chemical processing is a necessary step in aircraft part manufacturing as it can prolong the life of a machined part. A chemical processing solution, made up of different chemicals, is monitored on a given schedule. If a chemical reading is outside of its normal range, a recovery process takes place so that the chemical solution can continue to support production. Knowledge acquisition captures the experience and knowledge of expert chemical engineers for chemical solution maintenance. CBR technology manages this knowledge in case bases. The CM&D system has identified some limitations and maintenance issues of CBR technology when implemented with other system components. The paper also discusses lessons learned and future research area to provide better CBR technology support for engineering needs.