The design and the configuration of manufacturing systems, such as assembly lines layouts, are time consuming activities, mainly based on implicit knowledge and no definite rules. This complicated design process is associated with high costs, long lead times and high probability of risks and reworks. Knowledge Based Engineering (KBE) is a technique that can tackle these issues and support the engineers in the early design steps of a manufacturing system with a comprehensive and systematic approach, into the integrated design in a complex system and its related processes. The purpose of this research involve the use of KBE methodology in order to collect and formalize knowledge about the a case study, the design of an assembly line layout system for the cylinder head valve of a car engine. With the formalization of the case study is possible to create an application of configuration that supports the decision making process during the preliminary design phase. The possibility to extend the process to a multi objective optimization is considered. The methodology should be able to help manufacturing equipment providers to shrink design times, evaluating more alternatives and integrating different activities related to the preliminary design phase of a system. This research proposes a practical approach combining the current research state of the art and a real industrial environment for knowledge extraction and application.

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