Birmingham City University is hosting a conference designed to give manufacturers and engineers in the West Midlands a better insight into the use of knowledge-based engineering for product development.
The conference, on Monday , is being conducted by the university's design and process innovation team, led by KBE-specialist Craig Chapman, and based at the Technology Inno-vation Centre.
For more than 20 years, the engineering world has been dominated by Computer Aided Engineering - CAD/CAE - but it is predicted that KBE, and supporting technologies such as 'solid modelling' and 'analytical prototyping', will become the prime means of industrial product design and development by 2010.
The university has formed a partnership with US-based KBE specialist, TechnoSoft, to offer UK industry access to world-leading engineering design software.
This has brought KBE resources within reach of even the most modest UK manufacturer.
The conference will reveal the concept in detail, explaining the extent of its applications and engineering design benefits.
KBE drastically reduces product design timescales. It enables users to capitalise on the entire body of a company's knowledge.
Through the agreement, the university is able to offer any company access to innovative design software.
These are able to capture, model and employ all the knowledge within acompany and integrate fully with any existing computeraided engineering tools used.
Mr Chapman said: "KBE is a significant means of releasing and empowering the UK's engineering expertise to innovate and take entrepreneurial initiatives, instead of being on the defensive when competing in global markets.
"The engineer never needs to go back on a successful design or system. KBE enables swift development of designs, from bottles to battleships; from medical procedures to military operations by ensuring all the company's existing knowledge can be referred to, and in-corporated into, the new design process."
The conference will demonstrate how KBE software works 'intelligently and dynamically' using all the knowledge encapsulated, not only in an original design, but also in how it actually operates.
The event is free of charge, however advance booking is essential.
Companies interested should telephone 0121 331 5400 or through e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org