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By Nitesh Dwa
3rd Semester
• The die and mold making industry are little and medium
endeavors (SMEs), modern innovations, and very gifted
representatives who need to participate keeping in mind to
satisfy requests of clients with which they are occupied with an
escalated procedure of Knowledge exchange.
• The knowledge intensive creation procedure of die and mold
makers requires an integrated organizational and specialized
solution to support the sharing of archived learning and in
addition joint effort.
• Standard knowledge management systems (KMS) fundamentally focus
on the association interior procedures and recorded information of
substantial associations. Know-CoM expects to conquer the
confinements of these arrangements and expressly targets SMEs and
additionally information forms that cross authoritative limits.
• Know-CoM is an European Commission-funded CRAFT venture that
gives a propelled idea of decentralized administration of access
benefits to individual, secured, and open information spaces.
• At last, a knowledge management certification technique takes into
account an organized reuse of information that is coordinated with the
day by day work practices of die and mold creators.

• Dies and molds are described by hard, low-wear materials,

complex geometry, and structures.
• Their generation requires modern innovations, for instance, five-
axis machining, rapid cutting and very experienced and
qualified staff.
• Dies and molds are utilized as a part of numerous enterprises.
• The lead time for the creation of a die and mold ranges from 1
to 10 months.

The last ISTMA Yearly Report (Antoñana, 2000) featured a

portion of the impairments of the European instrument and
bite the dust business aggressiveness:
• Continuous pressure to reduce time to market
• Strong pressure on prices and high personnel costs
• Growing difficulty to attract and acquire skilled workers

ISMTA (International Special Tooling & Machining Association)

According to (Antoñana, 2000) In many SMEs these handicaps lead
to bad working conditions, accidents, and even social problems.
The market size is 25,000 million euros worldwide (Antoñana,
2000). The European die- and mold-making industry is composed
mainly of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with an
average of 23 employees. There is a wide variety of dies and
molds (e.g., die casting, plastic, or glass molds) for different
purposes and industries. Typically, die and mold-making companies
(DMCs) specialize in certain areas of the industry.
• Many products require the combination of several dies and molds from
different fields and thus customers regularly need to obtain them from more
than one producer.
• Thus, cooperation between DMCs holding complementary competencies is
necessary in many cases, particularly to acquire large orders.
• Producers have to coordinate their activities closely and communicate
intensively in order to jointly execute orders. However, the specialization of
the DMCs is not only complementary, but also overlapping.
• Therefore, the relationship between the DMCs can be described as
coopetition, because they cooperate and collaborate on the one hand during
the joint execution of orders and on the other hand, they compete in markets.
• For the detailed examination of the core process and the
specialized condition of DMCs, we utilized Questionnaires and in
addition master interviews with CEOs, originators, and creation
organizers of seven European dies and mold making
organizations. In light of the real state and prerequisites
distinguished, we determined various information related
There was the investigation by the IT for the technical environment
of DMCs as well as the employees’ technical expertise.
The survey allowed to obtain information about typical
development processes of DMCs and to refine the core process.
Lastly it was analyzed which KM-specific function should be
integrated in the software
For example (knowledge maping, automatic classification,


customer customer
SME2 Mold
conceptual Mold Production Production Test Mold
planning design planning delivery

Construction Production Production

External Plan work
related related data
standards order
preconditions preconditions cutting
parts cutting
machine data machine data data

• Lack of experience management

• Insufficient knowledge about customer production facilities
• Need for collaboration environment
• Management of intellectual property
• Distributed incompatible sources of data

• The Know-CoM arrangement plans to conquer any hindrance between an

technology oriented and a human-oriented KM approach (Maier, 2004, p.
355). From one viewpoint, there is a generous measure of reported
information that is spread over the learning bases of coordinating SMEs,
clients, and providers that must be semantically incorporated.
• On the other hand, important knowledge resides in the heads of highly skilled
die and mold makers that act in a number of roles with respect to the
production process. Thus, the Know-CoM solution consists of an organizational
design of the knowledge processes that have to be supported by a technical
solution and a procedure model that guides the implementation of KM in the
toolmaking companies. Standard KMS have a centralized architecture and
normally aim at large organizations, but do not focus on the cooperation
between multiple small companies in different locations
However, decentralized KMS seem to fit better for SMEs because they help (see Maier,
2004, p. 284)
• to reduce the substantial costs of the design, implementation, and maintenance of
centralized knowledge management suites, in terms of hardware, standard software, as
well as the often underestimated costs of designing, structuring, and organizing a
centralized knowledge server;
• to reduce the barriers of individual knowledge workers to actively participate in and
share the benefits of a KMS, because knowledge-sharing procedures are integrated in
their daily work processes;
• to include individual messaging objects (e-mails, instant messaging objects) into the
knowledge workspace that are rarely supported by centralized KMS; and
• to overcome the limitations of a KMS that (almost) exclusively focuses on organization-
internal knowledge whereas many knowledge processes in die- and mold-making
companies cross organizational boundaries.
• A knowledge structure contains knowledge elements and the relations between them
as well as metadata, which give further information about their content, and
associations. To facilitate knowledge sharing, a joint knowledge structure has to be
established in order to create a joint understanding between cooperating partners.
• it is difficult to find a structure that meets the needs of all participating companies
as different enterprises classify their knowledge elements or documents on the basis
of different criteria (e.g., processes, topics, etc.) and end up using individual,
incompatible taxonomies.
• Therefore, they developed a multidimensional knowledge structure on the basis of
expert interviews and questionnaires that classifies knowledge elements and
documents using metadata according to the following dimensions
• Time: classifies a knowledge element according to time-related characteristics
such as time of creation, time of last modification, or time of last access.
• Process: represents the step of the core process and comprises, for example, the
subdimensions offer creation, design, production planning, production, or test.
• Topic: provides keywords intended to be relevant for the user. In the case of
Know- CoM, the topics represent the most relevant knowledge areas of the die- and
moldmaking industry (e.g., molds, machines, parts, etc.).
• Person: includes suppliers, manufacturers, customers, and enterprise-internal persons,
as well as their different roles within the organization. Regarding messages, the
subdimensions, sender or receiver are relevant.
• Format: comprises formats specific to production industry (e.g., CAD file, CNC
programs, etc.) next to widely used formats (e.g., .xls, .doc, .html, etc.).
• Type of knowledge: can be classified in contextualized data, experiences
(approved, unapproved, private), lessons learned, good or best practices.
• Location: refers to the location described in a knowledge element which a
knowledge element or in which a knowledge element was developed, for example,
production facilities of customers as well as DMCs.
• Language: is required because Know-CoM is used by companies in several
• Knowledge elements are stored in so-called knowledge spaces. Referring to the fact that SMEs in
the die- and mold-making industry on the one hand cooperate in certain areas and on the other
hand, compete in markets, we chose to trisect the knowledge spaces on the particular company
server in private, protected, and public ones in order to reduce barriers for knowledge sharing
and to protect the company’s intellectual property:
• Private knowledge spaces: Every employee has a private knowledge space, which contains
knowledge elements that are only accessible to the employee.
• Protected knowledge spaces: We distinguish two kinds of protected knowledge spaces: (1)
team or role-oriented protected and (2) private protected. The first kind of knowledge space is
used for sharing knowledge with a limited group of people based on predefined roles. The group
can be, for example, an organization-internal or external defined role, group, or project team (e.g.,
designers, sales persons). Additionally, the individual knowledge worker can apply for a protected
knowledge space, share knowledge independent of roles or teams, and grant as well as revoke
access rights as he/she pleases.
• Public knowledge spaces: Every company server has one public knowledge space, which
includes contents that are accessible for every employee in the company as well as for all members
associated with Know-CoM.

• It can't be underestimated that workers apply beforehand archived learning.

Furthermore, achievement of the utilization of learning in business forms is
difficult to distinguish. Know-CoM contains a dynamic agenda (a sort of work
stream) as indicated by the center procedure which demonstrates what KM-
related exercises they need to do or should perform.

In the following section, we discuss how the elements of the Know-CoM solution could
meet the challenges described.
• Lack of experience management
• Insufficient knowledge about customer production facilities
• Need of collaboration environment
• Management of intellectual property
• Distributed incompatible sources of data

• The Know-CoM software is currently implemented as a Web-based

application on a Lotus Notes system ( Lotus Notes
was chosen as the platform for the software prototype, because it
provides a set of advanced functions to support database and
document management, communication, coordination, collaboration,
administration of users, and security mechanisms in a Web-based

• As described in the section, “Technical Environment,” die- and mold-

making companies are quite familiar with a number of IT tools, but
their collaboration and communication infrastructure is weak.
Actually, much time is lost in communicating details off-line, by
sending printed drawings between customer and manufacturer. So
the possibility of sharing a CAD application in combination with
discussion functionalities and session protocols will bring an
enormous time benefit for the participating companies.
• Moreover, a Web-based application needs no local clients or
advanced setup and can be accessed to by means of Web
programs. As specified in the segment, "Specialized Environment,"
bite the dust and shape making organizations ordinarily don't
have intense equipment and programming frameworks underway
regions, and furthermore need propelled information for the
organization of advanced programming. In this way, a Web-based
application has been picked on the grounds that it is anything but
difficult to utilize.

• These arrangements are excessively unpredictable, time-, and asset expending for SMEs.
Shared KMS guarantee to determine a portion of the weaknesses of unified KMS,
particularly concerning the tedious push to manufacture and keep up a focal learning store.
Notwithstanding, real difficulties still lie ahead until the point that decentralized frameworks
can genuinely be called KMS and used to help the as yet developing offer of clients
associated with learning work.

• Cases for specialized difficulties that must be overcome in decentralized KM concern

network, security, protection, adaptation to non-critical failure, accessibility, adaptability,
and interoperability. Besides, applying the distributed similitude to KMS requires a
significant move in the point of view on authoritative information. Officials may fear losing
control over the association's learning resources if all archived information is taken care of
via self-ruling information workspaces. Thus, future KMS arrangements may endeavor to
incorporate the "best of the two universes."
• In SMEs, particularly the creation of awareness is an important issue concerning the
implementation of a KM solution since SMEs are normally not aware of KM and its
benefits. Thus, the availability of some basic functionalities and a person responsible
for the implementation is favorable.
• Referring to the fact that processes and procedures in SMEs are compared to larger
organizations less formalized and standardized a KM solution that is more rigid or
directive seems to be appropriate for SMEs.
• SMEs in general and die and mold makers in particular are less diversified and
strongly specialized as well as depend often on key employees. These facts
combined with the state of coopetition require the providing of a secure environment
for cooperation.
• Die- and mold-making SMEs are familiar with certain IT, but concerning the design
of KMS, it has to be considered that the solution is easy to use.