Informal Information in Engineering Design - a Classification
To achieve success companies must minimise time to market and possess the ability to make fully informed decisions at the early phase of the design process. Such decisions may include the choice of component and suppliers, for which electronic catalogues are becoming the norm. In utilising these techniques, the designer demands the capability to identify, evaluate and select mechanical components both quantitatively and qualitatively. It is in the area of qualitative decisions that the use of what the authors call “Informal Information” is of crucial importance and must be incorporated. This paper provides an overview of the use of electronic information in the design of mechanical systems, including the limitations of current technology. The importance of Informal Information is discussed and a number of levels and classifications are further developed.