Workflow solutions
Streamlining your design & engineering process
General information
Fast and high quality innovation is of the utmost importance to remain competitive. Earlier and more effective preservation, use and update of available competence, knowledge, tools and information is essential.

In order to make better designs in shorter time, we assist our clients with developing knowledge based workflows for analysis, design and engineering using on our knowledge engineering framework Quaestor.

With this framework, available knowledge sources (such as spreadsheets, databases, programs, and of course people) can cooperate as part of a knowledge based system using available competence, knowledge, tools and information in a far more efficient way; maximizing value throughout the analysis and design stage.

Our product is based on the former Qnowledge BV activities and provided as a combination of software and services.

Services & Activities
We focus on:

  • Streamlining analysis, design and engineering;
  • Implementation of computational knowledge based systems
In more detail, our activities are:

  • Consultancy on integration and management of technical knowledge, processes and workflows
  • Implementation assistance for knowledge bases and knowledge based systems
  • Development and management of specific Quaestor applications
  • Coaching and training of knowledge base developers and users
While we aim at developing ICT solutions, our philosophy remains that:

  • the involvement of smart engineers will remain necessary for better designs: keep the specialist in controle;
  • focus should be on optimisation of information flow and order between analysis steps: save time spent on routine work and use more time for analysis and creativity;
  • focus on easy use of the expertise, while the responsibility of (knowledge) development is still with (several) experts;
  • the client should stay in charge of, and remain responsible for, their own knowledge.
To conclude, we provide consultancy together with Quaestor licensing, knowledge (base) development, training, maintenance and support on knowledge based workflow solutions for analysis, design and engineering processes.

Our operation procedures
Projects can be divided into four phases:

  1. Inventory of existing knowledge (rules and tools) and current process. Design of knowledge-based process;
  2. (AGILE) Development/assembly of knowledge-based system;
  3. Migration/introduction into current design process;
  4. Training and support of users and developers.
Facilities & Tools
As knowledge engineering framework Quaestor is our primary tool.

Quaestor (a Windows program) together with the Knowledge Base (a *.qkb file) makes a knowledge system.

The user of the knowledge (based) system (Quaestor + knowledge base) works in a project file (a *.qpf file) creating one or several solutions (analysis, calculations, configurations, designs, etc.).

All knowledge (for instance proprietary knowledge of the client) is part of the (password protected) knowledge base.
All project data is part the project files (also with possibility of password protection).

This enables proper separation of knowledge and data and thus between development and use of expertise. The Knowledge Engineer is responsible for his/her knowledge base. The Domain Expert for his/her project file.

When developing knowledge based workflows, the knowledge bases will become property of the client. Quaestor will always remain property of MARIN and is provided as development and user framework on the basis of annual, non-exclusive, non-transferable, user licenses.

Please note that a demo/reader version is available for free (click here). With the free version you are able to develop simple knowledge bases (up to 100 frames), open and view project files and restart simple solutions.

In addition to Quaestor, other MSG technologies and MARIN software is always considered as part of a knowledge based solution based on the functional goals, such as XMF and MARIN GUI or applications presented by Software Sales.

Our technology and expertise is most relavant for organisation that operate in the field of design and engineering using combinations of complex rules and tools.

Some relevant (knowledge base development) projects are:

DeSIS ship design workflow DeSIS ship design workflow
Papers on workflow and knowledge based engineering
(A complete overview of papers can be found under Publications)

Design of a new generation submarines
Bruijn, SWZ, 2009

Emergency Towing Vessel, Concepts for a New Centrury of Emergency Towing
Stroo, SWZ, 2009

[Q]COOL: A Knowledge based Cooling Water System Configurator
Blom, Hees, COMPIT, 2006

Combining a Knowledge System with Computer-Aided Design
Oers, Hees, COMPIT, 2006

Floating Windfarms for Shallow Offshore Sites
R.H.M. Huijsmans, R.H.M. van Hees, M., Henderson, A.R., Zaaijer, M.B., Bulder, B., Pierik, J., Snijders, E., Wijnants, G.H. and , ISOPE Conference, Toulon, 2004

Knowledge-based Computational Model Assembling
Hees, Summer Computer Simulation Conference, Montreal, 2003

Quaestor: Expert Governed Parametric Model Assembling
Martin Th. van Hees, PhD-thesis, Delft University of Technology, 1997

Workflow solution (formally known as Qnowledge) is part of the Maritime Simulation & Software Group (MSG).

For general information:
Maritime Simulation & Software Group
2, Haagsteeg
P.O. Box 28
6700 AA Wageningen
The Netherlands

Phone +31 317 49 32 37
Fax. +31 317 49 32 45

Expert contacts:
Arno Bons MSc
Project Manager

Martin Th. van Hees PhD
Senior Software Architect Qnowledge

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