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Save time, get ahead of safety and process risks and improve business results with new Knovel

Posted on October 10th, 2017 by in Chemical R&D

new Knovel

Access to the right insights and answers is critical so that engineers can create systems and processes to prevent problems arising and quickly solve problems that can’t be avoided. We’re proud that Knovel has long-served as a valuable resource for engineers, helping them to ensure their manufacturing operations are safe, deliver products within critical-to-quality parameters to their customers, and support scale-up process in product development. However, engineers report that they spend at least 25% of their time working with external information, 40% of which is just spent searching.

Armed with this knowledge, the Knovel team initiated a series of conversations with engineers of multiple disciplines to gain an even better understanding of their engineering challenges, and the experience they have with the tools and information sources they use in overcoming said challenges. We consistently heard how important it is for engineers to find targeted results from technical reference, such as process schematic examples or design guidelines, and also how often engineers need to rely on data, such as critical properties or enthalpy curves. As a result of this feedback, the Knovel platform was redesigned with the modern engineer’s information needs in mind.  The new Knovel platform provides an easier-to-use and more visual user experience that both allows for the faster discovery of answers and insights from technical references, as well as data discovery capabilities that efficiently narrow down broad data searches into targeted results.

So far, we’re encouraged by user testing of the new Knovel platform. Beta users have shared that they’re able to get to answers faster using the new interface, and also that Knovel’s deep problem-solving capabilities are much more prominent and better engrained into the information search and use workflow. The new search capabilities make finding engineering best practices and foundational knowledge has improved as users have the ability to narrow broad searches into relevant targeted results through concept faceting.

To bring these enhancements to life, I’d like to share the real-world experience of one our Beta users. This user needed information to help design the dimensions of a pump and storage system. Using the new Knovel platform, he searched for “pump design” – an extensive topic with many possible interpretations and sub-topics – and Knovel’s new “refine by” feature made it easy to narrow down results by providing topically relevant keyword suggestions for further refinement. In this instance, Knovel suggested ‘centrifugal pumps’, a very common and versatile type of pump.

Refining the search for centrifugal pumps delivered more manageable and relevant results, enabling the user to more quickly understand the topic by discovering the most relevant and important pieces of information.  ‘Cavitation,’ a phenomenon that can damage pumps and affect their operation, also came up as topically relevant during this search. While searching in the pumping station design book, the customer was able to refine his results even further by searching for ‘cavitation’ within a subset of interactive graphs related to pump design. From 176 possible graphs, Knovel narrowed the results set down to the most relevant three. At this point, the user was able to quickly learn how a pump affected by cavitation performs in different scenarios – the precise information he needed to successfully address this engineering design challenge. In summary, the new Knovel interface helped our customer to:

  • Build foundational knowledge on his necessary topic
  • Quickly narrow search results from broad to targeted
  • Discover insights that he might not have otherwise considered
  • Obtain multiple points of view

This is only one example of how new Knovel provides data-rich answers and insights essential to solve engineering problems with high business impact. Designed with engineering outcomes in mind, the Knovel experience is about to get better. Join us on Monday, October 16 to learn how.

Find out more about what to expect from the New Knovel.


All opinions shared in this post are the author’s own.

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