In this paper a software tool for engineering design is presented, which supports the user in drafting automation tasks. The system was developed in cooperation with an industrial partner to assist sales representatives of components for automation (like linear drives, grippers, etc.). Today, sales representatives are supported with information on components in the form of paper catalogs or CD-ROMs, but although they do not sell complete systems, they need structured in formation on tasks and standards to meet their consulting obligation. Knowingplant provides a framework to structure and document automation knowledge in a hierarchical network of functions, where a function can be described as an automation task like temperature measuring. Each of these functions is either described by a set of sub function or can be refined by a decision between alternative functions. The decision making process is supported by decision tables and a search for similar decision problems on the base of parameter values. On the base of the hierarchical knowledge representation projects are drafted. Functions used in projects are automatically transferred together with their sub-functions until the system reaches a decision, which have to be made by the user. This leads to a fast structured draft of projects with all related subtasks and required parameters for further indoor processing. Knowingplant provides a flexible framework for system users as well as for knowledge authors who can easily update represented knowledge without programming, which enables a continuous growing knowledge base.