A reference ontology to support product lifecycle management

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With the proliferation of systems generating huge amounts of product information and the increasing number of companies involved in the production processes, the efficient management of product lifecycle is becoming a challenging issue. The problem of maintaining a coherent structure to represent and link different pieces of information is crucial for companies aiming at improving their performances by reducing the time to search for particular information. The need of developing models for such a complex information structure can be found in many works, which define semantic models and ontologies to represent and integrate information along the product lifecycle. However, some works address only specific cases, thus resulting in very detailed ontologies that model few portions of the product lifecycle and are not easily generalizable or usable, while other works define more general models, but did not provide concrete examples of applications in industrial domains. The aim of our work is to propose a reference ontology to support PLM, general enough to represent the main concepts and relationships needed to manage the whole product lifecycle. Furthermore, the PLM reference ontology can be extended and specialized to manage specific product lifecycles by adding new entities, sub-entities and relationships to its structure. An example of a real application of the development and extension of the PLM reference ontology in an industrial case is reported. The work presented in this paper is supported by the EU-FP7 project amePLM.




Bruno, G., Antonelli, D., & Villa, A. (2015). A reference ontology to support product lifecycle management. In Procedia CIRP (Vol. 33, pp. 41–46). Elsevier. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.procir.2015.06.009

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