Abstract

In analyzing design and manufacturing tasks and their mutual interactions, it appears that the underlying information of these tasks is of the utmost importance. If this information is managed on an integral level, in a formalized, structured way, it can serve as a basis for the control of design and manufacturing processes. The ontological description that is used for this purpose is elaborated upon. It is indicated how an ontological description of the information content can govern design and manufacturing processes, and support their execution with all required information and functionality of resources. Moreover, it is expound how the ontological description can serve as the basis for integrating information that, in industry, is often dispersedly managed in separate coexisting data management systems. Furthermore, a framework is proposed for the implementation of an Information Management system as well as for the additional applications that utilize its functionality. Finally, a pilot implementation at a large Dutch industrial company is discussed concerning the aspect of integrating dispersedly managed information. This implementation is also compared to some currently available commercial solutions in this area that were tested at the company as well.

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