An ontology for the definition and validation of assembly processes for evolvable assembly systems

Assembly forms eighty per cent of the cost of manufacturing a product and this is where the greatest competitive advantage can be gained as assembly has not been fully understood in the research community. This paper reports on the development of a specification ontology to describe assembly processes at a level where they can be mapped to individual assembly modules. The ontology is an extension of the process specification language (PSL) defined by NIST. The developed ontology is applied to an existing case to demonstrate the capabilities. It is believed that the development of this ontology will lead to the opening of further channels for research in modular control and modular assembly processes, which are building blocks for evolvable assembly systems