Extending product lifecycle management for manufacturing knowledge sharing

Product lifecycle management provides a framework for information sharing that promotes various types of decisionmaking procedures. For product lifecycle management to advance towards knowledge-driven decision support, then this demands more than simply exchanging information. There is, therefore, a need to formally capture best practice through-life engineering knowledge that can be fed back across the product lifecycle. This article investigates the interoperable manufacturing knowledge systems concept. Interoperable manufacturing knowledge systems use an expressive ontological approach that drives the improved configuration of product lifecycle management systems for manufacturing knowledge sharing. An ontology of relevant core product lifecycle concepts is identified from which viewpoint-specific domains, such as design and manufacture, can be formalised. Essential ontology-based mechanisms are accommodated to support the verification and sharing of manufacturing knowledge across domains. The work has been experimentally assessed using an aerospace compressor disc design and manufacture example. While it has been demonstrated that the approach supports the representation of disparate design and manufacture perspectives as well as manufacturing knowledge feedback in a timely manner, areas for improvement have also been identified for future work.