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Sharing and reusing product design information can help reduce cost and time when developing new products and facilitate good product family design. An appropriate representation scheme for components and products is important to share and reuse this information effectively. The objective in this research is to develop a method for representing components and products using an ontology based on the Techspecs Concept Ontology (TCO), which consists of functionality, assembly, and product technical specifications. We use a device ontology for representing the behavior, functionality, and relationships of products and their components. This concept enables better understanding of the representation of the products and components and improves the process of searching for components satisfying customer needs and functional requirements. We demonstrate TCO development using a case study involving a family of power tools. Future work involving the use of TCO to capture semantics associated with components and products to represent knowledge for use with agents is also discussed.
Date of Conference: 15-17 Aug. 2005