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The reported work is motivated by the need to rapidly (re)configure manufacturing systems in order to cope with high product mix and frequent new product introduction. One of the current obstacles for achieving systems that are rapidly reconfigurable is the need for manual reprogramming of software elements. Service-oriented architecture has been proposed as a potential technology facilitator to improve the reconfigurability of distributed manufacturing systems. However, a technology gap is identified in the development of service orchestration and choreography models and in the matchmaking of services, which still require manual (re)programming. This paper proposes the use of semantic Web services to overcome this shortcoming, and describes the required components of an ontology used to create semantically-enriched service descriptions. The reported ontology is tailored for the manufacturing domain of assembly.