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In this paper, a component-based software framework that can facilitate the development of lifecycle information management systems for consumer products is developed. This software framework can accommodate the management of lifecycle data at all stages, especially data that occur in distribution, usage, maintenance and end-of life stages, and use them to provide information and knowledge. The software framework is built with software components, based on a component-based concept with reference to a product lifecycle information acquisition and management model proposed within this research study. Two actual lifecycle information management systems are created using the Framework in field trials. This software framework can open new horizons for product design which are sustainable and environmentally sensitive. It also contributes to the wider exploration of middleware solutions for implementing next generation consumer products (e.g. smart home appliances) and intelligent products.
Date of Publication: Aug. 2007