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Potential Failure Modes and Effects Analysis in Manufacturing and Assembly Processes (PFMEA) is an important preventive method for quality assurance, and through it the decisions based on the severity levels and probabilities of occurrences and detection of the failure modes can be planned and prioritized, seeking to improve the quality of the manufactured products. This activity generates a valuable source of knowledge about the manufacturing processes in the company. However, the sharing and reuse of this knowledge is a challenge, because usually the knowledge is not semantically organized, and therefore its meaning depends on the understanding of the specialists involved. Also, there is a high fragmentation and distribution of knowledge along the production chain. Considering this scenario, this paper presents the development of a system for distributed knowledge sharing and reuse in the PFMEA domain using an ontology based on description logics, which intends to allow knowledge inference and retrieval in manufacturing environments with distributed resources. The results show that the proposed approach is adequate to support knowledge sharing and reuse, allowing: (a) knowledge representation and organization; (b) distributed knowledge inference and retrieval; (c) management of organizational knowledge on manufacturing environments with distributed resources.
Date of Conference: 21-24 Aug. 2010