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Enriching Standards-Based Digital Thread by Fusing As-Designed and As-Inspected Data Using Ontologies



Soonjo Kwon, William Z. Bernstein, Laetitia V. Monnier, Raphael Barbau


Realizing the digital thread is essential for linking and orchestrating data across the product lifecycle in smart manufacturing. Linking heterogeneous lifecycle data is critical to maintain associativity and traceability in a digital thread. Recently, researchers have successfully leveraged ontology models in engineering domains for threading different lifecycle data. One of the most successful of such efforts is OntoSTEP which enables the formal capture of information embedded in the STandard for Exchange of Product data (STEP) data representation, or ISO 10303. Meanwhile, an emerging inspection standard, called the Quality Information Framework (QIF), has garnered significant attention as it can bring quality information into the digital thread. Implementing more automated methods for product quality assurance is challenging due to the lack of unified information models from design to inspection. To this end, we propose an ontology-based approach to fuse as-designed data represented in STEP and as-inspected data represented in QIF in a standards-based digital thread. Specifically, we present a workflow for generating instance ontologies representing STEP and QIF data, a method to integrate STEP and QIF instance ontologies, and rules and queries to demonstrate the integration's potential for better decision making with respect to product quality assurance.
Advanced Engineering Informatics


Digital thread, Ontology, Industrial data standard, Product lifecycle, Data fusion, Integration


Kwon, S. , Bernstein, W. , Monnier, L. and Barbau, R. (2020), Enriching Standards-Based Digital Thread by Fusing As-Designed and As-Inspected Data Using Ontologies, Advanced Engineering Informatics, [online], (Accessed May 26, 2024)


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Created August 12, 2020, Updated August 13, 2020