Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Technical Language Processing: Unlocking Maintenance Knowledge



Michael P. Brundage, Thurston B. Sexton, Melinda Hodkiewicz, Alden A. Dima, Sarah Lukens


Out-of-the-box natural-language processing (NLP) pipelines need re-imagining to understand and meet the requirements of the engineering sector. Text-based documents account for a significant portion of data collected during the life cycle of asset management and the valuable information these documents contain is underutilized in analysis. Meanwhile, researchers historically design NLP pipelines with non-technical language in mind. This means industrial implementations are built on tools intended for non-technical use cases, suffering from a lack of verification, validation, and ultimately, personnel trust. To mitigate these sources of risk, we encourage a holistic, domain-driven approach to using NLP in a technical engineering setting, a paradigm we refer to as Technical Language Processing. Toward this end, the industrial asset management community community must redouble efforts toward production of (and consensus around) key domain-specific resources. These include 1) goal-driven data representations and feature engineering, 2) flexible entity type definitions and dictionaries, and 3) improved access to data-sets -- raw and annotated.
Manufacturing Letters


maintenance, natural language processing, technical language processing


Brundage, M. , Sexton, T. , Hodkiewicz, M. , Dima, A. and Lukens, S. (2020), Technical Language Processing: Unlocking Maintenance Knowledge, Manufacturing Letters, [online], (Accessed July 20, 2024)


If you have any questions about this publication or are having problems accessing it, please contact

Created December 10, 2020, Updated December 14, 2020