Title: Information management for through life product support: the curation of digital engineering data

Authors: Chris McMahon, Matt Giess, Steve Culley

Addresses: Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Bath, Bath, BA2 7AY, UK. ' Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Bath, Bath, BA2 7AY, UK. ' Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Bath, Bath, BA2 7AY, UK

Abstract: Many engineering companies are today undergoing a paradigm shift from product delivery to through life service support. The shift applies across a range of different sectors, including defence, civil aerospace and construction. If these sectors are to remain competitive, they require new business, operational and information system models that extend 30 years or more into the future. This paper is concerned with identifying the research status and agenda in the development of information systems to support the process of product introduction and through life support. The paper first concentrates on issues of engineering model representation, including the storage of product lifecycle management (PLM) data for long term access, and the capture of design rationale, decision outcomes and design process information. It then addresses systems issues, including the longevity of digital hardware and storage media, and strategies for the archiving of digital data over several generations of computer hardware and software. Next, issues of data organisation are concerned with how large collections of information can be organised to assist information access by diverse communities over long timescales, and with appropriate security and identification of information provenance. Finally, management issues are concerned with the strategic and organisational approaches to through life information management adopted by organisations throughout the value chain, with the way people and communities work with information collections, and with how working practices may change in the future.

Keywords: design information systems; through life support; digital information longevity; product representation; information management; through life service support; new product introduction; engineering model representation; product lifecycle management; PLM; digital data archiving; product development; product design; information collections.

DOI: 10.1504/IJPLM.2005.007343

International Journal of Product Lifecycle Management, 2005 Vol.1 No.1, pp.26 - 42

Published online: 07 Jul 2005 *

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