The integrated management of industrial systems in future environments like Industry 4.0 requires the effective management of information throughout the engineering life cycle. As systems pass through phases of design, construction, operation, maintenance, renewal or replacement, they will be administered via different information ecosystems, requiring changing perspectives on their descriptive information. A central role in the interplay of software and hardware artefacts, functions, documentation and managing software is played by the descriptions of concepts (i.e. formalised definitions of concepts within the domain of quantification). In this paper we propose a unified formalisation of descriptions that permits consistent analysis of the relationships between the designs, types, products, and concrete artefacts that can be found in the industrial engineering life-cycle. The approach is consistent with our earlier framework that describes artefacts, requirements and functional roles in the context of the DOLCE foundational ontology.
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