An ontology for maintenance procedure documentation

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


In mining, manufacturing and industrial process industries, maintenance procedures are used as an aid to guide technicians through complex manual tasks. These procedures are not machine-readable, and cannot support reasoning in digitally integrated manufacturing systems. Procedure documents contain unstructured text and are stored in a variety of formats. The aim of this work is to query information held in real industrial maintenance procedures. To achieve this, we develop an ontology for maintenance procedures using the OWL 2 description language. We leverage classes and object properties from the ISO 15926 Part 14 Upper Ontology and create a domain ontology. The key contribution of this paper is a demonstration of trade-offs required when modelling an existing engineering artifact, where an abstraction of its contents is given a-priori. We provide an ontologically rigorous abstraction of notions captured in procedure documentation to a set of classes, relations and axioms that allow reasoning over the contents. Validation of the ontology is performed via a series of competency questions based on queries relevant to technicians, engineers and schedulers in industry. The ontology is applied to real world maintenance procedures from two industrial organisations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)169-206
Number of pages38
JournalApplied Ontology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 10 Aug 2023


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