Manufacturing supply chains are increasingly becoming global, virtual and short-lived in order to improve their agility and dynamic adaptability to rapid changes in today’s volatile market. In this context, online marketplaces for manufacturing services have become attractive venues for rapid development of supply chain relationships. Despite their numerous benefits, the existing online markets have failed in adequately automating the supply chain deployment process. Heavy reliance of the existing online markets on human agents for formulating supplier queries and evaluating the obtained results can be mainly attributed to the informal nature of the information models used in these markets. To enable active involvement of machine agents in supply chain deployment, the underlying information models that support online markets should represent the semantics of information in a formal and machine-interpretable fashion. This paper introduces Manufacturing Service Description Language (MSDL) as a formal ontology for description of suppliers’ capability at different levels of abstraction including process-level, machine-level, and system level. Also, an agent-based framework is proposed in this paper that facilitates automated discovery and evaluation of potential manufacturing partners based on the MSDL description of the services they provide.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.