Engineering Information Systems

December 3rd, 2021

To support and improve design, operating and work processes in plastics and chemical engineering, the Engineering Information Systems group works on fine grained support of cooperative work processes and an approach for metadata based information and knowledge management.


The research within this working group targets the development and application of information system technology for the field of process and plastics engineering. Since the working processes in these fields are heavily influenced by creativity and working experiences, special requirements in regard to information technology support need to be addressed; standard solutions such as conventional document and workflow management system most often presume deterministic flows of activities and thus do not cover the required functionality.

More concretely, questions in regard to the concepts and integrated development environments that support analysis and design processes in process engineering settings are investigated (PRIME). Furthermore, the goal-oriented management of information flows in creative and cooperative development processes are considered (PDW). Eventually, machine operators are supported by the identification and application of experience knowledge in the context of extrusion of rubber profiles (MErKoFer).

In the following, these methods are briefly described:

  • PRIME is a framework designated for the provision of direct process support to performers of creative design processes. It builds on the key idea of tool process integration that offers the potential for integrated method guidance and traceability. The PRIME approach has been successfully validated in two projects (CREWS and TECHMOD) and several smaller case studies. Currently, it is being reengineered and extended towards cooperative and reuse aspects in the frame of the SFB 476 IMPROVE project.
  • The Proces Data Warehouse (PDW) has been designed as a knowledge-based meta-data repository for tracing and driving heterogeneous design processes in engineering. It stores the history of processes and the products modified therein to enable experience reuse with the aid of situated process support.

    The conceptual model of the PDW is based on a set of partial models or ontologies that are interconnected through the Core Ontology. Specialisation models have been integrated o rare being worked on to support various application domains:

    • process control in rubber extrusion
    • process engineering design processes
    • cross-organisational cooperation between chemical and plastics engineering design processes, concerning the realisation of a compounding extruder
    • Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) processes
  • The identification and application of experience knowledge in continuous development processes is based on the extension of case based reasoning approaches via an ontology-based, semantic contextualization of cases or situations, respectively. Machine operators are supported in their still autonomous maintenance and error detecting efforts within production processes via suggestion of suitable concrete actions. Various data mining techniques are combined in order to generate and extract sufficiently precise and comparable situation descriptions out of available process data, process quality, and explicit context information.