DLA manages information on more than 40 million component parts. This information is acquired from multiple sources including the Military, OEMs, and component manufacturers and distributors. In addition, information can come from public and private specification and standard documents. Today, this data is found in a variety of databases and documents. The information is not standardized or linked, and no single source contains all of the information needed to make effective parts management decisions.
The various personnel who interact with supply chain have different informational needs. Procurement personnel are interested in part selection, sourcing, availability, price, obsolescence, and attribute data to compare equivalent parts. They may also need to be aware of properties related to compliance, such as green certification, the presence of hazardous materials, etc. Maintenance personnel require information on repair and replacement procedures, lubrication and testing, and so on.
PartLink is an emerging ecosystem for accessing and managing information about component parts, their manufacturers and suppliers, materials, and technical characteristics. PartLink leverages the architecture of the World Wide Web to provide web-scale distribution of structured data for tens-of-millions of parts. We are modeling and managing this data using the Resource Description Framework (RDF) in order to provide a consistent format for data exchange. We are also providing hosting and effective curation to ensure that the system is reliable, trustworthy and secure.
To make the data more accessible, we have developed an application programming interface (API) which serves as a platform to enable independent developers or engineers to build parts management tools that make use of the PartLink data.