PROduct lifecycle Management and Information tracking using Smart Embedded systems (PROMISE)

Total management of the product lifecycle is critical to innovatively meet customer needs throughout its entire life cycle without driving up costs, sacrificing quality, or delaying product delivery.

In the actual globally changing business environment, companies are seeking new ways of providing additional value to customers and gain a competitive edge over their competitors. Past initiatives aimed solely at product cost, quality, or time-to-market are no longer sufficient to gain market advantage. The focus today is on innovation: products that differentiate themselves from others while also being affordable, reliable, and early to market. Total management of the product lifecycle is critical to innovatively meet customer needs throughout its entire life cycle without driving up costs, sacrificing quality, or delaying product delivery. The ability of industry to provide such holistic products and supporting services is currently limited by the information gap in the products life cycle (i.e. the flow of information between the design/production phase and middle and end of life phase of the products life cycle). There were 22 partners from 6 EU countries and Switzerland in PROMISE.


The vision of PROMISE was:

  • To develop a new generation of PLM system that uses smart embedded IT systems, allows the seamless flow and transformation of data and information to knowledge


  • To allow all actors in a product's lifecycle to manage and control product information at any moment of its lifecycle, at any place in the world


Life Cycle


Project website


Project timeline

November 2004 - July 2008


Researchers involved

Duncan McFarlane, Ajith Parlikad, Maurizio Tomasella, Alexandra Brintrup, Mark Harrison, Alan Thorne, Damith RanasingheJames Brusey


Specific ativities involving DIAL researchers at Cambridge

WPI1: Lead the specification and promotion of standards resulting from the project

WPR2: Contributed to the development of product lifecycle information flow models

WPR8: Developed algorithms for optimising end of life product recovery decisions

WPT1: Led the development and delivery of training courses

WPA1: Developed the decision support system for end-of-life automobile component recovery. Developed an RFID-enabled service pad to automate vehicle configuration management (see figure below)

WPA2: Developed the decision support system for end-of-life component recovery for heavy earth-moving vehicles

Service Pad


Key results

  • Developed and evaluated consolidated product lifecycle models
  • Developed and evaluated algorithms for transformation of data to information to knowledge and integrated in corresponding decision support systems
  • Implemented object model for management of product item instances and respective field data
  • Developed the concept and architecture of the PROMISE middleware to enable data-sharing throughout the product lifecycle



  • Parlikad A.K.N., McFarlane, D., "RFID-based product information in end-of-life decision making," Control Engineering Practice, Volume 15, Issue 11, November 2007, Pages 1348-1363
  • Parlikad, A.K., McFarlane, D.C., “A Bayesian Decision Support System for vehicle component recovery,” submitted to International Journal of Sustainable Manufacturing
  • Cassina, J., Taisch, M., Potter, D., Parlikad, A. K., “Development of PROMISE architecture and PDKM semantic object model”, Submitted to the 14th International Conference on Concurrent Enterprising, Lisbon, June 2008
  • Parlikad, A.K., McFarlane, D.C., “Decision support systems for product recovery: A Bayesian approach,” 15th CIRP International Conference on Life Cycle Engineering, Sydney, March 2008
  • Parlikad, A.K., Theodorou, S., McFarlane, D.C., “Lifecycle information management: Key challenges”, 2007 EU RFID Forum and 4th RFID Academic Convocation, Brussels, March 2007
  • Parlikad, A.K., Folan, P., Mascolo, J., McFarlane, D.C., “Improving automobile parts recovery using product lifecycle information”, International Conference on Product Lifecycle Management, PLM' 07, Milan, May 2007
  • Kulkarni, A.K., Parlikad, A.K.N., McFarlane, D.C., “Networked RFID Systems in Product Recovery Management,” accepted to the 2005 IEEE International Symposium on Electronics & the Environment & the IAER Electronics Recycling Summit, New Orleans, USA, May 2005
  • Parlikad, A.K.N., McFarlane, D.C., Kulkarni, A.G., "Improving Product Recovery Decisions through Enhanced Information," accepted to the 12th CIRP Life-Cycle Engineering Seminar 2005, Grenoble, France, April 2005
  • Harrison, M., McFarlane, D., Parlikad, A.K.N., Wong, C.Y., “Information management in the product lifecycle - The role of networked RFID,” Proc. 2nd IEEE International Conference on Industrial Informatics INDIN’04, June 2004
  • Parlikad A.K.N., McFarlane, D., "Investigating the role of product information in end-of-life decision making," Proc. 11th IFAC Symposium on Information Control Problems in Manufacturing, Brazil, April, 2004


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