Seamless integration of digital parts libraries or electronic parts catalogs for e-procurement is impeded by semantic heterogeneity. The utilization of ontologies as metadata descriptions of the information sources is a possible approach to providing an integrated view of multiple parts libraries. However, in order to integrate ontologies, the mismatches between them should be resolved. In this paper, we propose meta-concepts with which the ontology developers describe the domain concepts of parts libraries. The meta-concepts have explicit ontological semantics, so that they help to identify domain concepts consistently and structure them systematically. Consequently, our method ensures that the mismatches between parts library ontologies are confined to manageable mismatches which a software program can resolve automatically. Modeling ontologies of real mold and die parts libraries is taken as an example task to show how to use the meta-concepts. We also demonstrate how easily a computer system can merge the resultant well-established ontologies. (C) 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.