To solve the problems discussed in Section 1.1, fundamental changes in the way we capture and represent information are needed. Used properly, Information Models in combination with Reference Data Libraries (RDLs) include the features necessary to handle the problems of the current document practice.
Figure 9 illustrates a new way of working using Information Models through the logical flow of value creation during an industrial investment and development project. The actual execution schedule will have many overlaps and iterations that are intentionally left out.
The overall requirements to functionality of the Facility Asset (DG0) are captured in an Information Model ❶. As the work progresses into the design phase of the Facility Asset, several more detailed Information Models are created by discipline expertise to mature the design (DG1 and DG2) ❷. Due to the inherent features of the (machine-readable) format, the Information Models can be continuously checked for design flaws by an automated work process. Furthermore, the fragments of information, now represented through several Information Models, can be integrated along the way to ensure a consistent design and a valid description of the Facility Asset on a holistic level.
When the investment decision is made to execute the construction of the Facility Asset (DG3) ❸, Information Models of the parts of the Facility Asset are produced in large quantities by the supply chain.
When approaching operation (DG4) and handover to operator takes place ❹, the resulting Information Model, can be thought of as a model-of-models, containing the historical context and design decisions made all the way back to DG0 ❺. The holistic description and the contents of the Facility Asset is available at any level of detail, as required to operate, control, maintain, and later do modifications on the Facility Asset ❻. Furthermore, access to information is not restricted by documents and formatting but can be navigated freely ❼ and maintained efficiently.