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The PI-Mod concept

The general aims of PI-Mod are:

  • Standardising information modelling in mechanical engineering and plant construction
  • Easy to implement and adapt in content management applications
  • Meta data modelling for the classification of modules by product and information categories (PI)
  • Making modular information exchangeable between companies (supplier documentation) or company divisions

For this purpose, PI-Mod defines semantic XML elements to map information structures. Information is recorded in modular fashion in functionally motivated module types; there are currently seven of these types. The information model mainly includes descriptive and instructive information. These are entered in two main modules:

  • descriptive (used, among others, for composition and function descriptions, technical data and general descriptions)
  • task (used for instructions for individual steps)

In addition, there are five more module types that accommodate the specific requirements of the industries mentioned:

  • task intervals (maintenance plans)
  • tools (tool lists)
  • lubrication (lubrication plans)
  • diagnosis (troubleshooting)
  • glossary (glossaries)

PI-Mod also provides mechanisms that can create maintenance plans automatically, for example, or automatically convert metric and non-metric units. A further essential core of PI-Mod incorporates the meta-data modelling of information. Modular information is labelled according to its allocation to product or information classes ("PI"). This is important in the practical implementations of CMS in order to develop a consistent modularising concept for users.

The aggregation of modules for documents depends on the editorial concept and a CMS implementation. That is why PI-Mod does not provide any technical specifications for the aggregation of modules at present. However, the PI-Mod packages also contain a prototype publication structure for operating manuals. There is also an XSL-FO style sheet for PDF publication.

 
 

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Style checks in the PI-Mod standard information model

XML may be widespread as a data format, but the standardisation of information models themselves is far from universal – with the exception of specific industries. PI-Mod is a standardised information model that has been in use in the mechanical engineering and plant construction industry for several years.

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