PandIX is a meta model for the description of the functional structure of a process technological plant. Describing only aspects that are of a primary interest from the viewpoint of process automation, the model is based on an understanding of the plant as a system of pipes, vessels, apparatuses, actuators, sensors, and PCT loops. In contrast to the CAEX-model which can be generically applied to all types of modular systems, PandIX focuses on the special relationships and elements of the process technological plant. Furthermore, it allows for a simple and formal description of the plant functions with a high level of standardization. The basic ideas regarding the PandIX model were developed in a collaborative project together with O. Drumm and M. Remmel from the Siemens AG. PandIX supports both, a graphical representation of the plant structure in a simple P&I-diagram or a description in the CAEX-format.

The PandIX-meta model is not only the basis of an exchange-format, but it can also form the basis of an active model. In this publication we present a model server that establishes an online-framework for different automation-based functions. This makes a subservient access to R&I-information possible during runtime. This information is especially required for a model-driven HMI.

The recorded data can be used as a basis for a flow path analysis. The operator can use the resulting information in order to identify other possible flow paths that would reorganize the process in a more energy efficient manner. Furthermore, it is possible to find quick alternatives in case of disturbances (e.g. pump faults). Thus, the process can continue despite the malfunction. Another application mode falls into the area of asset management. The explorable model allows the assignment of the plant sensors that are needed for determining the current operating point to the respective actuators. By comparing the current operating point with other reference points, we can determine the wear and tear of the technical equipment and optimally schedule the date of the next service maintenance.

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