The best way to describe a Plant Information Management System is through a comprehensive system called INFOplant that is already available from SST Systems, Inc.
INFOplant, schematically shown below, integrates information (data, drawings, and documents) related to design, engineering, procurement, construction, and other downstream activities of an industrial plant. This “customizable” system consists of a Central Database and various functional software modules that are interconnected through their “middleware” interfaces (represented by arrows) customized for each plant project. This integration allows the “intelligence” (i.e., attributes) entered at any time for any object in the plant to seamlessly flow to all downstream activities involving that object. For example, a key attribute such as “empty weight” entered for a valve while preparing an Intelligent Piping & Instrumentation Diagram (P&ID) would flow to Intelligent 3D plant model à Analyses software à Project Management tools à Drawing & Report generation modules à Procurement / Construction / Maintenance management systems, without re-entering that attribute ever again.