In this blog, we will show you how the new ArchiMate 3.0 concepts for modeling the physical world can be used to describe the domains of manufacturing and logistics. We will do this by using one of the common ArchiMate case studies published by The Open Group, ArchiMetal.
ArchiMetal is a mid-sized manufacturing company that produces steel products used in construction and other industries. The company has recently developed the capability to produce high-quality flat steel products and plans to sell them to manufacturers of automotive parts. To succeed in this highly competitive market, ArchiMetal needs to improve its CRM capability and develop new customer services. To this end, company leaders have launched a business transformation program to improve overall business performance by changing the way ArchiMetal interacts with its customers.
To provide you with some context of the primary processes of ArchiMetal, Figure 1 shows a high-level overview of its production and logistics. Here, you see the new Technology Process element used to express the production processes, and the enhanced grouping element to express how a combination of technology processes realize a business function.
Figure 2 provides a more detailed view of the physical production, using the physical elements of ArchiMate 3.0. Raw materials such as coal and iron ore (using the new “Material” element) are transported by conveyor belts to the cokes factory, pellet factory and sinter factory (all modeled with the “Facility” element in ArchiMate 3.0). In these factories the raw materials are processed into intermediate products such as cokes and pellets. These are turned into liquid iron by a blast furnace, which in turn is cast (by adding raw materials oxygen and scrap) and rolled to create finished steel products, which are stored in a warehouse. Rail transport (modeled as “Distribution Networks”) is used to move the intermediate and finished products across the plant site, and also for distribution to the customer (not shown in the figure).
The figure also shows how material (and other passive structure elements in ArchiMate such as data) can now be part of a product: the finished steel is aggregated in the steel product, together with a contract. This allows a lot more flexibility in the use of the product concept, which used to be confined to the typical service-oriented products of e.g. financial or government institutions, such as insurances or social benefits. Now it can also be used for manufacturing or physical products.
You can also zoom in on the individual facilities, as exhibited in Figure 3. This shows that the computer-controlled Hot strip mill contains a Roll line (modeled as an ArchiMate “Node”), which in turn consists of a computer-controlled Roll (the new ArchiMate 3.0 “Equipment” element) and Process control software (“System Software”) that operates the Roll. This shows how you can use ArchiMate 3.0 to model the interplay between physical and information technology.
Especially in the world of Industry 4.0 and smart manufacturing, this tight integration between these two domains is key. We see the growing use of enterprise architecture in manufacturing, stimulated by the rapid pace of innovation in production technology and the implementation of large transformation programs in these organizations. The fact that ArchiMate 3.0 now supports this, is an important extension of its potential for use in these domains. Already an estimated 7% of ArchiMate users is in manufacturing, as was found in a poll on the ArchiMate LinkedIn group last year. We expect this to grow substantially with these new possibilities of the language.
We hope you’re enjoying our ArchiMate 3.0 series, and stay tuned for more blogs to come!