How long is a piece of string ?

I was asked recently about how long it would take to develop a Reference Data Library. One answer I have heard is forever, but of course another answer is immediately (or as long as it takes to deploy an iRingTools Server).

Both answers are correct, but neither is very helpful.

Indeed, there is a Reference Data Library already well developed, but how does one go about embracing 15926 outside of the process industry focus.

Even within Process Manufacturing , there are many disciplines which have yet to be addressed, after all nearly every onshore project I have been involved with has some additional infrastructure requirements such as buildings, roads etc. Both have lifecycle requirements (albeit different from a process plant), and as such can be modelled with ISO 15926.

Within these industries, the projects tend to be local, but may still follow national standards and therefore building a national Reference Data Library can deliver benefits to other projects and indeed, the NIST study actually investigated US Capital Facilities and therefore included projects that were not only Process Industry. There I promote that while ISO 15926 is worded as an integration solution for process plants, in reality ISO 15926 can deliver interoperability for any facility.

As has been previously mentioned Interoperability happens, it is just a question of time and cost. However, what about the opportunities that are overlooked due to insufficient interoperability or delivering the right information to the right person is deemed too hard.

Back to the question of how long does it take to develop a RDL.

If you have a comprehensive data model defined and you know your requirements then the ISO 15926 Information Patterns project simplifies the process.

However, let’s consider if we do not build a Reference Data Library. How do we promote the industry data model? How do industry partners know what the industry data model is? Here immediately we see the benefit of the Industry Reference Data Library. It will be made publicly available, with the ability for peer review. The classification of the different industry bodies is easily implemented within the Reference Data Library approach ensuring that “differences” between projects can be catered for while enabling a healthy discussion between industry partners.

The key is to ensure that the current requirements are captured and implemented, there is no need to consider for every single users level of detail. A pump manufacturer may have an interest in recording additional information, but that can be implemented as the pump manufacturers come on board and adopt the RDL as the standard.

Therefore while the stock response may be a duration, I would rather respond with:

“As soon as a project recognizes the true costs of interoperability and the business opportunities that ISO 15926 brings”, that’s how quick !

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