The full framework of the ArchiMate language pictured below consists of the Strategy, Business, Application, Technology, and Implementation layers, as well as the Motivation Aspect. The Technology Layer, commonly used to model IT infrastructure, also contains physical elements that can be used to model industrial facilities and processes, along with their relationship to all elements supported by the rest of the language. The physical elements therefore make the ArchiMate language extremely useful for modeling the interdependencies of information and operational technology. This article explores the physical elements through a candy manufacturing scenario.

Candy Manufacturing Scenario

The Central Candy Factory manufactures Chewy Bars, which are individually wrapped candy bars made from bulk Chocolate, sweetened shredded Coconut, and bulk Marshmallow. This Input, which also includes Wrappers and Boxes for the candy, arrives via the Bulk Food Trucking distribution network. Central Candy Factory contains a Melter that melts the Chocolate, a Heating Mixer that combines the Coconut and Marshmallows into Filling, an Extruder that shapes Cores out of Filling, and an Enrober that makes Warm Chewy Bars by covering the Cores with Melted Chocolate. After spending time on the Cooling Rack, the Chewy Bars are placed in Wrappers by the Wrapping Machine, and the Wrapped Chewy Bars are packed in Boxes by the Packing Machine. This last step yields Boxes of Chewy Bars.

The Candy Manufacturing Model

The model is expressed as a single view below. In the ArchiMate language, active structure elements perform behavior on passive structure elements and each other. The model includes the three Physical elements that are active structures: equipment, facility, and distribution network, as well as the single Physical element that is a passive structure: material.
In the model, the Central Candy Factory is a facility that receives Chocolate, Coconut, Marshmallow, Wrappers and Boxes from the Bulk Food Trucking distribution network. The five materials are aggregated by a conceptual Input material that is associated with the flow between the distribution network and the facility. This shows that the facility receives all the materials from the distribution network.
The model uses the read access and write access relationships to denote consumption and production of materials by equipment, Within the facility, the Heating Mixer consumes Chocolate and Coconut and produces Filling. The Extruder then consumes Filling and produces Cores. The Melter consumes Chocolate and produces Melted Chocolate. The Enrober consumes Melted Chocolate and Cores to produce Warm Chewy Bars. The Cooling Rack consumes Warm Chewy Bars and produces Chewy Bars. The Wrapping Machine consumes Wrappers and Chewy Bars and produces Wrapped Chewy Bars. Finally, the Packing Machine consumes Wrapped Chewy Bars and Boxes, and produces Boxes of Chewy Bars.


The physical elements of the ArchiMate language consist of four highly versatile concepts: equipment, facility, distribution network, and material. These concepts can be combined to model industrial facilities and processes. Furthermore, the specialization and profile mechanisms of the ArchiMate language, although not used to model the scenario here, can explicitly categorize and describe specific types of equipment, facilities, distribution networks and materials. Along with the rest of the ArchiMate language, the physical elements can be used to model relationships between industrial and information technologies.

Authored By Iver Band, Senior Trainer and ArchiMate Expert


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