BIM-Ready Models – The Importance of BIM for Manufacturers

BIM-ready digital models are crucial if you are in the business of specifying for new building projects. BIM for Manufacturing is BIG news.

In complex construction projects, delays and cost increases can be caused by a range of unforeseen circumstances, but many issues are avoidable. Budget inaccuracies, design errors, scheduling conflicts and miscommunication between stakeholders can all be prevented through greater collaboration via BIM.

BIM for Manufacturing

The growing adoption of BIM (Building Information Modelling) in the Architectural and Construction industries has made a big impact in the last 5 years. The government mandate for BIM practices to be employed in any public-sector project is now affecting businesses that provide manufactured products within construction projects.

The most recent Glenigan report on key performance indicators in the UK construction industry shows that 34% of construction projects run over budget and 41% of projects are delayed. Although we have seen advances in these figures in the last decade, the past few years have seen little improvement. In complex construction projects, delays and cost increases can be caused by a range of unforeseen circumstances, but many issues are avoidable. Budget inaccuracies, design errors, scheduling conflicts and miscommunication between stakeholders can all be prevented through greater collaboration via BIM.

Why is BIM so important for Manufacturers?

Whilst the provision of manufacturing BIM data for construction projects is not essential, more projects, designers and contractors are expecting and requiring this level of information. Construction products represent about 40% of the UK construction costs and as a result, designers and project managers are also keen to have and include as much information into their collaborative BIM model as possible.

Many of these practices focus on the collaborative nature of design, construction and operation, with a 3D model shared between stakeholders as a single point of truth.  BIM Level 3 is being increasingly deployed throughout the public and private construction sector.

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Why is BIM important?

The construction industry is already embracing app-based and cloud-based technology to improve communication and collaboration on-site. As designs invariably change, the blueprint is updated in real-time so construction teams are always working from the latest design. Similarly, general contractors can update the plan with defects and schedule team members to complete the work. Collaboration is already taking place with solutions like BIM 360, but BIM takes it that one step further. Now, tools and tasks that are currently accessed through the 2D plan can be carried through and accessed through the 3D plan, giving a new level of depth to the collaboration that is already taking place on-site.

As developers and general contractors embrace BIM technology and commission their own plans, software solution providers need to ensure that BIM models can be uploaded into existing platforms. By integrating BIM software with current solutions, contractors won’t need to licence separate tools and the industry can avoid further siloed information.

Virtual Construction

At the design phase, 3D construction modelling software allows architects to create a virtual creation of the construction and all its parts, specifying every component to the very last door, pipe and utility. The client is guided through the design, visualising each element and making adjustments where needed. This process gives a truer understanding of how the construction might perform in the real world and which operational and facilities management tasks might be needed. Estimation software can also be integrated providing an accurate understanding of the costs for all stakeholders.

If the client requests a change, the information is pulled through to every aspect of the design, showing impacts and adjusting budgets. Once agreed, this 3D model can be translated into construction documents and passed across to contractor teams. Any further changes are updated on this 3D model, providing a single source of truth for the construction project. Not only is the 3D model updated but all affiliated datasheets and dependent documentation, allowing the process to evolve as stakeholders make their own adjustments. Architecture software is constantly evolving and BIM software is evolving too.

When BIM Becomes an Asset Information Model

When the construction phases are completed, the BIM file becomes an asset information model (AIM) and is passed to the operation or facility management team with all as-built documentation appended. Service and maintenance plans can be scheduled and updated on the AIM. Any further changes to the landscaping or internal structures can be carefully modelled for cost and infrastructure impact before work is carried out.

In fact, in PwC’s report into the Government construction projects, 73% of the cost savings were seen in the operations phase and the vast majority of this in maintenance. Among other benefits, BIM allowed facilities management teams to realise the cost benefits of aggregating material demands across facilities.

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Are you ready for BIM for Manufacturing?

We have helped a number of companies to digitize their product portfolio and host it in the cloud so customers can more easily integrate them into their BIM models. Click here to see how we worked with door manufacturer Union Industries here.

BIM has come a long way in the last decade. In 2011, according to an NBS report, only 13% of construction businesses were using BIM software and 43% were completely unaware of the technology. In 2019, 69% of businesses were using BIM software and only 2% were unaware of the technology.

As we move towards a future with more automation, greater adoption of Cloud technology and a focus on the Internet of Things, BIM will form a greater role in construction projects.

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