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How are manufacturers affected by the increased use of BIM?

Providing information quickly and effectively at every stage of a product's life, from its design to its production is now critical in the world of manufacturing.

The importance of BIM for Manufacturing!

All product manufacturing now involves some sort of computerised machinery. Therefore, products have to be developed in a digital format using some kind of software that can be aligned to the machining process.

Usually this information is produced primarily for the manufacturers and the machining process but it is now clear that giving designers access to this detailed information earlier on means they produce much more accurate modelling from the start. This in turn prevents avoidable errors occurring later on in the production workflow.

Manufacturers who build products & components for the buildings and construction industry are also waking up to the fact that the UK Government is mandating Level 2 BIM on all its projects from 2016, which is now only one year away! They need to welcome this and see it as an opportunity to re-think their industry. 

For manufacturers, supplying building operators with structured & standardised information about their products (e.g. durability, maintenance requirements and operating instructions) will be a key part of their BIM offering. 3D models, such as those produced using SolidWorks or Autodesk technology, are the most evident feature of BIM, partly because they are easy to show off, whereas a data structure or exchange format is not.  However data sharing is just as important as the model. Structured data is perhaps the single most important feature of BIM. For Manufacturers the main requirement is the provision of this product data in a standard electronic format known as COBie.

The internal control, management & sharing of this product data is also a critical element for any manufacturer, but a discussion for another day !

So, what should Manufacturers do?

  • Develop a BIM strategy which considers the supply chain’s requirements and has clearly defined outcomes.
  • Embrace and adopt the standardised approach to producing BIM Objects information.
  • Carefully consider the deliverables on BIM enabled projects -  these deliverables are known as COBie Data Drops.

Are you BIM compliant? Do you have a BIM process? Are you confused about BIM?

If daunted by the prospect of implementing BIM, Manufacturers should consider using specialists with a full understanding of BIM specification to speed up the process.