The productivity-enhancing approach of Industry 4.0 has become indispensable in many areas of the economy. However, the traditional construction industry still clings to processes and services that tend to lead to additional costs. For example, product information is still maintained in various Excel tables. And costs are determined by manually merging this information. The susceptibility to errors increases with each interface.
The results: confusing costs, planning uncertainty and lack of transparency. Prominent examples of such construction projects occur to every reader. They show the effects: The overview is missing.
Manufacturers are still struggling with BIM!
According to Roland Berger's study "Digitising the Construction Industry - The European Way to `Construction 4.0", 93 percent of construction companies and suppliers recognize the importance of digitisation. But hardly anyone acts accordingly. The study also shows that less than 6 percent of construction companies make full use of digital planning tools. 100 percent of the building materials companies surveyed even believe that they have not exhausted their digitization potential.
A look at Germany's neighboring countries such as Great Britain or the Netherlands shows that BIM technology is definitely the future of the construction industry. BIM is already being used nationwide in these countries. Germany is still lagging behind international developments. This is why BIM technology is also politically promoted in Germany.
Since the decree of the Federal Ministry of Construction of 16 January 2017, for example, the planning method BIM has been mandatory for federal building construction projects in Germany from a construction sum of € 5 million. From 2020 it is planned to use BIM for all public construction projects. The revolution from the classic "stupid" 2D and 3D representation to intelligent BIM models can no longer be stopped.
An example of the intelligence of digital components is functional testing, such as opening and closing doors or windows in confined spaces. The BIM data can be used to add 4D (design), 5D (costs) and 6D (life cycle) to models.
Advantages of BIM for component manufacturers
Providing BIM content at an early stage offers a head start on the experience curve and thus a long-term advantage over other component manufacturers who oversleep the BIM technology. BIM provides component manufacturers with new services for the professional groups involved in the construction process, such as architects and planners.
This can increase product sales in the long term. The implementation of a uniform product data management enables the generation of consistent product data. This minimizes the workload for architects and planners and thus increases their customer satisfaction. The manufacturer-independent Industry Foundation Classes (IFC) file format was developed for this purpose by the "buildingSMART" association. IFC4 provides a comprehensive and standardized data format for the manufacturer-independent exchange of digital building models. This enables scale dependent representations as well as the storage of attributes for each BIM object such as price, construction phase or life cycle.
Thus, the ordering process for customers is also optimized by BIM. By storing attributes, for example, usage data is available, maintenance can be predicted and consumption can be controlled.
For component manufacturers, the BIMsystems Component Management System (BMS) opens up new digitisation potential, marketing approaches, sales channels and opportunities to increase sales and addresses the challenges of the traditional construction industry directly.
With the help of our database-driven component management system, interfaces are greatly reduced and networked, since the BIM content (digitised products) of various component manufacturers is directly accessible in the BMS. The cloud-based BMS solution facilitates communication between all parties involved in the construction process and enables processes to be digitised.
In the study "Potentials of digitalisation in the construction industry", in which stakeholders of the construction process were interviewed, they stated that the interface problems occurring in current practice on the construction site can be significantly mitigated in advance by a digitally controllable construction process and a precise definition of interfaces between different trades.
Challenges for component manufacturers
Those who do not prepare or adapt their products for the digital future will be driven out of the market in the longer term. This is because component manufacturers run the risk of no longer being considered for BIM projects in the future if they do not provide BIM content. This is also formulated by Platform 4.0 "Planen.Bauen.Betreiben" in one of its theses: "Digitisation will not marginalize the small but the slow. There will be many agile companies that will benefit massively!"
According to an international survey conducted by the "European Architectural Barometer", the reason why many component manufacturers are reluctant to take the step towards BIM is the necessary investment in technology and know-how. The handling of BIM must be learned, necessary resources must be procured and often it is better to wait until systems are more mature.
But BIMsystems already offers the right solutions for this.
Among other things, the BMS supports component manufacturers in creating and maintaining BIM content on a database basis. In addition, product catalogs with all product information can be displayed digitally. The early placement of own products as BIM content is thus possible. Furthermore, automated tests ensure the quality of the BIM content. Detailed evaluations and analyses provide the component manufacturer with insights into the content use of the CAD systems.
It's time to get active! 41 percent of architects and planners in Germany would like to be able to use the advantages of the BIM-based planning method, according to the international survey of the "European Architectural Barometer". But in order to turn this wish into reality and to remain competitive, component manufacturers must also switch.
New business models will develop through BIM. For example, new methods of construction. In addition, the planning of a property will not be completed with the completion of the property. Instead, planning will cover the entire life cycle of a property.
Manufacturer! Start your digital transformation now with BIM!
Product Marketing Assistant at BIMsystems
Jana supports in marketing and product management. She forms the interface between these two disciplines. Above all, she coordinates and organizes user research. And helps to draw conclusions for product development and marketing.