06 April 2018
Digitization and BIM will continue to be important topics in the MEP industry in 2018. What are the latest developments? How do manufacturers deal with BIM? What are the needs in the market? These topics were discussed at the MEPcontent manufacturers meet-up on 29 March.
Building the future: Stabiplan & Trimble
At the beginning of this year, Stabiplan was acquired by Trimble, a U.S. listed company that supports the entire construction cycle with innovative BIM solutions. In addition to engineering software, Trimble offers software for real estate management, concept design and various content platforms to support pricing. Examples include the content platforms LUCKINSlive, Trimble Building Data and Trade Services. The MEP content manufacturer apps are a great addition to the existing Trimble portfolio for MEP engineers.
As a result of the acquisition, the Stabiplan products will be integrated into a complete solution for the entire construction cycle. This provides opportunities for manufacturers: content can be made available in multiple applications and the number of potential users is increased considerably. As a manufacturer, you benefit from the specific MEP knowledge that Trimble and Stabiplan share when it comes to innovation and feasible and available BIM solutions.
Barcol Air's successful BIM strategy
The availability and accessibility of content is essential for Barcol Air's customers. A few years ago, when the demand for BIM data increased, it was a logical step for the manufacturer to start a collaboration with MEPcontent, the BIM library for MEP engineers. Johan Mes, commercial director, talked about this during the meet-up.
Thanks to the support and available templates of Stabiplan, Barcol Air's PLS’s (Product Line Sheets) can be easily set up and filled in with data in Excel. This data is then converted by Stabiplan into BIM models that engineers can use directly in their projects. Very useful are the statistics that provide insight into the use of the BIM files, according to Johan. A good example of this was a sudden surge in downloads from Argentina, which led to a major project for Barcol Air for Banco Santander. For the future, Barcol Air's BIM focus will be on making even better use of data, Johan predicts. Examples include enriching data with selection data and links to other applications, such as article management platforms or ERP software.
From data to content
The content factory of MEPcontent processes data from manufacturers in many different formats into usable, high-quality 3D content for use in BIM projects. During the meet-up, business process manager Marnix Leune illustrated various ways in which data from the manufacturer's product databases can be converted to a Product Line Sheet. Think of data from a PIM system export, Excel sheets, datasheets and even brochures. Almost every data format from manufacturers can be processed. Together with the manufacturer, the content factory checks which data is needed and which sources, if any, have to be combined to generate content. Together with the manufacturer, the factory determines how the data is converted to BIM files. As a manufacturer, you benefit from this intelligent data processing method: one source for all your data is more efficient and saves time and costs on data maintenance. In addition, your product data in PLS format is directly suitable for use in custom BIM apps.
Reach engineers at the heart of the process
The BIM innovation for the installation industry is the rise of custom apps for manufacturers. With these apps, manufacturer's products can be configured directly in a BIM project. The apps are Revit plugins that combine the power of manufacturer-specific content and BIM software. A manufacturer's App is a cloud-based solution that contains content from a manufacturer's Product Line Sheets or MEPcontent families. With such an app, there a lot more possibilities than with just content. Manufacturer specific MEP systems including components can be designed a lot faster and easier. The apps support multiple languages and multiple article numbers, and thanks to the link with the cloud, content and functionality are up to date. This ensures that engineers work with actual, correct content that is available in their region, and that the manufacturer is in direct contact with MEP engineers around the world.
BIM as a marketing tool
BIM not only enables manufacturers to support their customers in their BIM projects, but can also serve as a marketing tool. Jaap Groen, product marketer at Stabiplan, explained how MEPcontent supports manufacturers with their marketing services. By offering content on MEPcontent, manufacturers ensure that they are directly present with their products in the design process. The content can also be integrated on the manufacturer’s own website. But that's not all. Anyone who publishes content on MEPcontent has many more possibilities to reach MEP engineers: via their own profile page, e-mailings, short videos and via updates in the communication channel. In addition, manufacturers can gain insight into the use of their BIM files, statistics and demographic characteristics of users. Manufacturers who also want to use BIM files as a marketing tool can contact firstname.lastname@example.org.