The SANHA group is one of the leading European manufacturers of press-fit pipe systems for drinking water, gas, solar, heating, cooling and sanitary applications for use in domestic and industrial settings. The company has approximately 8500 products, covering the most commonly used materials such as copper, copper alloys, stainless and carbon steel, as well as innovative silicon bronze, lead-free fittings for use in drinking water applications. As a family-owned and operated business, SANHA has over 50 years of experience and employs over 650 people.
In recent years, SANHA has focused strongly on corporate social responsibility and has developed solutions for sustainable buildings and applications such as CO2 refrigeration. The company’s products are produced on as much self-generated energy as possible through the use of solar panels, and it is focused on energy-efficient production methods overall. SANHA was also the first to market with lead-free pipe systems for drinking water installations. In order to stimulate sustainable building, the company began focusing on Building Information Modeling (BIM) as part of its digitization process.
Using BIM for Better Coordination
SANHA typically sells its products via wholesalers who in turn deliver them to installers or industrial customers, and large industrial customers are often supplied directly by SANHA. The company also collaborates with planning offices, engineering firms and architects.
“We try to assist our customers in the best possible way and offer various services. For example, we have our own planning service, and can deliver to construction sites and provide containers on site that are automatically replenished,” said Mathias van den Broeck, Product and Business Development Manager at SANHA.
Van den Broeck recognized that working with BIM would help provide better coordination between the various construction partners, which would save a lot of time and failure costs. He also needed to ensure that the most accurate product information was available to engineers, planners and architects at all times.
Custom Cloud App with Up-to-Date Product Information
SANHA was the first manufacturer to enter the market in 2017 with the SANHA Product Line Placer (PLiP) app in REVIT. This free BIM tool enables engineers, planners and architects to design pipe systems with SANHA’s products in no time and is at the core of SANHA’s BIM strategy. SANHA combined its strength and knowledge of piping systems with the IT knowledge of Trimble MEPcontent in order to create its own application to serve customers. MEPcontent is the BIM library where engineers can find free up-to-date graphic and parametric product information for BIM projects.
“Trimble MEPcontent is the largest and most important player in the Benelux and a major player in Europe. Since BIM and REVIT solutions are a strong focus in those markets, a collaboration with MEPcontent was obvious. There was also a good understanding from both sides from the very first contact. The feeling was right, and we were clearly on the same wavelength,” said van den Broeck.
The app is an innovative BIM tool that allows MEP engineers worldwide to design an entire SANHA pipe system in REVIT very quickly with smart functionalities. It contains all the SANHA product ranges, approximately 1,400 in total.
In addition to the app, all of SANHA’s product lines are also available in Trimble’s BIM software StabiCAD for StabiCAD users in Europe. StabiCAD is available for Revit and AutoCAD and enables engineers to work with thousands of articles with extended information from more than 300 manufacturers.
With the BIM product data, SANHA provides technical planners with a flexible and practical solution for the design of piping systems for heating, cooling, ventilation and drinking water installations as well as for industrial projects. The data is available for all relevant SANHA systems in REVIT format. It includes pipeline systems made of stainless steel (NiroSan® and NiroTherm®), C-steel (SANHA®-Therm), copper (SANHA®-Press) and the special lead-free drinking water series PURAPRESS® and 3fit® pb-free and PPSU fittings for multilayer pipes.
SANHA also uses the Trimble MEPcontent Analytics Dashboard, which provides a deeper understanding of how users interact with the app and allows SANHA to have data-driven insights to grow its business. The online custom dashboard shows real-time information including where the app is downloaded from, the number of downloads, app users and in-app placements in a selected time frame and/or region, as well as details about each in-app placement.
Creating More Sustainable Building Practices While Saving Time and Improving the Customer Experience
By using the app, an engineer doesn't need to download each REVIT component from a BIM library and can design the system in about half the time. The components are always up to date since the app is cloud-based and can easily be downloaded from the MEPcontent store.
The app also provides other timesaving features. For example, the auto-routing function ensures that correct fittings and pipes are automatically selected, and using the auto-scaling function, dimensions can be adjusted at any time during the drawing process. All pipes and fittings used are also automatically transferred to a bill of materials. This allows users to place orders easily and quickly.
“Trimble and MEPcontent have several international platforms that are highly regarded by different target groups of wholesalers, installation companies, engineers and architects. By implementing our SANHA app with MEPcontent and communicating over these platforms, we have been able to reach new customers,” said van den Broeck. “The fact that conflicts can be resolved in the planning phase instead of during the construction itself is also a huge advantage of working with BIM.”
In each phase - design, construction, management and maintenance - all data from all construction partners are included in the model. Because a BIM model is always up-to-date, better coordination is possible. Thanks to BIM, there is also less product waste. Since any errors can be discovered early at the design phase instead of during the construction process itself, builders can ensure the correct pipe dimensions and any deviations, and thus avoid wasting material. In addition, all information is stored in the cloud so there is less paper waste and ink consumption. All partners can access the necessary information anytime and anywhere, so there is no need to print anything on paper and unnecessary travel is avoided - all of which leads to greater sustainability in the construction process.
“With the free SANHA app, we offer an extra service to our customers that is highly appreciated in the market and is certainly not considered standard,” said van den Broeck. “Customers can access to the most recent portfolio at any time and are kept informed of all new features and updates.”
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