What if I told you it only came in Black?

This post is the first in a series of posts where we will discuss the application of BIM in non AEC industries. Before we dive in, it is important to understand the Why. Why BIM? Why apply to the auto industry or manufacturing in general? 

Imagine for a minute that you are in the market to buy a new vehicle? You have your heart set on a new convertible, maybe it’s a large SUV for an addition to the following, or it could be a practical everyday sedan. What if the salesman told you it only came in black? Many people would balk, and look for another option. 

We all know about the origins of the automotive industry, there was not always the mass quantity of cars that are offered today, nor the varieties of models, colors, features, and technologies. In the early 1900s, consumers were limited by choice. Cars were bespoke: completely hand built. If a customer wanted his new vehicle in burgundy, well, burgundy it was because the paint job was bespoke like the rest of the car. This all changed when Henry Ford famously applied assembly line concepts to automotive manufacturing. In order to keep costs low, parts, fit, and finish were standardized. Ford is famously even quoted as saying “Any customer can have a car painted any colour that he wants, so long as it is black.” With limited choices, consumers had no option other than to purchase black cars. 

Your Challenge

Nothing is static but change. 

The automotive industry is predicated on constant evolution. Consumers increasingly demand the latest technology, manufacturing standards, and creature comforts in their automobiles. Consumer tastes even shift in terms of the style of vehicles and powertrains that are currently in vogue. The end result is that as a manufacturer, you must be ready to change what you do today and pivot to stay competitive in such a wide field of competition. 

BIM your path to efficiency

There is a reason that factories run on a shift work schedule. As an asset operator, production time is profit. Turnarounds and updates to equipment are a way of life. Minimizing these disturbances to operation is key, and this is where BIM technology comes in. 

Before a single piece of equipment moves, it’s essential to understand your site. How are you storing information about your facilities and equipment today? Is that digitized and easily accessible? According to McKinsey, we have the opportunity to improve productivity by 25% during design and construction. If your team still spends time manually searching for drawings or other records, there are tremendous efficiencies to be made even before delving into your project. 

If you already have a solid BIM ecosystem and assets in order, it’s time to move onto bigger wins. During design and construction both, the work of multiple people is combined. Multiple parties (especially if you are a multi-national company with interconnected operations) involved in a project can lead to difficulties with coordination and information sharing. Virtual Design and Construction (VDC) goes beyond simple clash detection. A good foundation of work during the VDC stage can help identify constructability issues, optimize project sequence and schedule, but also adjust material types and layout while tying your projections and budget to local labor rates. 

The benefits don’t end when the renovation is complete, or the new facility lives. As an asset owner, you want to know which of your spaces are operating the best, and identify areas that are ripe for improvement. Did you know, BIM data can be tied to other systems such as your BMS, ERP, or EMIS? Your stakeholders increasingly demand access to information: What if your sustainability team could tie Energy Analysis models to BIM so you can better understand the whole-life cost of assets to support facility management & operation?  

It is time. Time to erase the idea that BIM is only applicable to architects and engineers in the construction industry. Is your company ready to take the next step in the digital revolution?

Want to learn more about how Voyansi is helping digitize automotive manufacturing spaces?

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