BIM is often described as a digital platform that provides professionals with the tools to create the digital representation and functional characteristics of a facility. Well, it’s all true but in fact is more then that.
The information is the key, with BIM the information is self-describing and that it’s important because in a digital environment the information is valuable as long as it is concrete, and with BIM it’s easy to grasp each bit of information and relate it to a physical element. This allows the existence of tools for analysis and reporting.
BIM in practice is relatively young and not widely approached yet, however the term has been around almost as long as the term PLM (product life cycle management), somewhere around 1980. In fact PLM originates from a motors company (AMC), an american automaker which was looking for ways to increase it’s efficiency to better compete against its competitors.
What is Maintenance
The terminology of maintenance is well known and standardized and according to the United States Department of Defense :
- Any activity—such as tests, measurements, replacements, adjustments, and repairs—intended to retain or restore a functional unit in or to a specified state in which the unit can perform its required function
- All action taken to retain material in a serviceable condition or to restore it to serviceability. It includes inspections, testing, servicing, classification as to serviceability, repair, rebuilding, and reclamation.
- All supply and repair action taken to keep a force in condition to carry out its mission
- The routine recurring work required to keep a facility (plant, building, structure, ground facility, utility system, or other real property) in such condition that it may be continuously used, at its original or designed capacity and efficiency for its intended purpose
A CMMS (Computerized maintanance management system), also known as an EAM (enterprise asset management) is a computerized system that handles the maintenance of physical assets and in their lifecycle, but what is maintenance and why is it importance for BIM?
BIM is not a substitute for 3d modeling a building, even if the 3d-model is perhaps the foundation of many BIM processes, this concept revolves more around what you can do with that information (in the planning, executing, monitoring, controlling, and so on). BIM will represent in many cases the building’s dashboard, where each physical element is represented not only in terms of it’s shape, but also of it’s technical characteristics, the manufacturer, the history of repairs and so on.
With lifecycle in mind, CMMS will define a tool that BIM needs to achieve some of it’s processes. A CMMS offers multiple maintenance functionalities and a partial list is:
- Equipment data management
- Preventive Maintenance
- Work order system
- Vendor Management
- Inventory Control
- Asset Tracking