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A conceptual framework for utilising BIM digital objects (BDO) in manufacturing design and production: A case study

Yayha Al-Saeed (Excelsior Panelling System Limited, Dudley, UK)
Erika Parn (School of Engineering and the Built Environment, Birmingham City University, Birmingham, UK)
David John Edwards (School of Engineering and the Built Environment, Birmingham City University, Birmingham, UK and University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa)
Stephen Scaysbrook (School of Engineering and the Built Environment, Birmingham City University, Birmingham, UK)

Journal of Engineering, Design and Technology

ISSN: 1726-0531

Article publication date: 5 June 2019

Issue publication date: 3 September 2019

Abstract

Purpose

Construction manufacturers predominantly rely upon antiquated manual design and production processes and procedures because they lack technical skills needed to automate working practices. This paper aims to automate manufacturing processes by optimising the utilisation of BIM digital objects (BDO) via the development of a conceptual model. Concomitant objectives seek to reduce design errors; eliminate unnecessary costs; automate the generation of quantity bills; and maximise productivity performance.

Design/methodology/approach

An inductive approach was adopted through a post positivist epistemological lens set within the context of a case study of a small- and medium-sized enterprise. From an operational perspective, both qualitative and quantitative data were collected and analysed via a novel four-phase waterfall design, namely, literature diagnosis; recording contemporary practice; mapping manufacturing workflow and procedures; and evaluation and proof of concept development.

Findings

The work illustrates that BDO enhances manufacturing workflow, reduces product manufacturing lead time and augments quality assurance throughout the whole life cycle of a manufactured product. The conceptual model developed provides a pragmatic and comprehensive solution to automate construction manufacturing procedures and to improve the facilitation of information exchanged between all stakeholders involved.

Originality/value

This study presents the first comprehensive case study of BDO application within a manufacturing context. Future research is however, needed to test and validate the conceptual model presented in practice. In doing so, the model can be further refined using practitioner input and real-life manufacturing processes and procedures.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The research team is extremely grateful to Innovate UK and Excelsior Panelling Systems Ltd. for funding this research work and to the various research participants who constructively contributed to the ensuing focus group discussions. Without your help, this work would not have been possible.

Citation

Al-Saeed, Y., Parn, E., Edwards, D.J. and Scaysbrook, S. (2019), "A conceptual framework for utilising BIM digital objects (BDO) in manufacturing design and production: A case study", Journal of Engineering, Design and Technology, Vol. 17 No. 5, pp. 960-984. https://doi.org/10.1108/JEDT-03-2019-0065

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited