Productization – A Vision for Industrialized Construction
23 February 2022Architecture and Engineering, autodesk, Construction, Digital Transformation, Fabrication, MEPconstruction technology, Industrialized Construction
Technology, processes, industries and business models are converging. During her presentation at NXTBLD, Amy Marks, Head of Industrialized Construction (IC) Strategy at Autodesk, talked about IC: applying manufacturing techniques to the built environment. “The ‘I’ in BIM becomes more intelligent when it’s informed by manufacturing data,” she said.
Marks explained that change results from being unhappy with something. When you look at your construction workflow and realize you are dissatisfied with the way things are, you should decide what outcomes you want and your strategy to get there. Get a vision for what’s possible.
Following are steps to achieve a vision for industrialized construction:
- Foundational – You need the tools, skills, culture, and technology in place before making a change in your processes.
- Productization – The mindset of the company needs to change to drive the reusability of data. “Use the right tools with the right skillset,” Marks advised.
- Digitalization – Convert information into a digital format to enable automation and connected processes.
- Connection – Use platform thinking, enabled by the cloud. There are many tools to fit specific trades, products and scenarios. Marks stressed that there’s not “one ring to rule them all.”
- Optimization – Once established, enhance your capabilities with technologies like generative design and digital twins.
- Circularity – Aim for reuse of digital and physical products. A goal should be to reduce the number of things you have to draw again.
To learn about partnering with Applied Software, contact us today and talk to an industry expert about digitalization, productization, cloud tools, and optimization.
In design today, Marks explained there’s no feedback loop. Design decisions should be about data, but currently they’re not informed by what can be made. Rather, they have been based on assumptions and uncertainty. The iterative processes needed to correct designs are high-risk, laborious and expensive. However, within this faulty process there is an opportunity to connect tools and enable new ones so processes work at scale.
As Autodesk President and CEO Andrew Anagnost recently said, “So much of the uncertainty that plagues the construction industry can be addressed by bringing manufacturing to the front of the many different phases of designing a building.”
According to a June 2020 McKinsey executive summary, most people believe the future dynamics of the construction industry include:
- Product-based approach
- Integration with industrial supply chains
- Customer-centricity and branding
- Investment in technology
Disruptions to move the industry forward include industrialization, new materials, new startups and players, and digitalization of products and processes.
DfMA, which Marks refers to as data for manufacture and assembly, requires data about how things are made. When that information is made available to architects, they can select the correctly sized “stall” component, for instance, when they’re designing a bathroom, saving rework and added expense later in the project. Marks said there are plenty of standardized components that can be made with different capacities. They can be standard and reusable without being identical by using manufacturing informed design-dynamic content. Design tools and technologies like generative design and additive manufacturing can take this to the next level.
Becoming a Construction Manufacturer
For AEC companies to become manufacturers, product and process development are involved, as well as foundational manufacturing skills. As companies change their processes, they can implement and capture workflows using Autodesk platform tools and Forge services. Capabilities can be enhanced using the Forge ecosystem and connecting with an experienced consulting partner.
Marks explained that your momentum for change has to be greater than the resistance you will get – both internal and external. She encouraged, “Stop making things for the first time every time.”
If you need a technology partner to help you investigate productization, contact Applied Software today. The experts of Applied will help you champion the solution that is right for your company.