End Construction Manufacturing Siloes with a Digital Fabrication Platform
Managing a construction project is challenging at the best of times, but manual and inefficient fabrication workflows can easily drag out any build.
With modern digital collaboration and workflow platforms now available, building and construction managers no longer need to play guesswork with their metal fabrication requirements.
In this blog we will look at the challenge of disparate workflows and how Design Consulting can integrate a number of tools to streamline fabrication to improve project management and overall building quality.
Fabrication Workflow Still Very Manual
Most construction projects use some amount of steel for structural members, perforated sheets for facades and tubing for balustrades.
This construction-level fabrication is a form of “construction manufacturing” and the fabrication requirements are generally unique to the project.
As a result of the unique requirements the industry is accustomed to fragmented processes with siloed technology.
For example, estimators might have their own way of requesting what is needed in a PDF or spreadsheet document; a design team might use CAD for design, but not with fabrication-level tools; and the machining team have their separate software and processes.
Then there are external stakeholders. Construction teams routinely have to send and receive designs from customers, consultants and regulators, who also might have something else to add.
Time and Quality Costs Add Up
What is all this manual work costing? Quite a lot in time and materials.
Construction industry leaders need to assess how they are doing fabrication workflow now and are the tools in use connected with team members and customers?
In the corporate world, people don’t print out a document and surface mail it to someone and then repeat the process over and over, but that’s how bad the manual processes can be with fabrication workflows.
The construction industry is overdue for a change.
Moving to Digital Fabrication Workflow
Moving to a digital fabrication workflow platform is a good example of digital transformation in the construction sector.
It is about taking the design from the start and going through to manufacture with the same data source, so there is no need to recreate anything in a different program that is disconnected.
With a modern digital collaboration platform, when a change happens it flows through to all stakeholders by connecting departments, end-users and software platforms
For example, with estimating most people use a spreadsheet and manually draw lines in PDFs. Why do that when you can extract data from a model and use design estimating tools?
The suite of Autodesk fabrication products work with its most popular CAD and analysis tools for a good level of integration.
For example, Autodesk Fabrication CADmep gives you the ability to create fabrication-intent models of piping, plumbing and ductwork systems. Construction companies can connect CADmep with ESTmep, CADduct and Revit for complete end-to-end workflows.
For more information on how fabrication workflow products integrate with each other please see the documentation on our Fabrication page
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