BIM and Cobie: Taking CMMS to Next Level
By Angela Lewis and Birgitta Foster May 2013 - Software
Data is the key to success for maintenance and engineering departments, and computerized maintenance management systems (CMMS) are essential for gathering and storing this vital resource. Increasingly, managers are seeking ways to take advantage of emerging technology tools and new industry open-exchange standards — namely, building information modeling (BIM) and the construction operations building information exchange (COBie) — to enhance the power of their CMMS.
The rise of open industry data-exchange standards and information-exchange methods enabled by BIM provides a standardized structure for collecting and transferring maintenance data and, as a result, better understanding the condition of a building's assets. By applying the standard, managers can improve the performance of their departments and facilities.
Making BIM Work
BIM is a digital representation of a building. Although many believe it is a three-dimensional model, this is only part of the definition, especially when considering the value of BIM for maintenance management. BIM is essentially a database of building design, construction, and operation data with a three-dimensional model interface.
BIM also includes information essential to managers, including asset names, model numbers, and warranty information. If specified, it also can include hyperlinks to additional information, such as spare parts and maintenance procedures.
When implementing a BIM initiative, managers first need to determine the information the CMMS tracks or will track. Once they have determined this component, they need to give this information to CMMS providers as a contract deliverable. Requesting general information on buildings and assets instead of being specific generally will not produce the desired outcome.
To determine the information for which to contract, managers need to make a list of the current asset fields in the CMMS. Next, they need to determine the most commonly used fields, or those that are needed to support the calculation of metrics and the analysis of daily maintenance activities. By contracting the BIM deliverable with specific requirements, managers can greatly reduce inefficiencies too often present at handover, such as manual re-entry of CMMS data, while increasing data quality.