LOD object content specification for manufacturers within the UK using the IDM standard

UK manufacturers are gradually embracing the adoption of Level 2 Building Information Modelling (BIM) standards (3D models and embedded data) within their product model elements. However, these are not always well defined due to inaccuracies related to the scope and the content of the model attributes. Product Data Templates (PDTs) are currently being created as a solution to provide structured model element data to manufacturer’s clients. However, defining PDTs data has been particularly challenging for manufacturers, as there is a scarcity of content knowledge which includes BIM uses (i.e. electrical design) and processes (i.e. cable tray sizing) that support client’s lifecycle processes. Similarly, few studies have investigated the Level of Development (LOD) that manufacturers should use to create their model element product data. In this paper, we therefore propose a generic industry approach to create and maintain model element product data at different LODs using the Information Delivery Manual (IDM) and we evaluate it for future improvement. The IDM can capture processes at the informational (i.e. attributes), behavioural (i.e. project stage), organisational (i.e. actor), and functional (i.e. business rules) level. A case study on Made to Stock Products for the Design use has been created to drawn recommendations for the behavioural and informational IDM perspective. In order implement the LOD on an industry basis and for its ease of use, we recommend matching the IDM Exchange models to a LOD graphical standard and keeping the BPMN free of stage bindings. This issue should be further studied for standardisation purposes. The benefit of this approach is that manufacturers could use the IDM to create product model element data in relation to their client’s processes at different LODs for its inclusion within BIM Information Systems (IS).