Case Studies

Future Testing for Fabricators


Disrupting the Status Quo: Future Testing

During construction, how many times have you wished, “if we had only been able to anticipate this problem earlier…” All too often, unanticipated issues arise during construction and wreak havoc on schedules and budgets because the options to correct them are limited by work that’s already been completed. An issue that could have been addressed quickly in the design phase can be nearly impossible to correct during the build phase. Instead of firefighting to deal with problems and fixing them with wasted time and money, forward-thinking companies are adopting a Future Testing Cycle. This method allows them to anticipate and avoid issues by experiencing the build process in a digital, virtual environment before physical progress limits the ability to change.

Future Testing for Fabricators

Suppliers are not immune to the inefficiency of rework, often creating detailed drawings recreating the information in the engineering models. They work independently, digitally disconnected from the architects’ and engineers’ output. They duplicate information from others’ models and drawings to develop digital designs, which is wasteful and can introduce errors.

In their defense, the engineering models typically don’t have enough information to cover all the iterations of panels, forms, framing, and other detailed elements they need. With Future Testing, they can leverage design automation to quickly create detailed, precise models using specialist tools to simplify complex design processes like sheet metal bending or pipe routing. Then, they can automatically develop models with exacting tolerances so they can create detailed drawings for the shop or fabricate directly from the design using digitally automated equipment. They can also go further to model and simulate the installation process so items can be prefabricated in a factory setting to slash costs and install correctly on site.

Shifting to a cohesive, complete model helps fabricators easily test new ideas and react quickly to changes. It also allows them to collaborate so they can incorporate feedback from installers to anticipate and mitigate potential issues and rapidly improve processes as realworld experience is gained. The next generation fabricator will use these technologies to take on a bigger role, providing design and engineering services in addition to fabrication. This will let them provide more value and innovation upstream. In addition, it will help them go beyond simply delivering components to becoming a vital, irreplaceable part of the supply chain by offering coordination, communication, and logistics support to the contractor with just in time deliveries to optimize the cost of storage.

Future Testing for Fabricators - In Action

Zahner provides high-quality metal and glass for art and architecture. They employed Future Testing concepts in their work for the innovative Chrysalis project. In this project, they used complete 3D models to give their customers a level of comfort and confidence by quickly and efficiently updating all the stakeholders using digital dashboards. Then, if they needed to clarify some points, the digital model was readily available so an engineer could zoom in, make a quick sketch, annotate it, and save it in their meeting notes.

Related Resources

Learn all about Future Testing through real world examples from CADMAKERS, SHoP ARCHITECTS, SMEDI, A. ZAHNER COMPANY, and HARDSTONE CONSTRUCTION:
Download the Dassault Systemes white paper: Replacing Problem-Solving with Future-Testing: The New Paradigm Poised to Disrupt the AEC Industry.


Thanks for reading!

Please enjoy a limited number of articles over the next 30 days.

For total access log in to your The BIM Hub account. Or register now, it's free.

Register Sign in