Food Plant Design Series
Food processing plants are embracing business information modeling (BIM) as the new standard in facility design. BIM’s three-dimensional format allows designers to give plant owners, managers and employees a virtual walk-through of the facility. By viewing virtual construction elements such as walls, windows, slabs and roofs, they can then make the most informed decisions on process and work flows.
Five key benefits of using BIM for facility design are:
1. 3D visualization allows plant managers to make decisions based on workflow, budget issues, energy costs and much more. Designers can show employee movement throughout the facility and perform simulations so owners can determine the best workflow processes to improve productivity. In doing so, they identify potential problems early on, especially in work areas where a sanitary workflow is required.
2. Effective budgeting is one of BIM’s biggest benefits, enabling plant managers to look at cost comparisons and operational considerations to select the most appropriate equipment.
3. Interdisciplinary design teams can more effectively collaborate on the different design aspects of the facility as BIM works as a single-source platform. BIM also enables external parties involved in various elements of the design and construction to efficiently transfer and share information with each other.
4. Energy modeling through BIM allows engineers to recommend and design the most resourceful systems within the facility from an energy use and efficiency standpoint. BIM modeling can simulate how the building and equipment will perform once constructed, so efficient energy use decisions can be made.
5. Facility managers can integrate their facility management software with a plant’s BIM data to provide more efficient plant maintenance. A 3D virtual view of the entire facility shows facility managers information on specific equipment, and locations of the equipment, within the facility. For example, if air units need servicing, facility managers can use BIM data to determine how to best access the equipment.
If you’d like to learn more about BIM and its use in our design process, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.