Workshop Spotlight: Making data relevant!

This week we’ve asked Megan Green from UNIFI Labs to share some thoughts behind her workshop at the Building Content Summit – so take it away Megan.

For years, digital design leaders in the building industry have been searching for solutions to a common problem: how do we bring manufacturer content into projects and have it seamlessly work with our company standards? Currently, each manufacturer provides their own set of content with their own unique parameters. When a designer downloads that content and tries to place it in their project, the product data is contained within the family… but will not appear in critical places like schedules and tags since the parameters don’t match that company’s standards.

This challenge has caused many companies to ban their design teams from using manufacturer content. Although some companies will take the time to insert their own parameters into the manufacturer content, that process is both time consuming and tedious and can lead to backlogs of manufacturer content waiting to be approved for use. While there are add-ins available that can assist, using them to update manufacturer content still results in additional steps that must be taken each time the product specification changes and for each new project started, especially if the project requires unique standards.

Many designers wonder why manufacturers don’t provide content that just automatically works in any environment. Well, to do that successfully, they would need to know every design firm’s standards. Additionally, these standards are constantly evolving and frequently change, as do the manufacturer’s products themselves. Keeping up with this manually would be a costly nightmare, if not outright impossible. But what if this process was automated?

At UNIFI Labs, we believe content should automatically work the instant it’s placed into a project and we’ve been working closely with Grundfos to make the seemingly impossible a reality. We’re able to add and remove parameters in a batch process and making it easy to swap one set of parameters for another, even shared parameters. Our platform can take an entire product line of families and instantly transform each of those families to be compliant with any regional or company standards.

What does this mean for the future of global data? Manufacturers will be able to maintain one set of content that is kept up to date in real time and usable by anyone. AEC firms will be able to specify their unique standards in one place and have all manufacturer content they’re interested in using automatically transformed as it’s inserted into the project. Not only that, but the manufacturer content will be automatically revisioned every time an update is made to the product, so you can easily see which version of that product is placed in the model and if a newer version is available.

If you’re excited about this new paradigm and would like to discuss it further, please join me for the round table session at BCS Europe in a just a couple weeks. I look forward to seeing you there!

-Megan

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