We saw the future of augmented and virtual reality and it blew our minds!
We recently attended an event on The Role of BIM and 3D Modelling in Asset Management hosted by the Institute of Asset Management. We were presented to by an engineering company called MWH (now part of Stantec) who demonstrated how they’ve begun applying Building Information Modelling (BIM) to projects for their customers, primarily in the water and wastewater industries in the UK.
BIM is an impressive and cutting-edge way of visualising projects during the planning, training and post construction stages of a project. The aim of using BIM in the design phase is to reduce the amount of design rework and delays in the construction phase when multiple aspects of the project (for example electrical and pipework) come together. Often assumptions are made from design documents or CAD drawings that could have been easily avoided by first merging their 3D models in a BIM environment. The downside to this of course is that the design phase takes longer. It can also be used for employee training and risk assessments.
We were shown 4 pieces of kit for visualising projects in BIM. The first was the Samsung Gear VR. This was probably the least impressive but only because the others were so much better! On this device we were able to zoom into locations on a water plant and look around each of the rooms in a virtual environment.
The second was the HTC Vive. This came with a controller and showed us a training simulation for replacing a pump on a motor. Using this in a business setting would reduce the need for training equipment and storage, as well as being able to track which training exercises have been completed by employees.
Third was the Oculus Rift. This was a simulation of a plant you could walk around. You could even walk up flights of steps to visualise how high platforms were to judge the safety of a situation without the actual risk.
Finally, we tried the Microsoft HoloLens. This was slightly different from the previous three because it didn’t remove you from your environment but instead projected holograms into your surroundings. It allowed us to be standing in a room filled with a piping system so that we could walk up to a pipe, stick our head in and look at the valves inside.
So how does BIM and this high-tech gear link with our traditional asset management systems? Well, imagine wearing the HoloLens whilst walking around a platform and looking at an asset like a pump. Envision being able to see real time information that Maximo stores about it: the next date a PM is due; whether the asset is up or down; sift through documents associated with it; or even view vendors and pricing for spare parts. The same could be done in a virtual environment with one of the other devices. Or picture sitting at your desk and looking at a work order in Maximo, then being able to open a tab to view a virtual model of the asset or location so you know what you are looking for before you head out to do the work.
Maximo has already embraced BIM. The IBM Maximo Extension for Building Information Models is available from the ISM Library for Maximo 22.214.171.124+ and 7.6. The Maximo 126.96.36.199 Feature Pack also includes this integration. The Maximo offering includes: COBie data import, 3D BIM viewer and Maximo extensions for BIM data.
• Reduce time and costs by importing building and asset data from BIM models into Maximo
• Reduce time required to plan and assign work orders
• Feedback loops
• Communicate owner/operator requirements and as-is asset status updates to designers via BIM
• Provide visibility on building performance to architects
This is all in the very early stages at the moment and will require input from different sectors. We at BPD are very excited to see how BIM and augmented and virtual reality will transform the future of projects in many of the industries we support, and how Maximo will play an integral part.