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Pushing Digital Automation of Configure-to-Order Services in Small and Medium Enterprises of the Construction Equipment Industry

A Design Science Research Approach
: Schimanski, C.P.; Monizza, G.P.; Marcher, C.; Matt, D.T.

Volltext ()

Applied Sciences 9 (2019), Nr.18, Art.3780, 22 S.
ISSN: 2076-3417
Zeitschriftenaufsatz, Elektronische Publikation
Italia ()

In order to efficiently transform business processes (such as product design, product engineering, production, logistics, sales, deliveries, etc.) into digitally automated processes, new concepts have been introduced in both the manufacturing and construction industries. Under the term Industry 4.0, promising possibilities for high-performance production processes are emerging based on e.g., digital twins and cyber-physical systems. However, the construction industry lags behind in adapting these ideas, and is still facing severe productivity deficits. This paper addresses these deficits by assessing the hypothesis of Building Information Modeling—as the digital twinning methodology in construction—representing a key driver for digital automation and thus enabling more productive processes. To this end, we apply a design science research approach to develop artefacts using computational methods for the automation of business processes in a configure-to-order industry partner. The evaluation is done in the context of a pilot project together with this industry partner. The findings obtained in the pilot project revealed time savings in the phases of bid estimation and work preparation. Based on the findings, the applicability and utility of the suggested approach are discussed and allow for the conclusion that Building Information Model data can usefully streamline and automate many processes at the interface between design and production, if structured and preprocessed purposefully.