The market demands Revit families, preferably ones that are up to date.
VSH Fittings was established in 1931 and is part of the Aalberts Industries Group. VSH is a leading Dutch manufacturer of piping systems and fittings. The solutions can be found in residential and commercial construction, fire safety, shipbuilding, and industry. With the widest range of products on the market, VSH offers real choice.
At VSH, ease of installation, security, and top quality come first. VSH creates full product ranges in high-quality production processes that meet the highest criteria. Their products all have major national and international quality and certification labels. VSH wants to optimally connect with the daily workflow in everything they do. VSH wants to constantly innovate and to offer the right solutions time and time again.
Up-to-date Revit families are essential
VSH Fittings, just like other parties in the building chain, work with BIM. In this case, installers and installation consultants want to use the products from VSH Fittings in their BIM model. Therefore, up-to-date Revit families of the product range are essential.
This is not so simple in practice. Thanks to developments such as the Uniform Objects Library (UNETO-VNI) and the Cadac Group's Content LAB, VSH Fitting now have full control over their available product information.
Thanks to the Content LAB, we can now better manage, maintain, and keep up to date our product information, and Revit modellers are more likely to select our products rather than those of our competitors. It's the best alternative to expensive content websites and product libraries.
Casper van Zoelen
Head of product marketing - VSH Fittings
Make information available
In accordance with the BIM concept, information is added to the BIM model ever earlier in the design process. ''To connect to this development and to support modellers, we find it important to make our product information or 2D and 3D models available,'' says Caspar van Zoelen, Head of Product Marketing at VSH Fittings.
The market demand for Revit families
''The market demands Revit families, preferably ones that are up to date. The problem we're facing is that we have several thousand products in many different versions, part numbers, assortments, and different languages in the market. Accurate and up-to-date dimensions are highly important to our clients Product changes also affect the installation and thus directly impact the drawings. Especially in projects built with prefab, it is essential to have the correct dimensions down to the millimetre. Localising, managing, and maintaining all this information for different regions and keeping up-to-date after each change is therefore very complex.''
Accessing product information on ETIM
In the past, the development department of VSH Fittings made CAD files of its products and published them on their website. ''This required a lot of internal resources. Especially when the demand for 2D and 3D models increased later. While searching for a solution to manage and controll our product information, we quickly arrived at ETIM: the standard parts classification for the installation sector.
We then redefined all of our product information on the basis of ETIM and, where necessary, added extra parameters. As a result, a relatively simple product is equipped with more information than is perhaps necessary. For Revit and the ongoing BIM process, however, this once again offers many advantages. Later, our additional parameters appeared to connect seamlessly to the concept of the new Uniform Objects Library based on ETIM, the new open BIM standard.''
Open BIM standard
The Uniform Objects Library (UOB) initiative was born out of the desire of UNETO-VNI, the association of installers. The Uniform Objects library was developed to offer product content, and to take product libraries away from the software houses and to place them back with the manufacturers, so they can be responsible for both the physical and the virtual product. The CAD models are not drawn for this, but the products are provided with the appropriate parameters so that smart software can generate a platform-independent model by itself.
''The different content websites are a great challenge for us in terms of time and money. We as a manufacturer pay for the membership, but often customers do so as well. When you only have one product or a few items, those costs are often manageable, but we have 8000 products and 30 product lines. An additional drawback is that content websites also more or less require the Revit plug-in to optimise their functioning. The so-called vendor lock-in.''
At the touch of a button
Because VSH Fittings has enriched its product information with the right (ETIM) parameters and connects with the UOB, it was relatively easy for the Content LAB to begin using it. ''With the Content LAB (Library Access Button), we can offer our customers a button in Revit that gives modellers instant access to our current product models which they can then place directly into the Revit model,'' says Caspar.
The Content LAB is very well received in practice. ''The button works on any Revit version (no vendor lock-in), products are easy to exchange in the model, it is quick to use (at the touch of a button) and it offers clear insight into the product and the product properties. And perhaps most importantly: the user is certain to always have the latest information.''
The button is not only extremely useful for modellers, but it also offers VSH many advantages. ''There is a significantly greater chance our products will be selected for drafting the model. In practice, we see that modellers opt for a product at the moment they begin to draw. In addition, we lost no time to drawing, because these models are generated from the information supplied by us (ETIM). And changing product data is now much simpler. Only a few parameters need to be adjusted, and the Content LAB controls the rest.
We want to make the product portfolio accessible to more users.
Now that the Content LAB is running to everyone's satisfaction after the pilot phase, we want the product portfolio to be accessible to more users, further expanding and localising for our sister companies throughout Europe. They also see more and more advantages of this system to better manage, maintain, and keep our product information up to date.''