The European timber industry launches a new digitalisation initiative

Within the European Confederation of Woodworking Industries, CEI-Bois, some member states are dealing intensively with the topic of digitisation. At the end of 2020, those members signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to establish a joint initiative, called TIMBIM, that supports the continuous knowledge-sharing and collaboration between the participating member states. As a result, this initiative within the European Confederation of Woodworking Industries has now started its first pilot project to create a data-driven BIM platform.

The new pilot project aims to help manufacturers digitise their data and make it available in a machine-readable and standardised format. As part of the project, CEI-Bois entered into a partnership with Cobuilder to develop a common data dictionary and common data templates. The data templates are based on relevant harmonised product and test standards that are applied across all European countries. These standard-based data structures can be used to create and deliver both generic and specific product information.

The common platform for data management that CEI-Bois is developing in collaboration with Cobuilder will enable clear, reliable and standardised communication within the BIM method allowing all actors to obtain high quality information throughout all project phases. During early planning and design the wood solution may be represented by generic product information, while during the later stages the generic data can be replaced by specific product information.

Cobuilder, CEI Bois, BIM, data dictionary, data template

The use of standardised structures for data exchange enables better project collaboration and automation of the information flow. In practical terms this will result in increased efficiency and reduced costs. Improved information management practices will also help actors to work more efficiently with environmental requirements in projects.

In the next project phase, actors will be able to gain access to the data templates both through a web-based interface and through API integration.

Within the web-based view, the information can be easily translated into the respective language and supplemented with national information as required. While using the API service will enable manufacturers to integrate the data templates into their own systems (PIM and / or ERP) and deliver structured product information to various systems and BIM tools.

More information about the project is available in the press release published by CEI-Bois in February 2021.