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Looking at the above Venn diagram, we at Team D3 are starting to see a convergence of different industries and disciplines like we have never seen before.  

Some of you are experiencing the convergence of construction and manufacturing in what a lot of us are calling industrialized construction. We see construction taking on the mindset of manufacturing around fabrication of assemblies and taking those assembled components out to the job site for their final install.  

From this convergence of construction and manufacturing we are seeing more and more modular construction along with building product manufacturing coming further into this playing field.   

From this industrialized construction movement, we are starting to see this bleed over into process and power industries, seeing plant owners using these same methodologies to help meet deadlines and set quality standards.  

Talking further on the owner side and looking at digital twin and integrated factory modeling initiatives, we are seeing production lines being digitized along with the entire factory as a series of BIM models. As new products are being rolled out, there is a need for new or improved production lines which means the factory floor or the building itself needs to be enhanced. 

The current method of 2D drawings don't work any longer, the factory needs to be a series of BIM models so as that owner works with architects, engineers, and general contractors, everything can be coordinated and follow the owners BIM standards and their BIM guidelines. 

As an owner, these same BIM standards and guidelines would be used in the horizontal construction or infrastructure side. Anything and everything below or above ground needs to be tracked because of the different kinds of fluids going in and out of the facility. 

Along with this convergence is GIS mapping, some of these owners are in the retail industry where they might own thousands of stores or facilities. Having the ability to explore their locations, events, and trends so stakeholders can be better informed or create awareness of the environment. 

Let’s explore further on this convergence across all these industries and disciplines. 

Diagram

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Building upon this Venn diagram we are now including the convergence of design and data into these different industries and disciplines. 

With this convergence of design and data we are seeing Autodesk construction cloud having a dramatic effect on the AECO industries on being the common data environment.  This same effect is happening on the manufacturing side with Fusion 360 cloud. 

One of the smartest moves that Autodesk did when they started developing these cloud environments is put a bottom layer to this cloud platform called Autodesk forge, or now called Autodesk Platform Services (APS). Autodesk knew that they couldn't produce every solution under the sun that would fit for everyone. 

Autodesk APS is the Application Programming Interface platform where if a client comes to us and says certain features or abilities aren’t being met then we as system integrator can help develop a solution that does fit those needs. 

But it doesn't stop there, if we go further out on this Venn diagram, we see all kinds of other software vendors that clients are using today to get their projects done. This is just a few of over 200 plus software companies that connect with Autodesk cloud solutions. In other words, they are also recognizing this convergence of design and data using Autodesk cloud solutions as a common data environment. 

If we go back to the center of the Venn diagram, Autodesk is also building relationships with what we call middleware software solutions. Currently there are two partnerships, one partnership is with Jitterbit which we work with them quite a lot on the manufacturing side. On the Architecture, Engineering, Construction, and Owner side, we use Workato which Autodesk labels as ACC Connect. Both software solutions have recipe tools to help us bring in connection points with all these other software vendors into this common data environment. 

This is bringing the “art of the possible” to our clients to a level that we haven’t ever seen before. Think about it, a lot of what we are seeing here has been stuck on file servers and siloed databases.  

In Part 2, we will continue our conversation on Convergence looking at Communication and Design applications. 

-Jarod Schultz