The manufacturing and construction industries need to break down barriers, cooperate and create a dynamic building sector that uses the best of modern digital technologies. These two sectors are part of a wider business ecosystem that identifies and created a demand for products and services and then looks into delivering the offering in an effective and efficient way through a unified supply chain.
Although there has been an industrialisation of manufacturing, little has changed in construction and now, the need for more housing, schools, transport and energy infrastructure has created a demand that the current business model can’t meet. Through the use of componentised, lean and modular construction, combined with the adoption of digital design, delivery and asset management, the construction industry could start its evolution.
For both industries to grow, they need to align their whole ecosystems on the back of the digital revolution. The first step towards achieving that is to see both sectors as one extended value chain. The technological gap between construction and manufacturing has widened radically in the past 100 years, with the construction sector being left behind. However, now that construction started to catch up, it became harder to differentiate between the two sectors.
The second step is to create a digital design approach for the construction industry that can yield great benefits in short-term delivery, as well as the long-term value of creating a parallel digital asset. The manufacturing sector replicates different demand profiles, so that they can understand in any potential asset where value is created and cost is incurred. This is the foundation of manufacturing under IR 4.0 is that each project can deliver part of a company’s digital vision for value creation; something that the construction industry must take on board.
Finally, the sophisticated knowledge of supply chains and how they can be aligned to drive highly effective and efficient delivery of value that the manufacturing sector holds must be carried out to the construction industry as well. The manufacturing and the construction sectors could collaborate on a strategic level and achieve amazing results together.