Manufacturers Product Data

Institute of Engineering - A plain language guide

Written by Andrew Stolworthy, Director of Product and Market Development in SFS Group Fastening Technology Ltd.

I recently joined the 4th call of the 'Manufacturers PLG' where we were discussing "should manufacturers host their own product data".

The editorial team of this group under the Institute of Engineering are producing a 'Plain Language Guide' for construction manufacturers to aid them in taking the steps to making their data available to the market. There are a series of blog posts which are informative and thought provoking followed a week later by a Zoom call for further discussion and idea generation.

It's a worthy cause, ever since manufacturers were led to believe that 3D geometry was needed to meet the BIM Mandate in 2016 many have since been turned off after investing in these objects for questionable return. I'm not suggesting 3D geometry doesn't have its place, far from it; but it's not relevant for everybody. I have personal experience here, creating 3D geometric objects back in 2014 only to find that in the main they were not useable on projects; what was though was the structured data within them.

The 'Manufacturers PLG' takes up this point, suggesting manufacturers first recognise the value that their data has and second how to use it to benefit their customers and most importantly themselves.

Here at SFS we are implementing a Product Information Management system (PIM) to provide a single source of enriched, structured data. This is the tough bit, once done there are a number of ways to use this data to provide benefits for SFS internally and customers alike; many of these benefits we are yet to fully comprehend.

For many of the current wide ranging developments in construction, like MMC, having access to accurate, up to date product data is essential so I'd recommend involvement in the 'Manufacturers PLG' from all stakeholders in the construction process; more voices and viewpoints can only be a good thing.

To find out more about the Institute of Engineering - Manufacturers PLG please visit

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