ITOCHU Techno-Solutions Corporation (President & CEO: Satoshi Kikuchi; Head Office: Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo; hereinafter "CTC") is to start offering a data sharing cloud service called CIM-LINK from September. It is designed to be compatible with CIM (construction information modeling/management), a construction and production process management technique currently being promoted by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport. CTC will be marketing the service to the likes of general contractors and construction consultants, and hopes to provide services to 50 companies in the first year.
BIM (building information modeling/management) is a technique commonly used in the architecture industry to add information such as materials or costs to data showing the three-dimensional shape of a building, and to share computer-based models at every stage of the building's life cycle, from design and installation through to maintenance and management. BIM makes it possible to share data all the way down to specific design details, enabling construction to proceed more efficiently.
In the construction industry meanwhile, structures such as bridges and roads require civil engineering. As well as the structure itself, it is necessary to take into account information on topography, geology and the surrounding environment, meaning that the volume of data that needs sharing is much greater. As separate orders are placed for design, installation, maintenance and management, there are more parties involved in each construction project too, and the work itself becomes more extensive and prolonged. As a result, IT-based tools such as BIM are only of limited use.
The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport is proposing that CIM could be used as an applied form of BIM in order to increase efficiency within the construction industry. CIM would involve using IT to unify data throughout the construction and production process, from planning, design and installation to maintenance and management. This would help keep costs down and could also improve the safety and quality of public works projects.
Trials on CIM at the design stages got underway in fiscal 2012, spearheaded by the ministry itself. The scope of trials is being broadened in fiscal 2013, with standards likely to be formulated and rolled out on a full scale from fiscal 2014 onwards.
CIM-LINK, the new cloud service set to be offered by CTC for sharing 3D modeling data, is compatible with CIM and aimed at the construction industry. It will enable data, including drawings, CIM-compliant 3D models, images and various other documents, to be shared throughout construction projects, from the ordering party through to the surveyors, consultants and construction company. Its intuitive user interface meanwhile will enable the service to be used without any need for specialist training.
For example, if details such as new topographical data, reasons for design changes generated at the installation stage, and installation processes were to be collated into a 3D model, it would speed up the diagnostic process when issues occur at the maintenance and management stages. By linking up to a sensor network, the service could also be used as part of measures to tackle aging social infrastructure.
CTC has already started to provide CIM-LINK to Obayashi Corporation, the Advanced Construction Technology Center (ACTEC) and Yachiyo Engineering Co. Ltd. on a trial basis.
Based on CTC's existing cloud-based IT infrastructure service "cloudage CUVIC OnDemand" *1, CIM-LINK is a cloud service that is capable of being used on large-scale projects on an enterprise level. There are two options available, for those managing multiple projects on an ongoing basis and for those using the service on a case-by-case basis for individual projects. The former service will be provided for up to ten projects for a monthly fee of \120,000. The latter will be priced at \30,000 per month.
CIM-LINK is capable of handling 3D models that incorporate physical details such as concrete or steel as well as forms of structural components such as joists and pillars. Information such as age and costs can also be embedded for individual sections, and various other software-generated parts and map data can be combined to enable uniform modeling. This makes it possible to share information consistently from design and installation through to maintenance and management, whilst still adding in various data and parts along the way. With the inclusion of 3D modeling software developed exclusively by CTC, the service also provides access to commonly used CAD products.
For many years, CTC has been providing 2D and 3D modeling software developed in-house for purposes such as bridges, roads and groundwork, structural simulation solutions for the construction industry, analytical and design consulting services, and costing, maintenance and management planning services for bridges. Backed by over 25 years' experience reliably operating data centers and a proven track record in providing a range of cloud services, CIM-LINK is a product of the company's combined expertise in social and IT infrastructure.
As well as offering CIM-LINK, CTC provides a total range of engineering solutions for the construction industry and other parts of the social infrastructure sector. These include structural analysis and non-destructive testing of components in buildings and structures such as bridges and tunnels, analysis and consulting services in relation to ground seepage and consolidation issues, map data services using spatial information and GIS, and cost simulation solutions for building maintenance and management.
3D model images
3D modeling software offered by CTC in conjunction with CIM-LINK
|GEORAMA for Civil 3D||Software developed in-house to produce 3D foundation or geological models based on fragmentary data from sources such as exploratory boring or existing geological plans and cross-sections|
|KASETSU-5X||Software developed in-house to design and produce information on earth-retaining walls, and to evaluate materials and works|
|PC Bridge Series||Software developed in-house to produce detailed designs for simple prestressed concrete (PC) beam bridges, multiple-span PC bridges and composite PC bridges|
|Soil Plus (*)||Software developed in house to carry out 2D and 3D analysis of foundations, penetration and earthquake resistance using the finite element method|
|BMStar (*)||General-purpose bridge management system designed to provide support for all procedures required for bridge maintenance and management|
- (*)Software scheduled to be linked in with CIM-LINK
Plans for the future
Looking ahead, CTC is planning to link CIM-LINK in with other products, including its sensor cloud service E-PLSM (e-prism) and other building maintenance and management solutions, and improve compatibility with smart devices. As well as improving CIM-LINK services, CTC intends to promote the use of CIM-LINK in order to help enhance the safety and quality of social infrastructure, including measures to tackle aging structures.
*1cloudage CUVIC OnDemand
Developed exclusively by CTC, "cloudage CUVIC OnDemand" is a public cloud service that enables users to freely increase or decrease IT resources (servers, networks, etc.) as necessary via a dedicated portal site. It enables customers to easily reallocate servers and resources, and reconfigure firewalls, load balancers and other parts of their networks.
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