The company has engaged Design Automation Systems Ltd (DAS), a consultancy specialising in Knowledge Based Engineering (KBE), to help deliver the technology platform which is being purposefully configured to support the mass customisation and advanced manufacturing workflow principles at the heart of the new facility.
KBE is a technology that was developed by world-class manufacturers in the aerospace and automotive sectors. It provides a platform for design automation wherein complex engineering knowledge and rules can be captured efficiently, and also supports long-term knowledge development and maintenance.
In the first instance, DAS is helping to devise an intelligent design solution that employs rule-based logic as the basis of a semi-automated process for creating fully-federated, data-rich models for volumetric modules.
Director of DAS, Royston Young explained: "We are seeing huge time savings with this type of approach, reducing a manual design process from a typical two weeks to just 20 minutes whilst also maintaining consistent high quality levels."
This piece of collaborative work will facilitate the efficient transformation from an architectural concept of a building through to the productionised volumetric module models of which the finished building will comprise. These productionised models are to be created using computational BIM for speed and generative logic to minimise the size of data sets.
DAS is also helping to devise an intelligent software application that captures the model-to-machine conversion logic, further automating the direct transfer of data-rich models to robotic and other automated production machinery in a seamless, efficient way.
This will ultimately allow Berkeley Modular to minimise human intervention in the process of communicating virtual model data sets to production machinery and during the manufacture of physical elements of volumetric modules - such as piece parts, sub-assemblies and assemblies.
Commenting on the collaboration, Berkeley Modular director Graham Cleland said: "We are looking to achieve world class levels of productivity at Berkeley Modular s rarely witnessed in offsite manufacturing sector, never mind the broader construction sector.
"This ambition is in stark contrast to many offsite approaches which place too much reliance on conventional design processes, and where product manufacture requires a mix of in-house and sub-contracted trades and labour."