Hey, BIM! Got a Better Acronym?

Three years ago, I sought to change the acronym of P&ID from “Piping and Instrumentation Diagram (or Drawing)” to Piping and Instrumentation DATA (Not Drawings). Up Next: BIM (Building Information Management). For the full-version of this article, navigate to: aeccafe.com

Why, you might ask, must we change the meaning of BIM? Answer: Because most Owner-Operators we serve are unaware of what ‘BIM’ means when it comes up in conversation.

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I still remember the first conversation I had with my longtime, friend and colleague, Ian Matthew - once Autodesk’s lead Plant expert - who they replaced him with, I have no idea...

Ian said to me while driving to the Valero Benicia Refinery in 2012: “BIM is the future. BIM will change how the world, including oil and gas, chemical, and other industries operate!”

Funny, I thought: 7 years into my chemical engineering career at the time and hundreds of conversations with Engineering, Operations, Maintenance, Environmental, Safety, and other Disciplines...and I’d never heard of this world-changing thing called BIM.

To this day, I've visited more than 150 such operating plants, had thousands of conversations with the above-mentioned disciplines and plant managers, yet I doubt more than 1 in 10 can tell me what BIM stands for.

Intuitively, either one of two things must happen for Owner-Operators to come to believe that "BIM" can save lives, improve compliance and reduce operating costs:

  1. We must educate Owner-Operators; or,

  2. We must invent a better acronym (than BIM).

The fact is: contrary to the marketing efforts of Autodesk and others to trademark and monetize various products and services with the acronym 'BIM', it's just not the best acronym for the Owner-Operators that we serve at Environmental intellect (Ei) and EiCAD.

So, what's a better acronym? How about…

  • FIM - Facility Information Management
  • PIM - Plant Information Management
  • EiM - Everything information Management (shameless, branding plug)
  • BAM - Building Asset Management
  • BOOM - Building Owner Operator Mainframe (shameless humor)

The truth is, I'm not too sure what will resonate will Owner-Operators, so the humility in me says: just ask’em!

That's why, starting this week, I am going to begin asking every, single Owner-Operator I know what acronym should replace BIM to explain the richness and value of an integrated plant data environment that drives comprehensive facility information with integrated and realtime plant operating data.

I'm not smart enough to know the answer yet, but I do know one thing: BIM ain’t cutting it.

Side note: can we PLEASE cease using ‘360’ in branding products, applications and services? #notoriginal

Questions? Comments? Contentions? Let me hear’em!

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