Project Overview:

The research project ARBIM4Factory unites the disciplines of architecture, factory planning and computer science. In collaboration with the Fraunhofer Institute for Casting, Composite and Processing Technology IGCV and numerous project partners, different opportunities for the use of Building Information Modeling (BIM) and Augmented Reality (AR) in factory planning are researched. The goal is to ease and accelerate the planning process. The project focuses on digitalizing existing buildings, compiling the information in BIM models, and visualizing the resulting data that is relevant for the factory planning process. By defining exemplary user stories and implementing them as prototypes, the effort and needed resources, as well as benefits, are identified.


  • Creating prototypical BIM models of factory buildings and production
  • Implementing user stories using AR
  • Deriving general guidelines for the creation and extension of BIM models and their visualization using AR

Project Description:

To persevere in a field with dynamic markets and high competitive pressure, manufacturing companies have to adapt quickly to changing conditions and increase their production efficiency. Thus facility planning has become a continuous process. Data collection and editing as well as coordination between involved parties cost a lot of time. Furthermore, the impact of certain changes often only becomes apparent after they have been realized due to complex interdependencies.

The data that is required for factory planning is currently stored in various ways, on paper or digital, saved in different places and formats. Therefore, data compilation and preparation require a lot of resources. A centralized, structured data storage or association in a BIM model improves this process. Additional information about the building and the manufacturing equipment can also be stored at their exact location in the Single Source of Truth. Relevant data can then be accessed directly on-site via Augmented Reality. This decreases the amount of preparation that is necessary before a site inspection since all needed information can be retrieved on-site. Also, data can be visualized directly in its real context. Thus possible interdependencies become comprehensible. The goal of the ARBIM4Facotry project is to research how a combination of BIM and AR can solve current problems in the factory planning process.

The project is divided into 4 parts, 1) identification of challenges that manufacturing companies face, and possible use cases for BIM and AR. This is accomplished in close collaboration with the project partners. Afterward, 2) scanning and digitalization of existing facilities; the resulting data is then refined and stored in BIM models. These models are further enhanced with information on the manufacturing process and equipment. An appropriate system concept is also devised during this phase. This is followed by 3) an examination of visualization techniques in AR and suitable interaction methods. The findings are then applied to implement prototypes for the user stories defined in the first phase, which are subsequently evaluated. Finally, the project results and developed procedures are compiled into a guideline for future use of BIM and AR.


  • The results we aim for are:
  • BIM models of existing factories
  • On-site AR information visualization
  • Guidelines for the use of BIM and AR in factory planning

These results are expected to available towards the end of 2022.