Manufacturers Urged to Digitise Product Data to Reduce Risk

04 Sep 2020

The project is producing a Plain Language Guide for manufacturers setting out why digital product data is important and how manufacturers can benefit by taking simple low-cost steps. The project is supported by the Institution of Engineering and Technology, Construction Products Europe and the UK BIM Alliance.

“Structured product data has many benefits”, says Paul Surin of IBM, a member of the project editorial team. “By structuring data and taking advantage of the new standards, manufacturers can start treating their information as an asset, monetise their data, save considerably on marketing costs and reduce risk.”

The risks to manufacturers of analogue methods of handling data are considerable, Patricia Massey of Electrium explains. “The Grenfell tragedy has showed our industry that knowing where your products are is essential to public safety, but it also protects manufacturers.”

“The new Building Safety Bill requires building owners to certify their buildings are safe, and that requires knowing what is in them. We are also seeing increasing instances of construction companies being prosecuted for product related failure. Manufacturers will need to conform to the market need for standardised, traceable product information soon, if only to protect their business interests.”

John Parsons, Director Digital, BEAMA, said,

“BEAMA welcomes the launch of this series of blogs. Making digital product data available is an increasingly urgent topic and industry needs to understand what to do”

Christophe Sykes of CPE – on regulation

“One of the characteristics of the European industry is that we have the Construction Products Regulation (CPR). It lays down harmonised rules for the Single Market of construction products in the EU. The Regulation offers a common technical language, allowing the assessment of the performance of construction products, and ensuring the delivery of reliable technical data to the market. More recently, our Smart CE marking initiative allows this regulated data to be delivered in a harmonised digital format.

“We welcome this initiative to help manufacturers understand how digitisation can help compliance.”

Blane Judd, Chair of IET Built Environment Panel, said,

“One of the goals of the IET’s Built Environment Panel is to support the digitalisation of the built environment sector. This still has a long way to go and a better understanding and management of product data will make a significant contribution to this journey. Delivering built as designed buildings which will perform better and are safer can be a reality.  

I am pleased to see the culmination of a lot of effort in the launch of the “plain language guide”. We are excited at the prospect of new, fresh, open conversations on the topic of product data.”

New International Standards published this year make it possible for information to be provided in a standardised, interoperable way, and the project team believe that a simple process will allow manufacturers to make their products traceable and protect against fraud and incompatible product substitution.

The first article is published today, and the first discussion group will be held on Zoom on 11th September. Manufacturers who want to participate can read the article and sign up to join the call here:



For further information please contact:

Su Butcher, Project Manager.
[email protected] 07815 935736


Information for Editors

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BEAMA is the UK trade association for manufacturers and providers of energy infrastructure technologies and systems. We represent more than 200 companies, from start-ups and SMEs to large multinationals. Our members' products ensure low carbon energy and environmental services are delivered safely, securely and efficiently to UK homes, businesses,  transport and grid networks.  We support our members in ensuring that the UK has a strong electrotechnical industry that is recognised as an essential part of modern society and brings invaluable economic, social and environmental benefits. 

For more information visit:

About Construction Products Europe

Construction Products Europe (CPE) is an international non-profit making association made up of national and European associations that represent small and medium-size enterprises and world leading companies. CPE aims to promote the European construction industry, to share information on EU legislation and standardisation and to provide input in all European construction-related initiatives.

For more information visit:

About the UK BIM Alliance

The UK BIM Alliance was set up in October 2016 following the UK Government’s challenge to industry to support the implementation of BIM Level 2. It has been established as a not-for-profit, collaboratively based, organisation bringing together a wide community of interest including BIM4 interest groups and BIM Regions, and other industry organisations.

For more information visit: