Live Case: "Digital Twin" with SBB AG

13.10.2020 In order to be able to plan, build and use their buildings more efficiently, SBB AG are focusing on the use of 3D building models. The students of the new master’s program “Digital Business Administration” analyze the potential of digital twins from a strategic, organizational, cultural and structural point of view.

The business unit "Mobility Hubs and Facility Management" within the Infrastructure division of SBB AG is responsible for the lifecycle management of more than 1’000 buildings and train stations and over 100,000 technical installations in buildings, train stations and tunnels. Currently, these buildings and facilities are represented with alphanumeric data in a database. The introduction of BIM (Building Information Modeling) aims at supplementing and replacing this data with 3D models. In other words, a "digital twin" is created for each building / facility.

25 students of the new master’s program “Digital Business Administration” at the BFH Business School, which started in September 2020, are working on this live case. Specifically, they are investigating the following main topics and questions:

  • Strategy: How likely will these "digital twins" be accepted and implemented in the Swiss construction and real estate sector, or: What is the state of digital transformation in this industry?
  • Organization: What impact will the introduction of these 3D models have on existing organizational processes at SBB AG?
  • Culture: How will job profiles and the collaboration culture change with the introduction of the digital twins?
  • Structure and decisionmaking: Which data models are required for the use of BIM?

At the kick-off event in the first week of the course, students had the opportunity to meet representatives of SBB AG and receive further information on the "live case". They had a first impression of the complexity of the topic and the wide range of stakeholders that have to be taken into account when developing a solution.

We are excited to see the first results and students, lecturers and the entire BFH Business School are very much looking forward to their further cooperation with SBB AG.

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Subject area: Business + Management