Digitalising construction

Digitalising Construction
Author: Renata Barradas Gutierrez

Time pressure, unexpected costs, and changes in design and delays are inevitable in nearly all construction projects. In most cases, erroneous or inefficient sharing of information and data is the underlying cause for these issues.

These barriers are torn down by connecting and sharing data across all elements of the construction chain in real time, increasing productivity and efficiency. This digitalisation of sites advances the construction industry and is fundamental to what is often referred to as intelligent construction.

Construction companies agree digitalisation is a trend that will drive the industry and lead it to make tremendous gains in both productivity and quality. According to the Association of German Chambers of Commerce and Industry, 93 per cent of construction players agree that digitalisation will influence every one of their processes.

To address the industry’s needs to share 3D data in real time, Leica Geosystems developed ConX, a cloud solution and web interface to seamlessly integrate, manage and analyse surveying and machine control workflows for construction projects.


Construction data in real time, everywhere

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According to Roland Berger, a global strategy consulting firm, the four keys to the digital transformation are:

  • Digital data
  • Digital access
  • Automation
  • Connectivity

In this sense, Leica ConX is designed to increase collaboration and simplify the data handling of machine control operations by integrating and automating workflows, enabling remote control of connected machines, and creating real-time data exchange from the office to the field and back. Personnel and machines on the jobsite need to share the same data and stay in sync with changes so work can be completed on time, on budget, and to specification. ConX allows users to share and visualise positioning, reference model and constructed data. Field and machine control solutions connected to ConX can remotely receive and share information, and access the web interface for visualising the data anywhere with internet access.

“Leica ConX is an investment to simplify and expedite the flow of critical information between the site and the office helping to maximise the productivity of the technology and resources while reducing the burden of data collection, aggregation and reporting,” said Doug Eggert, product manager at Leica Geosystems.


Most open, user friendly solution

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This cloud-based collaboration tool enables users to efficiently manage all connected construction projects, including third party platforms, and share job-related data with all stakeholders. With ConX, non-experienced users will be able to visualise and validate localised reference models, survey data and constructed data.

“When investing in Leica Geosystems machine control and positioning technology, operators can choose to connect their products to the ConX platform, giving them the tool to aggregate, manage and store 3D data at the project level. Once connected, each product can be supported remotely and can seamlessly exchange data to and from any other connected applications or devices and applications connected to the customer account. In this way, ConX makes information accessible to everyone working on a construction project in the role of designing, constructing, managing or validating the completion of work.

We are working hard to keep things simple and avoid introducing new and cumbersome workflows to our end user. Instead we automate existing workflows and incorporate the wealth of information generated on a modern jobsite into intuitive analysis tools making it easy to influence and monitor the production of the job site,” said Eggert.


Trending towards digitalisation

Even though there is a trend toward digitalisation in the construction industry, few construction companies are taking complete advantage of tools that digitise their processes. In an analysis by Harvard Business Review that compared how digitally advanced 22 sectors are, construction ranked second to last.

Players in the construction industry that strategise how they will integrate digitalisation have a better chance to create new businesses, stay competitive and improve productivity. Companies that ignore this trend have the risk to fall behind by losing business due to the lack of productivity.

“We are seeing an increase in project tenders requiring the use of 3D machines and field solutions for not only production and optimisation but also the subsequent data capture that is used to validate and report the work that was completed. Managing all of this data is an ever increasing problem for our customers so we aim to provide the best solution to solve it,” concluded Eggert.

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