HxGN LIVE Smart Digital Transformation 2020

HxGN LIVE Smart Digital Transformation 2020

As the world contends with the ongoing pandemic, organisations are being forced to rapidly implement new ways of working to ensure safety, whilst maintaining operational efficiency. Adopting integrated digital solutions enables companies to thrive in the new normal, to increase ROI and remain competitive. On November 25th 2020, more than 1,000 professionals across Asia, Middle East and Africa joined HxGN LIVE Smart Digital Transformation, an immersive virtual event, to find out how digitalisation is shaping our world and why businesses need to get on board.

Following keynote presentations in a virtual auditorium, attendees could explore Hexagon’s digital technology and solutions in the experience zone, have their questions answered by subject matter experts and view case studies and further educational material at the resource centre.

The presentations addressed the current and future challenges faced by businesses operating in a fast-changing world, illustrating how Hexagon’s digital solutions are helping businesses to stay competitive, productive, relevant and safe.

Digitalisation: a helping hand in a turbulent world?

In his keynote address, Executive Vice President for Hexagon Geosystems, Mark Concannon emphasises how digitalisation is proving vital for businesses across a variety of industries. He outlined how the UN’s predicted rise in urban populations in African and Asian countries, together with shifting economies, and a global pandemic, is accelerating the adoption of digitally connected infrastructure and smart construction techniques, both by governments and private organisations.

Focusing on the pandemic and the new and unique challenges of social distancing, limited access and less employees onsite, he highlighted three key questions for businesses.

  1. How do we keep our employers safe?
  2. How do we ensure productivity?
  3. How do we remain competitive?

He went on to explain that digitalisation and associated technologies already enable remote communication, the sharing of information and the ability to create virtual representations of real-life settings. Widespread application of these technologies can help overcome the key challenges facing construction and infrastructure development, making the vision of a truly interconnected environment a reality.

Digitalisation fits into what is thought of as the fourth industrial revolution. Industry 4.0 covers areas such as AI, Internet of Things, BIM, Smart sensors, Smart Cities, Smart factories and the digital representation of physical assets.

Throughout the rest of his keynote Concannon provided examples of how Hexagon’s vast range of core technologies and solutions covering reality capture, positioning, design and simulation, location intelligence and autonomous technologies supply stakeholders with the data they need to improve services and promote sustainability.

He shared, “The growing population, combined with increased urbanisation, all place pressure on governments to implement a Smart City strategy that uses mapping technology as a platform to provide services and solve city problems.”

To achieve a Smart City, governments first need an accurate base map of the region and the assets it controls. Geosystems solutions, currently used across the USA and Europe capture datasets above and below ground to centimetre accuracy, utilised by governments, cities, consumers, car manufacturers and mobile phone companies for 5G infrastructure planning.

Concannon went on to highlight HxDR, a new cloud-based digital reality management and visualisation platform. “In line with Industry 4.0 and 5G infrastructure planning, Hexagon HxDR combines machine learning and AI with our sensor and software leadership, creating an immersive, accurate digital representation of the real world.”


Digital Twins - digitised versions of physical assets, updated in real-time with real world sensors - were once thought of as science fiction. In a further example of how digitalisation accelerates change, Concannon explained how the concept of Digital Twins is being adopted in successful building installations globally and in other industries, including oil and gas, mining and manufacturing.

He also demonstrated how data capture can even be utilised to 3D print assets, citing the first 3D printed office building (250 square metres) in the world, which opened in 2016 in Dubai, and took only 17 days to print and two days to install.  Such techniques can reduce building time by 50-70%, and labour costs by 50-80%.

Concannon highlighted Hexagon’s leadership in sensor, software and autonomous technologies to facilitate Smart Digital Reality – a digital replica of a complete physical world, where all associated things, places and processes within it are machine readable and subject to the power of algorithms.

To wrap up his keynote, Concannon shared his vision of an autonomous future. “Autonomy may seem very far away, but it isn’t. Many of the tasks we do today are leading us towards the facilitation of autonomy.”

Digitalisation of our physical world through reality capture technologies

Juergen Mayer, President, Reality Capture Division, Hexagon Geosystems and Faheem Khan, Vice President, Survey Solutions, Hexagon Geosystems, focused on the power of reality capture technology to digitalise the physical world.


Mayer noted, “A growing number of urban projects require improved connectivity between the construction site and head office, as well as across multiple parties and geographies – they also rely on technical solutions that efficiently deliver high accuracy, reliable data.” 

He explained how the sharing of this digital information between all parties, through all stages of the construction process, from concept to completion, reduces costly delays and overruns.

Innovation in reality capture technology

Mayer illustrated the latest innovations for reality capture workflows using the Leica laser scanning portfolio, fusing 3D laser scanning, stereo and HDR camera technology to capture 3D, precise colour imagery.

He also gave examples of how reality capture is adding value to a wide range of industries including aircraft and retail that adopt digital twin solutions to inform and improve operations, from design and build, through to the complete life cycle of a structure.

Further innovation has made field to finish workflows from mobile, airborne or terrestrial platforms, automated, simple and efficient. Information can be shared straight from the field, via the cloud, connecting and collaborating with multiple sites and teams working in real time on the same project.

Accessible automated workflows

Laser scanning technology that was once the preserve of specialists and a select field of applications is now available to everyone. Faheem Khan observed that a non-specialist, with a single push of a button, can produce a scan, import data, extract targets and deliver complete registered georeferenced data in a matter of minutes.

To further illustrate how Leica reality capture solutions deliver, he discussed TruView, a photo-realistic data viewer, produced directly from the field, allowing users to take measurements, create redline, collaborate or add intelligence to the data.

In conclusion Khan said, “2020 has proven to us is that the world has changed. As professionals we are in a prime position to harness the power of digital technologies that help inform our industries and assist the transformation. Eliminating guess work and executing in a smart and safer way will only position us for growth.”


Innovative pure surveying technologies for digital transformation

In his comprehensive presentation, Product Engineer at Leica Geosystems, Switzerland, Nathan Wallace highlighted numerous historical examples showing how dedication to technology innovation has driven businesses and the surveying industry forward.

Wallace detailed some of the game-changing technologies assisting businesses with growth by ensuring productivity. He cited the Leica Nova and Viva range of instruments– part of the next generation portfolio of equipment, enabling intelligent data to be extracted from the most difficult locations with ease and precision.

Scale is Critical

Wallace went on to show how a combination of several technologies could be used to map a whole city, from above, using accurate aerial data, from the ground with 3D mobile mapping, and underground with ground penetrating radar. Finally, measure, stake, and check infrastructure, using total stations, GNSS, laser scanners and UAVs, linking everything together in software.

“In the current economic climate, the geospatial industry, must address the problems contributing to low margins. Organisations that use digital construction solutions to deliver accurate, remote measurement, safely and faster than ever before, are ensuring their position as future leaders with the potential to develop new opportunities in a data-driven environment,” said Wallace.

The shift to digital construction

Dmitry Lykov, Regional Segment manager Heavy Construction and Owen Williams, Senior Segment Manager for Machine Control Division Asia, looked at the new technologies and processes helping to address the key challenges for heavy construction operations.

With ever more complex projects, the pressure to reduce costs, time and error, whilst also increasing productivity and improving safety on construction sites, has never been greater.


“Digitalisation of heavy construction workflows can be made possible through the Internet of Things. Machine Control is firmly embedded within this ethos, we understand this philosophy and are working towards an autonomous future,” said Lykov.

Williams highlighted some of Leica Geosystems' technologies within the Heavy Construction Segment which increases efficiency and simplifies learning across the work site, making it easy for operators to move between machines, whatever the application.

Real world projects

Al Nisr Construction is pioneering machine control for airfields in the United Arab Emirates, following the time saved using Leica’s solutions to complete project work on the Abu Dhabi airfield. The approach they took increased the company’s performance, improved its reputation, and is helping them to win new projects in the future.

“With large infrastructure projects such as airfields, contractors want to complete well within deadline as this allows them to avoid significant financial penalties,” said Williams.

Working on the Pulau Tekong reclamation Project in Singapore, Halex used a digital excavator system and a cloud-based interface for remote support and data transfer. The company is committed to continued development of their digitalisation drive as they realise the potential for further gains in productivity.

“Governments around the world are now pushing efficiencies within the heavy construction sector. We can see in recent months that this has accelerated under these challenging times. Digitalization and autonomy will drive the future and we need to be ready,” said Williams.

All keynote presentations and product demonstrations are available on demand, just log in here with your registered email address, or sign up to get instant access.

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