Singapore — At the Year in Infrastructure 2017 Conference, Topcon Positioning Systems and Bentley Systems announced that they have joined efforts to provide opportunities for construction industry professionals to learn best practices in “constructioneering,” a process of managing and integrating survey, engineering, and construction data, to streamline construction workflows and improve project delivery.
“The future of construction automation continues to move forward today with efforts like constructioneering. Together with Bentley we are helping reshape the traditional surveying, engineering, and construction workflows,” said Ray O’Connor, president and CEO of Topcon Positioning Systems. “Our efforts are proving successful in several phases of project delivery, particularly in road resurfacing, but the opportunities to expand its benefits are tremendous. That’s a big driver for creating the Constructioneering Academy.”
Bentley Systems’ CEO Greg Bentley said, “The growing momentum in demand for infrastructure project delivery across the world, against finite resources including an aging construction workforce, makes ‘going digital’ imperative. We and Topcon, and early adopters of constructioneering over the past year, have become convinced that heavy civil construction can lead the way, starting by ‘industrializing BIM’ through digital workflows which make the work of surveyors, engineers, and constructors automated, continuous, and continuously more valuable, throughout the project lifecycle. Also over the past year, we and Topcon have advanced our digital co-venture to jointly deliver constructioneering technologies through instant-on cloud services, federating our respective connected data environments and applications.
“The benefits of constructioneering, with digital visibility into efficient and effective project outcomes, are so substantial that I believe civil infrastructure projects can finally become bankable, attracting abundant private financing to fill the funding gap. The results can be significant—improved overall economic growth and quality of life!
“The challenge in going digital, now, is to motivate and empower the historically conservative engineering and contracting firms, so that people and processes can catch up with constructioneering technology acceleration. We and Topcon enthusiastically accept this responsibility, and are pooling our experiences in promoting and sustaining digital advancement. At Bentley Systems, our Academy programs have helped major infrastructure owners to onboard their consultants, contractors, and supply chains into BIM and construction digital workflows which benefit every project delivery participant. Topcon has likewise invested in advancing people and processes, and we look forward to applying the same resourcefulness and creativity in collaborating for Constructioneering Academies, as we have already successfully shown in our joint technical endeavors.”
Constructioneering enables engineers to begin work with an accurate 3D model of current construction site conditions (as captured by Topcon’s UAS photogrammetry and laser scanners) which then can be processed into engineering-ready 3D reality meshes (by Bentley’s ContextCapture software). Cloud services convey the engineers’ work directly to construction processes in the field. The resulting digital engineering models work with the 3D machine control that guides construction machinery. Compared to traditional workflows between design and construction in which data in the digital engineering models is often lost and inefficiently recreated, constructioneering provides seamless integration for constructible models that offer real-time updates and data exchange for improved efficiency and cost reduction. Topcon and Bentley will collaborate to create the Constructioneering Academy curriculum which will be implemented through existing learning centers located in Livermore, Calif. (Topcon), Houston, and London (Bentley).
Vinayak Trivedi, Bentley Institute vice president, commented, “The constructioneering collaboration with our digital co-venturer Topcon will appropriately extend our successful program of global Academies for sharing advancements to help user organizations and their supply chains in going digital. We will be opening new Academy locations in the coming months in Pune, India; in Dubai, UAE; and in Beijing, China. Along with supporting Topcon’s training centers, our priorities also include virtualizing Constructioneering Academy offerings through universities with leading construction degree programs.”
Topcon also announced advances in its direct communication between the Bentley Systems design applications and the Topcon suite of software solutions with the release of MAGNET 4.3.1. The MAGNET Enterprise Data Manager is designed to allow operators to directly access Bentley ProjectWise data with MAGNET Field, MAGNET Office or MAGNET Enterprise applications.
“The updates are part of our commitment to working with third-party software applications, such as the Bentley offering, to provide efficient data exchange and a seamless workflow environment,” said Jason Hallett, Topcon vice president of global product management. “When connected to MAGNET Enterprise from MAGNET Field, you can directly upload and download data from ProjectWise, allowing surveyors or machine control model-builders upload or download iModels or other project file types.”
The integration is designed to simplify data transfer from design to field, with the unique ability to read and import only the data users need for their projects.
“It builds upon our industry-first ability to offer ‘round trip’ iModels — sending them directly to field operators who can use and update them directly on the jobs site, and then send the updated iModels from the field back to Bentley ProjectWise,” said Hallett.