When it comes to digitization and automation, the construction sector is comparatively one of the most backward. In fact, a McKinsey International Institute survey shows that levels of digitization and automation in the construction sector are very low in almost every category when compared with other industries. This is in spite of the enormous benefits that can be derived from digitization and automation, especially when used in combination.
Nevertheless, construction companies have started to integrate new technologies gradually. The push for digital is accelerating, and while many in the industry are still skeptical and hesitant about the shift to new technology in a sector that has traditionally been brick and mortar, the time has come for them to develop a true digital strategy. But to truly harness the power of digitization, companies must also embrace automation.
One area of digitization that should prove particularly fruitful for the construction industry is the adoption of Building Information Modeling (BIM). This is a process of creating and modeling information for the entire life cycle of a construction project, from planning and design through construction and operations. BIM allows for sharing, collaboration and revision that paper sets of drawings cannot provide. Schedules can be planned more accurately and communicated more effectively, and improved coordination helps projects be completed on time or ahead of schedule. Ensuring that the right information is available at the right time is essential to completing a project successfully and to a high level of quality. Although a McKinsey study found that 75% of companies that have adopted BIM have reported that their investments have been positive, in many regions of the world BIM adoption is low. Why is this? One of the main reasons is that BIM alone does not save a significant amount of time and does not save a substantial amount of money, as it still requires the same manual information as a typical construction project, with or without BIM.
However, the key to using BIM optimally and realizing its full potential is to use it in combination with automation. BIM integrated within an automated system can save construction companies money and improve quality in countless ways. ObraLink is at the forefront of this optimization, using BIM in combination with an automated system. ObraLink uses a CiBot with IoT, computer vision and infrared imaging as its technological core; this makes it possible to automatically acquire construction project data and, as a result, automate project management. CiBot enables real-time monitoring of concrete strength measurements for pouring, formwork and reinforcement, along with feeding data to the ObraLink platform where a variety of essential KPIs are displayed (concreting rates per week, execution time for each floor and construction speed). All this crucial information is integrated into BIM and therefore allows both project managers and all key personnel to monitor progress in real time.
In short, unlike other companies that offer project digitization, or concrete measurement without automation, ObraLink offers something unique, a service that unlocks the full capabilities offered by digitization. The result is a solution that reduces costs, decreases construction time and reduces the risk of human error.
About the author:
David Wright is head of sales at Obralink and regularly writes content for our blog in English. He has an academic background, having studied Applied Linguistics at UCL, in addition to his copywriting and sales experience.