We were back at the JCB Visitor Centre in Rocester for our Summer Community Day which is a fantastic venue and Paul Mabey welcomed us on behalf of our very generous hosts. He also gave a fascinating tour of the factory and museum to our delegates in the afternoon.
On this particular day we had the pleasure of welcoming three new organisations into COMIT membership - Fulcro, GeoSLAM and SCISYS - and two guests: Acumen Solutions and Uuugabuild.
Tony Shooter (COMIT Chair for Technology) gave an update on the Drone Project and the forthcoming meeting at TopCon on the 11 July where (weather permitting) we will be flying drones.
Steve Slater, COMIT Chair for Construction, described his involvement with Waterston's entry in the London Construction Industry Dragon Boat Challenge, which is in support of the construction industry charity CRASH.
Enable My Team
Scott Harden and Phil Mavros from Enable My Team explained their Asset Information Management System that can track assets through the entire life-cycle. They showed how it was being used on the Humber Pipeline Tunnel. This is a £100M design and build project which is replacing a natural gas pipeline for National Grid. It involves boring a 5 kilometre tunnel under the Humber Estuary.
Scott and Phil also described how Enable My Team manage 75,000 assets across all Crossrail Projects - the largest being Whitechapel Station (25,000 assets). For more information about what Enable My Team can do email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Codegate - is the barcode dead?
Iain and Glyn have a barcode shoot-out
Glyn Matthews from Codegate discussed alternatives to barcodes such as passive RFID. These come in many forms including bracelets that use Near Field Communication. However, most devices referred to as Passive RFID are UHF (Ultra Hight Frequency) tags. This system allows multiple tags to be read at the same time but requires an infrastructure of readers and antennae to do so. Glyn described just how far barcodes have come being able to read multiple items, i.e. being able to capture everything being carried through a door.
Active RFID is a power-assisted tag which can enhance its capabilities. Glyn showed a video of the BLE Real time tag (Bluvision Disruptive tag) in action - this picks up signals underground and uses Wi-Fi but is otherwise not connected. It can be used for tracking people, for example at an event - so one can see who attended, when they arrived and left and where they visited within the exhibition hall, etc.
Glyn concluded that the humble barcode is not really dead, but has evolved and is now part of a blended system.
Mike Dutch and Stuart Cadge shared their story from 2012 with their mobile laser mapping system. The SLAM in their company name stands for Simultaneous Localisation and Mapping.
They discussed their ZEB-REVO solution. It's primary benefit is that there is no need to remain static while scanning and also no need to have GPS. You can walk, scan and record - it is real time registration and processing. They scanned at JCB and in 5 minutes got 6,800,000 data points!
Stuart shared a number of case studies. With a static scanner, it took 30 seconds per room to scan a 300 room hotel. A huge new tower block in Denmark took 30 minutes to completely scan and a further hour to process the data - all done by one person using the ZEB –REVO solution.
For more information visit the GeoSLAM website.
Iain Miskimmin discussed interconnected infrastructure and data capture with the 360 degree camera. He presented an infrastructure case study about a water sewerage plant that supports circa 250 homes but is run by just 5 people. Ideally the methodology he described should be used across ALL utilities.
There were a number of take-home messages in Iain's presentation but key objectives to improving infrastructure management are:
Common / consistent methods of rating all infrastructure assets
Linking impacts across sectors
Driving improvement from UK government and infrastructure owners
Better disaster management and a basis for better information management
Stuart Young talked about productivity improvement within the construction industry and especially the benefits of improvements to information mobility. Stuart specifically covered integrated materials management systems and how a manufacturing style approach can lead to productivity improvements of between 500 and 1000 percent.
COMIT has created a small group to help develop solutions to increase productivity. The group is looking for owners/operators, EPC's, solution providers and academic members. If you are a COMIT member and want to get involved then please contact Stuart.
Many thanks to our host JCB and to all of our delegates and presenters. COMIT holds four Community Days a year which are free to attend for COMIT members. If you work in construction or construction related technology and think your organisation would benefit from membership then please contact us.