Today, smart construction companies and corporate owners are seeking technology partners to create a connected construction project that is environmentally aware, friendly, and lean—and there are three big ways lean design and construction can help enhance value on projects.

  1. Save time
  2. Minimize waste
  3. Enhance human potential

It comes down to having a “Smart Recipe for Deploying Successful Construction Technology,” and that means recognzing that it is about choosing the right technologies, defining and excuting a deployment plan, and selecting the right partner.

According to the Lean Construction Institute, eliminating waste throughout project lifecycles, such as defects, excess processing, overproduction, waiting, inventory, transportation, motion, and non-utilized talent can lead to better productivity, reduced safety hazards, and greater cost savings.

This ultimately leads to better outcomes for clients through greater project effectiveness and transparency.

Integration and connectivity from the office, machine, and field increase site productivity and ensures high uptime on site. To help create connected and more collaborative construction sites, Leica Geosystems, part of Hexagon, listened to the voice of the customer and created easy-to use and interoperable technology. Thus was born the Leica iCON solution portfolio for all heavy-machines designed to efficiently connect the different tasks, machines, and teams on construction projects.

Completing its heavy construction solution portfolio, Leica Geosystems has announced the new Leica iCON iRD3 for drilling machines and the Leica iCON iRP3 solution for pile drivers. This completes the circle of one panel (the Leica MCP80) and one common software platform (Leica MC1) which is transferable across the entire fleet at any time.

For instance, if one machine is having problems or a task is completed, operators can just take the panel out of that machine and move it to another. This reduces operator wait time and wasted time by empowering them to remain in control.

Adopting machine control for drillers and pilers has never been easier using one panel and software. The solution proved its efficiency in the field when Hilti&Jehle, a construction company in Austria, was tasked with piling work for a new paper factory building.

Rig solution in practice

Palm Paper Factory GmbH is building an advanced paper factory on sanded ground in the small village of Aalen, Germany. Keep in mind that it will contain heavy paper machines and the result is the foundation must be stable with concrete pile casts in the ground.

Hilti&Jehle uses the Liebherr LRB355 machine, which is equipped with the new Leica iCON iRP3 machine-control solution for drillers and pilers—a machine-control solution from Leica Geosystems integrated with Liebherr. Further, the Leica iRP3 interfaces directly with Liebherr’s Process Data Recording system, PDE, which means the as-built information is directly exported to Liebherr’s data recording and as-built reporting system.

Leica iRP3 helps identify the exact position needed for piling and drilling in a construction project, guiding precision and safety for operators. The assistive user interface with adaptive bullseye zoom and the intuitive menus and navigation system assist the operator to work faster and more accurately. The antennas can be mounted in different locations and operators can now work in any GNSS-denied areas such as smart cities.

The technology is also connected to all other operations on a construction project, which helps enable a seamless integration and data workflow.

“The Leica iCON iRP3 for pile drivers and the Leica iCON iRD3 for drill rigs 3D machine control solution on the MC1 platform is connected to all other operations on the construction project, supporting IREDES, KOF, and LandXML file formats, and integrate seamlessly with the iCON portfolio,” says Holger (HoPi) Pietzsch, VP marketing, heavy construction – machine control, digitalization, smart digital reality, Hexagon AB, the parent company of Leica Geosystems.

Besides productivity, to keep people and machinery safe and productive, Leica Geosystems’ machine control is developed in conjunction with Hexagon Mining the new Leica iCON Personal Alert System (PA) and Visual Aid System (VA) series.

Technology as a catalyst for empowering safety

One of the big benefits of the technology for jobsite safety is improved because workers no longer need to do manual stakeout, which means less workers are present around the machine and the operator can work without leaving the machine’s cabin. Also, with accurate navigation and correct depth and angles of drilled holes, blast results are more controlled and safer with better rock fragmentation and less use of explosives.

“During dynamic applications, for example, stakeout procedures, there is a danger of accidents occurring if the user does not pay attention to the environmental conditions around, for example, obstacles, excavations, or traffic,” explains Pietzsch. “Safety is a primary concern on construction and mining sites.”

To help, Leica iCON PA10 is a standalone personal alert on construction sites to avoid collisions. The technology creates multiple zones with configurable warnings around any vehicle. The PA10 can predict potential close interactions between machinery and pedestrians, generating visual, audible, and vibratory alarms to both operators and the pedestrian to avert potential accidents.

Technology as a catalyst for optimizing project efficiency

While safety is a primary concern, so too is project efficiency. “To achieve the fastest and most flexible results, the Leica MC1 for Rigs can offer you a precise and safe means to achieving the exact depths you need on your next construction project. Operators on site can work directly with the data, saving time and costs since you no longer have to send the data back to the office. As part of the Leica MC1 platform, you can connect an entire construction site to have a full understanding in one easy-to-see interface of all operations,” explains Pietzsch.

For the Palm Paper Factory, the result is the team will be able to pile more than 40 piles a day compared to only 30 piles without machine control. The project also leverages recently released software, Leica MC1, which supports the cloud-based collaboration too through Leica ConX. The result is users are able to share, visualize, and report data in realtime.

Seamless data integration as the catalyst for connecting projects

Other companies are also delivering outcomes through technology. Fjellsprenger AS is drilling the bedrock for ground preparations to build a fenced construction site, where another company, Norsk, can store equipment and explosives.

As another case, as part of a five-year-long construction project widening and modernizing the highway ring outside of Berlin, Germany, the international HABAU GROUP contracted Arkil, which is tasked to prepare the soft base course with concrete piles, ensuring the ground layer is able to carry the weight of the current highway lanes, and is working with two piler rigs equipped with the new Leica iCON iRP3 machine control solutions with Leica MC1 software.

Having a piece of equipment Leica Ready means pre-enabling a machine with a base kit, which includes cables, brackets, and sensors that means it is machine control ready. Once the base kit is in, the operator only needs a cab-kit, which is the antennas, cradle, panel, and a collaboration to work.

“The advantage of having a machine delivered ‘Leica-ready’, is that we can install the machine control solution and then have a fully operational machine within only two hours,” explains Reto Bardill, technical support, Leica Geosystems.

While these are just a few examples, the big takeaway is machine control solutions help complete projects in a way that saves time and improves safety by exchanging data easily. As Pietzsch says, “MC1 allows users to share and visualize all projects and as-built data directly on the panel through Leica ConX, the cloud-based collaboration platform, connecting the field and office seamlessly.” For any construction company, that equals a big win.

Both innovations are available for hands-on demonstrations at CONEXPO-CON/AGG March 10-14, 2020 in Las Vegas, at the Hexagon Booth in the North Hall, at stand #N-12166. Register here and retrieve your reduction code.

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