New predictions for engineering’s digital future

Leading 3D mobile mapping technology provider GeoSLAM is calling on the engineering and construction sector to recognise the ‘fourth industrial revolution’ in a new white paper entitled Digital Engineering: Building Reality.

The white paper predicts that digital technology will radically overhaul the way buildings are designed, constructed and managed in future, expanding on the latest developments in Building Information Modelling. 

Reflecting the thoughts of many in the industry, the paper acknowledges that digital technology has already proved to be a disruptive but lucrative force in sectors like retail, publishing and travel and it is now set to open up new business opportunities in construction.

The paper offers a clear description of what digital engineering is and how evolving technologies, such as BIM, form part of it. It also highlights that the power of digital engineering - which partly involves using advanced 3D scanning techniques to rapidly create highly-detailed models of a structure or site - has enormous commercial advantages.

Benefits such as facilitating better design, and identifying risks earlier on in the construction process thereby avoiding expensive delays and overruns are all highlighted in the paper which claims that delivery teams can expect greater predictability in building performance and more accurate costs and time-scales for project delivery.

The white paper comes after latest forecasts reveal that growth in the construction sector will rise by 70% across the world by 2025, with big data analytics, drones, mobile connectivity, sensors and other digital technology playing a significant role in enabling this growth.

John Allan, vice president of sales and marketing at GeoSLAM, commented: “Compared to other industry sectors, the construction and engineering industry has been slow to embrace digital technology. But this is about to change, as the significant benefits that digital technologies bring to the way we design, construct and maintain our infrastructure are revealed. In this competitive market, now is the time to embrace digital engineering; those who do will not only survive, but thrive.

“It’s fair to say that advances in technology now allow construction firms to undertake surveys that would not have been possible even a decade ago, such as a recent school renovation project which used 3D mobile mapping technology to create a ‘real-time digital twin’ of a 100-year-old building. In this instance, planning permission was subject to detailed drawings being submitted, but there were a number of hazards including asbestos and unstable floors and ceilings. The team used our handheld scanners to scan the building safely, quickly and accurately in just four-and-a-half hours.”

 Steven Eglinton, director at data and information ,management specialists GeoEnable, said that another key benefit of digital engineering was improved collaboration between stakeholders through the integration of technology. 

“Digital engineering is the transformation from analogue to digital for the engineering and construction sector and represents the evolution of BIM,” he said. “Without digital technology, this would not be possible, but it goes further than this. In fact, the success of building projects depends on a harmonious blend of people, process and technology working together,” said Eglinton.

Click here to download the Digital Engineering: Building Reality whitepaper

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