A strategic collaboration between hardware and software providers is set to enhance workflows for the surveying and infrastructure applications with connected data environments and cloud services. Topcon Positioning Group and Bentley Systems have announced a new joint initiative to connect cloud services for what they have labelled ‘constructioneering’.
The strategic move, announced at the recent Year in Infrastructure 2016 Conference held in London, will bring to market cloud-based solution offerings, which include services of both and provide construction workflows not previously possible.
During the keynote presentations at the conference, the companies’ CEOs presented new construction workflows designed to increase efficiency and productivity with enhanced integration between their respective cloud services.
Initially, Bentley Systems will offer its ProjectWise CONNECT Edition users seamless connectivity with Topcon’s MAGNET Enterprise. Going the other way, Topcon will move to incorporate ContextCapture image processing for its mass data collection via remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS, or drones).
“Topcon and Bentley share a vision about the advancements we can achieve through what I call the continuous representation of reality,” said Ray O’Connor, president and CEO, Topcon Positioning Group. “We also share a commitment to rolling up our sleeves and working together to make possible tangible results and real benefits for our customers as we advance constructioneering. I believe that our strategic collaboration will continue to integrate surveying, engineering, and construction, improving outcomes for project delivery.”
Greg Bentley, CEO of Bentley Systems, added that “to date, surveying, engineering, and construction industries have separately advanced to 3D technologies. But unbelievably, until now, 3D models have been recreated—rather than reused—at each phase.”
“It’s been exciting to work with Topcon to introduce constructioneering so that our engineering users can start from the reality-captured survey context and leverage and update their digital engineering models through the construction process.
“Our joint cloud service innovations for constructing and improving roadways, including as-built capture, are enabling the highest level of workflow automation.”
Compared to traditional workflows between design and construction in which data from survey and digital engineering models can be lost and inefficiently recreated, constructioneering empowers engineers to extend their role within both surveying and construction.
As an example of how this may come to be realised, cloud services will first bring the construction site conditions to the engineers so their work starts with an accurate model of the current 3D context—as captured by Topcon UAV photogrammetry and laser scanners—and then processed into engineering-ready 3D reality meshes by Bentley’s ContextCapture software.
Cloud services subsequently convey the engineers’ work directly to construction processes in the field. This automation process—achieved through the connection between Topcon MAGNET cloud service and Bentley’s ProjectWise CONNECT Edition cloud services—improves project delivery, with design performed in context, and the resulting digital engineering models feeding the 3D machine control that guides the construction machinery.
Topcon and Bentley expect to expand the constructioneering workflow to extend applications for infrastructure services in the near future.