August, 2022

How the potential of BIM can only be realised when combined with automation

When it comes to digitalisation and automation, the construction industry lags behind many other sectors. In fact, a survey by the McKinsey International Institute shows that the levels of digitalisation and automation in the construction industry are very low in almost all categories compared to other industries. This is despite the enormous benefits that can be derived from both, especially when used in combination.

Nonetheless, construction companies have started to integrate new technologies more and more. The digital push is accelerating, and although many in the industry are still sceptical and hesitant about the change and adopting new technologies in an industry that has traditionally been 'Bricks and Mortar', the time has come for construction to develop a real digital strategy. At ObraLink we believe that this digital strategy has to involve automation because to truly leverage the power of digitalisation, companies must also embrace automated systems within the construction process.

One area of digitalisation that should prove to be particularly fruitful for the construction industry is the adoption of Building Information Modeling (BIM). This is a process of creating and managing information for a construction project's lifecycle—from planning and design to construction and operations. BIM allows for the sharing, collaborating, and versioning that paper drawing sets cannot provide. Schedules can be planned more accurately and communicated precisely, and improved coordination helps projects be more likely to be completed on time or early. Making sure the correct information is available at the right time is essential for completing a project successfully and to a high standard. However, although, one study by McKinsey found that 75% of companies that have adopted BIM reported positive returns on their investments, in many regions worldwide, BIM uptake is low. So, why is this? One of the main reasons is that BIM alone does not save a significant amount of time and does not substantially reduce costs because it still requires all the manual input involved in a typical construction project, BIM or no BIM. With the addition of automated systems such as the ciBot, the first and only autonomous data collection system for construction projects integrated into BIM, the construction progress can be monitored in real-time and the project management becomes completely automated allowing for the true potential of BIM to be realised. The result, projects save a considerable amount of time and therefore money during the construction process along with reducing human error.

In conclusion, unlike other companies that provide digitalisation of the project, or concrete measurement without automation, ObraLink offers something unique, a service that unleashes the full capability that digitalisation has to offer. The outcome is a solution that cuts costs, decreases construction time, and reduces the risk of human error.

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