To put it simply, this component tracking provides near real-time visibility of the status of internally manufactured components, allowing project managers, designers and site teams to view and update vital information via the 3D digital model. It’s supported by Laing O’Rourke’s internal data software, Datalink, and is the result of a joint effort between the company’s business systems, digital engineering, and manufacturing and logistics teams to develop the technology. Planning, design, manufacturing and transport systems all contribute to accurately locating a component, by supplying information through the Datalink tool, with the information being calculated to provide a real-time status for each component.
The big benefits
So far, reports from sites that have used the technology have found that the visibility of the data it produces has driven productivity and demonstrated improved communication and streamlining of existing processes. It’s also provided a greater predictability of programme delivery and offered early identification of delays or issues. Laing O’Rourke’s logistics director Jurrien Heynen highlights this, saying: “The benefits of being able to track individual deliveries are clear to see, both to customers in providing real-time visibility and also to help drive business improvements.”
He adds: “By equipping each facility with the ability to tag and track its components the entire business will benefit from the real-time visibility and easy access to crucial information that this enables."
Clarges, Dumfries & Galloway, Yorkshire Schools, Two Fifty One and Oxford Westgate are projects that have used the technology already with a further seven projects actively using the system and any new project able to benefit from it. Since early adoption, the system’s use has extended to also include the ability to call-off delivery of units to projects.
It’s already been reported that the tracking has been beneficial to a project, as Krishan Gajjar, project engineer at Two Fifty One, explains: “The main advantage we’ve found is we are able to see a real-time, visual representation of the project in a matter of seconds, rather than spending time collating information from lots of different static sources and creating hand-drawn plans. We’ve used the model to conduct regular management, engineering and logistical meetings which allows for quick access to information, for example the weight and size of a component or its live status, whether in the factory or on the road.”
Krishan believes that it’s been easier to communicate with the tracking technology, adding: “Really, this job is all about communication and this has enabled quicker, clearer and more accurate communication for everyone involved in the project.”