Precast concrete contractors face numerous challenges when completing projects, especially those with tight turnaround schedules or where there are intricate designs. Using digital technology, these challenges can be resolved. Here are five important challenges that precast concrete contractors face and how to solve them.
Challenge #1: Supporting a fast turnaround
Fast turnaround is becoming an obstacle for manufacturers and fabricators to navigate as there is often an urgency of delivery. Fabricators are looking for ways to get the work done quicker, without sacrificing quality.
Solution: Using an integrated BIM workflow allows you to have high levels of efficiency and accuracy so you reduce the rework, delays and damaged profit margins. You can easily do this by visualizing and reviewing the precast components in 3D. Data can also be sent directly from the model to the concrete fabrication machinery instantly, reducing timescale and human errors at every stage.
Challenge #2: Slow drip-fed information transfer from top to bottom
Waiting for information downloads from the client to the architect to the manufacturer to the fabricator means big delays in production.
Solution: Having a streamlined flow of communication through the supply chain using collaboration tools and cloud-based platforms (such as Trimble Connect), the level of information is received at the right time and time pressures are reduced.
Challenge #3: Incorrect initial quotations that don’t cover costs and ensure profits are made
If the tender isn’t accurate initially, you can lose the bid or fail to turn a profit. Providing more accurate quotations using digital technology like BIM software is essential for ensuring profit gains.
Solution: By using the connected and integrated data and 3D models to automatically generate quantity take-offs you will get more accurate data to generate your quotation. The increased levels of automation mean precast manufacturers can benefit from more informed estimates.
Challenge #4: Misconceptions that precast concrete is heavier than it is
If the weight and size of the materials in construction are overestimated, as is often the case with precast concrete, there will be inevitable issues with installation. This not only wastes time, but increases your budget.
Solution: Use 3D modeling software to plan out the assembly process, crane layout and installation sequences to ensure the actuals are used. Using software like Tekla Structures Crane Tool enables detailers to design the precast components to suit the specific crane capabilities on site. As well, collaboration tools allow efficient installation with contractors, precaster, engineers, and architects having full visualization of the proposed system at every step.
Challenge #5: Coordination of multiple disciples in projects with multi-material buildings
When working on multi-material buildings, precast concrete fabricators may find collaboration with all interested parties difficult.
Solution: Coordinating with multiple disciplines on one project using multi-material software that understands how precast concrete works around other materials has huge benefits. Tekla Structures is a structural modelling software that allows collaboration over various materials within the single model environment, which means multiple teams can review and work in a single model. This greatly reduces errors and wasted time.
If you are a precast concrete fabricator looking to solve the challenges you are facing, talk to the experts at BuildingPoint Canada. We can set you up with a demo of Tekla Structures and show you how it can help find solutions.