By Marc Grosskopf, Business Unit Manager - Building Testing & Inspection for the Real Estate & Infrastructure, TÜV SÜD
Once recognized as slow to adapt to technology, the construction segment is now an industry on the fast track. The construction business model itself, which did not address the needs and pains of the different involved stakeholders, was in part responsible for the lag. But economic pressure for more cost-efficient building processes and eco-friendly operations has spurred innovation.
At TÜV SÜD, we do have the end result in mind, when it comes to a life circle project approach. We have a vested interest in improved processes across several industries that directly impact the world of construction. So, when Bosch and the Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC) approached us last year about becoming a Principal partner for the IIC’s global Smart Construction Challenge, we jumped at the opportunity. We’re glad we did.
In the Challenge, the focus was clearly stated to operational, hands on and solutions-oriented companies to respond to real-world customer requirements. The focus of the Challenge was to advance real-world validation of Smart Construction applications and solutions in the Industrial Internet, by enabling new smart sensor technologies, construction trust and efficiency systems, decentralized data exchanges, and other emergent IT innovations.
How the Challenge Identified Innovators
By connecting start-ups with major industry organizations, the Challenge intended to enable the implementation of the next generation of smart construction digital ecosystems. In addition to Bosch, tech partner organizations included Autodesk Forge, Here 360, Ottobock, and Qtum. The construction partners included global companies Liebherr and Züblin.
The Challenge worked under the assumption that Building Information Modeling (BIM) is used as the foundation for planning, construction and operations, thus providing a digital representation of the physical and functional characteristics of the building.
Participants were asked to develop technology solutions to address specific Smart Construction use cases. The goal of each submitted entry was to address the central topic of the use case while operating under a uniform set of assumptions.
As the key stakeholders in the Challenge, TÜV SÜD, Liebherr and Züblin provided the requirements and use case definitions for the challenge. Through a series of workshops and hackathons, we worked closely with Challenge contestants to test concepts and provide real-world data and feedback.
Three use cases were identified for the Challenge:
- Use Case #1: Construction Assurance. This is the process of managing, ensuring, and validating the quality of a construction effort. For example, one of the main concerns of construction acceptance and assurance is identifying and monitoring construction deviations and defects, as well as the resulting consequences, such as time-consuming re-work.
- Use Case #2: Track and Trace for Onsite Logistics. This concerns the efficiency of managing the flow of materials and equipment onsite. Particularly, it should ensure that required materials and equipment are made available at the appropriate location at the appropriate time, with methods for tracking and delivery verification.
- Use Case 3: Smart Worker Equipment. This use case combined existing innovations in worker equipment and tools to ensure high quality production and onsite safety.
Challenge participants were allowed to submit one or more proposals for these three use cases, although most participants submitted only one proposal that fit within one or more use cases.
The Benefit to TÜV SÜD
TÜV SÜD is a technical inspection association which provides inspection and product certification services, generating €2.6B in revenue. We supported the Challenge through our Real Estate and Infrastructure division, which supports customers with planning, construction, operations and acquisition, as well as sales of properties during the transaction phase
After months of competition and collaboration, the construction partners determined that the winner was Contilio, a developer of 3D Artificial Intelligence analytics, which touched on all three use cases. On February 19, they were presented the prize on stage at Bosch Connected World in Berlin.
From TÜV SÜD’s perspective, our goal was to advance the industry by recognizing and elevating worthy innovations. Contilio was awarded €25,000 and a live proof of concept at the new TÜV SÜD Asia-Pacific headquarters at the International Business Park in Singapore, which is in the final stage of construction.
Contilio’s solution uses advanced technologies including 3D computer vision and deep learning to provide intelligent insights from 3D data and photos captured from a construction site. This data is uploaded to a cloud environment and processed automatically through a 3D AI platform into intelligent analytics on construction progress, installation quality and predictive KPIs on risks and issues.
The analytics can be accessed through a cloud dashboard that communicates the insights to key construction employees and other stakeholders, including owners, financial partners and company management. Contilio implements 3D modeling technology combined with a machine learning platform to provide a visual comparison to the underlying BIM model.
At the POC in Singapore, this has resulted in significant reductions in the amount of time necessary to complete evaluation and planning phases, along with preventative maintenance capabilities, while providing significant construction cost savings and improved worker safety.
“The benefit of the Challenge for TÜV SÜD has not only been the enrichment of our domain know-how by technology, but also adopting processes and procedures to today’s digital capabilities and customer needs. For TÜV SÜD, the Challenge journey yielded a worthy innovation.
Marc Grosskopf is the Business Unit Manager - Building Testing & Inspection for the Real Estate & Infrastructure division of TÜV SÜD. To get involved in the Industrial Internet Consortium’s IoT Challenges, please visit their website.