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Closing the gap: How technology can advance precast production?

It’s no secret that technological innovations have completely transformed entire industries in recent years, dramatically improving efficiency and productivity. However, one industry still hasn’t fully optimized technology to make the most of these benefits.

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Command Suite embodies the precast/prestressed concrete design, engineering, modeling and production tools that have evolved with StructureWorks since its 2003 chartering, and becomes the cornerstone of the newly branded Finfrock Technologies.
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In a recent study by the McKinsey Global Institute, “Reinventing Construction: A Route to Higher Productivity,” authors cite a startling fact: Despite being one of the largest sectors in the world economy, with about $10 trillion spent on construction-related goods and services every year, the construction industry’s productivity has lagged for decades, and there is a $1.6 trillion opportunity to close the gap. The report goes on to say that technology investments, specifically the extensive use of precast technology in offsite construction, would have a significant impact on productivity.

Until recently, precast/prestressed concrete producers have not optimized technology to improve their productivity due to an absence of software solutions that effectively address the complexity of their operations. In 2003, after recognizing the need to develop technology solutions to improve productivity and efficiency in its precast concrete operations, Florida-based Finfrock was instrumental in forming design software specialist StructureWorks. Since then, the company has evolved the capabilities of its software solutions to meet the highly complex needs of precast/prestressed production—combining 3D building information modeling, scheduling, and hardware automation.

Now comes the launch of Finfrock Technologies LLC, offering a comprehensive, synergistic software package known as Command Suite that will enable precast operators to visualize progress throughout the entire lifecycle of a precast piece. This “triple threat” of software solutions gives producers a competitive edge by reducing costs and errors and increasing productivity. Command Suite features three essential integrated programs for dramatically improved productivity and communications:

  • StructureWorks. Creates the platform leading to increased productivity downstream. It allows the virtual creation of 3D models, automates processes, increases speed in the design phase, and reduces errors. Using information generated in the modeling process, it gives the user tools to create reports and develop the documents for manufacturing, erecting and building.
  • XceleRAYtor. Reduces the need for complicated two-dimensional piece drawings by creating simple to comprehend, three-dimensional work instructions for the plant or field.
  • PieceTracker. Provides real-time, accurate communication of information about each building component throughout its entire lifecycle. Users become proactive rather than reactive with up-to-the-minute information that promotes internal and external collaboration, reduces delays, and improves efficiency by sending critical automatic alerts to the people who need them.

Command Suite can also be integrated with enterprise software to utilize information generated in the modeling and manufacturing process. Work has already begun on developing additional capabilities that leverage mixed reality to bring increased speed, quality assurance, and productivity to precast concrete producers.www.finfrock.com/technologies

A StructureWorks veteran, Wayne Maiuri is Vice President of Finfrock Technologies LLC, and can be reached at 407/367-2400 or [email protected].