“In Finland, nearly all structural and precast-unit design and detailing is done with Tekla Structures software,” says Markku Räisänen, head designer at Betset, which is one of the largest precast concrete companies in Finland. The company has an interesting and diverse history of design and development projects in the precast industry since the 1950s.
“Tekla Structures has been my primary tool since 2009,” Räisänen says. “Prior to linking the designer’s Tekla model and Trimble Connect to our production system, all unit and production-related information were ‘manually’ transferred by using 2D drawings and email. For example, the unit dimensions and accessories were picked out from 2D drawings, and the production status was communicated to the client using Excel sheets.
An extension link connects the model with the company’s ERP system
“In order to utilize the constructible Tekla models to full extent, we have created a Betset Extractor extension to link the model to Betset’s ERP system. With this extension, all cast unit information and plans integrate into our system. The designer is able to identify the revision in question, receive cast unit-specific production status directly on top of the Tekla model in real-time and communicate with the Betset production line. Among other things, the designer is able to reject the casting of the unit in the Tekla model, if necessary,” Räisänen says.
All the Tekla models created are published to Trimble Connect, and Betset ERP automatically updates production status to this Trimble Connect model. This process utilizes the Status Sharing tool and API integration.
“We have just started to utilize Trimble Connect widely in all Betset production operations. We use Trimble Connect for reviewing of the project and individual elements as well. There is a real-time connection between the Trimble Connect model and Betset ERP,” Räisänen says. “For example, we often need to ensure that Cast Unit drawings of certain parts of building or specific cast units are released for fabrication. By linking the model from Trimble Connect to our ERP system, we can immediately verify this information in the model.”
Access to precast design and production data on site
According to Räisänen, the main benefit of sharing information in Trimble Connect is real-time, automated and open data exchange. All parties working on the project quickly perceive the phase and status of the design, unit production and installations on site. Betset appreciates being able to expand and update the data co
nnected to the model in Trimble Connect thanks to further developed synchronization and linking functionality between it and Tekla Structures.
“Our customers on-site have been at least as excited as our own people about these new technologies. The site crew can now access our precast design and production status directly in the model by utilizing the Trimble Connect status tool. They know where their precast units are, they are able to plan the erection sequence, and they can now save the erection status using the same tool. The clients are now aware of the design and production status, too, which is critical information in order to keep with the schedule. In the future, we want to bring the unit-specific scheduling and ordering processes to Trimble Connect as a model-based tool.”
“Using Trimble Connect on mobile devices is invaluable, as it gives us the freedom to access the right data in the right place and at the right time. We believe Trimble Connect is growing and evolving to be a true collaboration platform enabling us to share and enrich information easily and in real-time,” Räisänen concludes.