Sunday, November 19, 2017

TECHVANTAGE

We are looking to offer more solutions to the growing Indian construction industry

 

Tekla drives the evolution of digital information models and provides competitive advantage to the construction and infrastructure industry. The company was established in 1966, and today has customers in 100 countries, offices in 15 countries, and a global partner network. Tekla became part of the Trimble Navigation Group in the year 2011. Nirmalya Chatterjee COO & Director, Tekla India, offers his perspective.

 

In a constantly changing work construction environment what are the technological advantages offered by Tekla’s building information modeling software?  

 

Tekla’s open BIM solutions allow accurate and intelligent 3D structural building information models that provide information about the building, before it is built. Conceiving today’s modern building with rudimentary workflows is the core issue in construction. Tekla open BIM software eliminates the paper work by providing a more precise, efficient, user friendly collaboration and communication through its technology.  It serves as a central database supporting not only the design and construction, but also its maintenance, thereby enhancing the performance by putting all parameters on one platform. This allows the highest level of constructability and production control because of its structured model. An integrated approach where models provided by architects, designers, detainers, fabricators and others involved in the process, gives a better view of the project to the engineers and contractors.

 

What are the areas of construction, infrastructure where Tekla’s solutions find application?

 

Tekla together with Trimble can offer wide variety of tools to the entire building workflow from design to planning and building on site

  • Buildings & Infrastructure
  • Plant & Industrial
  • Offshore

 

In buildings and infrastructure segment, we cover almost everything ranging from residential to airports to hospitals to train terminals, almost any typology of buildings. Other than this we cater heavily to plant and industrial segment with a very rich portfolio of structural steel and concrete modules. Many of our offshore customers use our technology because of segment specific detailing that is very critical for all off-shore projects. In this advent of mobility devices like phones and tablet PC, we have expanded our portfolio, by offering tools like Tekla BIMsight which is a huge boon to contractors and construction houses. It would be like carrying the BIM model on their phones and tablets. This improves reviewing of the model while you are on site and can immediately create markups and tag building elements on your phone and then send it back to their designer/detailers.

 

Who are the clients serviced by Tekla – and what are the projects where Tekla’s solutions have been used profitably. Tell us about the competitive advantage they have gained by using Tekla’s solutions?

 

Tekla’s Open BIM solutions are used by many engineers, designers, detailers, architects fabricators and others around the world involved in the process provides them with a much better view on the project. They have seen the benefits of it on construction projects. They are able to create their own building information models for a typical deliverables apart from being fully involved with the models throughout the project from design to construction. Thereby, getting them more informed decisions as to how the project should be designed, as they can now see the bigger picture instead of focusing on their own discipline alone.

 

While working on a lifecycle project, the key benefits include minimising design, detailing and fabrication errors and enabling easy change management as well as efficient model-based integration with fabrication, erection and site management. Large amounts of data can be stored in a visual 3D environment with very compact model size. Tekla products are mainly targeted for the structural domain with special configurations for engineering, detailing and actual construction in all materials with special focus on combining steel and concrete.

 

Some of the Tekla’s projects undertaken in the past are:

  • All most all major airport expansion projects in India including the newly opened T2 international terminal in Mumbai.
  • Chenab Rail Bridge project, in the state of Jammu & Kashmir
  • Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai and the Commonwealth Games stadium in New Delhi
  • Art Science Museum in Singapore, House of Music in Denmark, Gdansk Arena in Poland, the Crusell bridge in Finland and many more.

 

Apart from these famous builds, Tekla software is used to model all kinds of residential and offshore buildings and bridges too.Today it is mostly used at the detailed design phase for clash checking, organising, viewing snapping, commenting and project managing. Gradually, the usage of Tekla Open BIM software is expanding both upstream and downstream in the construction workflow.

 

Tell us about the challenges of convincing clients to adopt technological solutions as prescribed by Tekla?  Where does India stand in terms of tech usage? 

 

The BIM revolution is ongoing and accelerating. BIM has much more potential to change the whole industry than CAD ever had. CAD was used for – the drawing as a more efficient way of creating results with pencil and paper, digitally. The focus clearly today is integrating BIM into processes and daily activities, and Tekla intends to be at the core of this development. Also, with growing complexity in the Indian construction and infrastructure industry, there are reasons for being optimistic. In terms of construction equipment, construction software and fabrication processes, our technology implementation has increased and in some cases mandated. However, while comparing with the developed countries there still remains a gap in the use of technological applications. For example, UK government has mandated use of BIM 3D modeling system for all public projects on their design and construction, but in India 60 per cent of the projects are still 2D based. Tekla R&D team in India develops local tools to add on to the main software making them more productive. Therefore close interaction between the technology providers and the end users will help the Indian construction industry to adopt technology seamlessly. Another important development at Tekla is some products which can aid construction management via mobile devices. This will necessitate the use of BIM and make in-roads for BIM mandate. The building and construction industry needs to adopt new technology and we are here to build their confidence.

 

Is cost of such solutions a deterrent for construction companies. If so can costs be brought down?

 

Construction companies today are plagued by delayed project timelines and also material wastage during the course of construction. The main reason for these is the accuracy in design and/or mismatch in coordination with different designers. This leads to many design iterations and revisions during construction. The real value of BIM lies in tackling huge losses & aiding them not only overcome these challenges, but, totally avoid them in the first place. For example a small change in the beam size could have a huge domino effect on the columns and the footing. This in turn will affect the quantity of materials like concrete and steel. Managing change is critical in pre-construction and during construction. It is seen from one of the BIM survey that around 20 per cent of project cost was saved by effective use of BIM technologies.  Compared to these huge benefits that Tekla BIM offers to our customers, the cost of our solutions is miniscule or negligible. Sometime people develop wrong perception by evaluating the short term cost calculation, but they realise the better ROI when they see overall project benefit.

 

Give us an understanding of the direction taken by the Indian building solutions software market – and Tekla’s role in it?

 

Most of the software companies who offer BIM software in the Indian market have realised that localisation is very critical. Moreover, BIM being a work process has to be imbibed as a DNA by the customer rather than any software company propagating as BIM inventor just pushing the box product sale. At Tekla, we don’t sell box products, we sell solutions and act as technology provider for our customer. To reinforce this we directly offer support to all our customers. Customer site visits directly by Tekla qualified technical experts to resolve any project specific technical queries. These place us one of the few companies in market who give real value to customer issues. Additionally, many software offerings do not contain localised content for their customers. Here Tekla India has a local dedicated team which builds localised tools for India specific needs which mostly develop based on direct feedback / suggestion from our Indian customers. At Tekla we follow the Mantra ‘Think Globally and act Locally’ 

 

Tell us about your company’s business performance, the learnings involved, and your plans and targets? What’s the outlook for the industry like?

 

The Indian infrastructure and construction industry is booming and Tekla has plans to further expand its presence in these grounds. When BIM becomes a key tool for architects, structural and mechanical designers, fabricators and manufacturers, contractors and subcontractors, drawings will lose their position as the only basic data for construction need deliverable. With the advent in these areas, people will be able to do it themselves, extract whatever building information from the 3D model and, if necessary, print it out on paper – they will not need someone else to prepare that information for them. Tekla will continue to focus on its domain area of construction engineering with greater emphasis on structural BIM process. We also look forward to providing solutions to our growing customers and working out partnerships with global technology companies who till now do not have presence in India so as to offer more solutions to Indian construction industry. Tekla being part of Trimble group, we are coming up with end-to-end solutions for the whole project deliverable under DBO ( Design Build Operate ) proven concept.




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