Customer Profile: Based in Denmark, Spotland specializes in technical surveying and data processing for construction and engineering projects. The company applies 3D and GPS technologies to a variety of contracting and construction projects and has a dedicated international staff of surveyors, designers, and project managers.
Business Challenge: Spotland was looking to build more accurate and high-quality models for roadways, intersections, and new development projects. Happy with the success of using several machine control solutions, Spotland decided to make the next step and looked at building a more connected jobsite.
Solution: Trimble Business Center, Connected Community
- 50% acceleration in building 3D models and intersections for the Solrødgård Site Development project and several others
- Time cut for modeling intersections from two to three days, to about one day
- An estimated four hours saved for every design revision on a medium-sized project site with 5 to 10 machines and Trimble Connected Community
- Models are delivered to machine operators in real time using Trimble Business Center and Connected Community. Time saved from driving files out to the job site and loading them into machine control
- Potential savings of thousands in survey and modeling costs - eliminating the need for professional surveyors to track progress on every project
Denmark-based Spotland is an international land survey company that specializes in data modeling, visualization and technical survey. The company delivers new roads, sewer systems and sports facilities, among other things, with civil engineering work, supply work, harbour construction, sheet piling work and surveying. Spotland has approximately 34 employees and is owned by Barslund. In business for more than 30 years, Barslund is a leader in civil engineering and is a preferred partner for major public and private developers in Denmark and Sweden.
Ingi Gudmundsson, BIM Engineer for Spotland, explains that the organization was looking for a way to improve modeling capabilities and to enhance the quality of its 3D models used by machine control. The team also wanted a more efficient way to share information across the jobsite and to reduce rework.
Spotland adopted several Trimble solutions, including Trimble total stations, rovers, GCS900 Grade Control Systems, Trimble Business Center and Trimble Connected Site technology to manage data flow across the projects and back to the office.
Today, Gudmundsson and the team use Trimble Business Center to create high-quality, constructible 3D models that can be read by the GCS900 machine control systems in the field. Design files including CAD files and survey points are loaded into Trimble Business Center, and Gudmundsson then uses the software’s 3D visualization capabilities to generate multiple surface views, plans, corridors, and images to work from.
From here, he preps the data and creates 3D surface models for construction. Trimble Business Center is integrated with Trimble Connected Community, which facilitates file sharing and data visualization capabilities. Models are then shared through Connected Community and read by the on-machine grade control system. Gudmundsson uses jobsites in Trimble Business Center as an overview of design revisions; he also likes the ability to review what’s loaded into each machine design.
“By using Business Center we’re able to include a lot more information in our models, and by doing it centrally we are aiming for better quality and efficiency,” said Gudmundsson. “Before, everything was done locally so the surveyor needed to make all the models and then they had to drive out to the job site and deliver them.”
Gudmundsson recently used the intersection feature in Trimble Business Center for Spotland’s work on the Solrødgård Site Development project. The project includes the establishment of wetland signalized junction, roundabout, bridges, path connections, connection to the Climate and Environment Center, recycling and treatment plants. The project also includes the conversion of an existing bike path. In addition, the scope of the work includes developing sewerage and drainage work, various cable works and planting and digging of ponds and streams.
Gudmundsson explains that previously intersection modeling presented a major challenge.
“Where you have a cross section on the main road, and then you have a different cross section on the secondary road, it’s often problematic to make the models meet and to make the models fit with each other,” said Gudmundsson. “In the past, the surveyor and designer did their best to roughly line up the models, but it was often left to the operator to freestyle intersections.”
The intersection functionality within Trimble Business Center allows users to select various properties for each road leg of an intersection and apply those directly to the model. Each connection can be adjusted manually or loaded from a template. Users can change the lane width and slope as well as the shoulder width and shoulder slopes. Once one road leg is set, users can copy the properties and place them into each other leg. Gudmundsson likes that he can also change in the incoming and outgoing radii and can add turn lanes, curb heights, and walking paths quickly and easily. He estimates Trimble Business Center saves at least 4 hours for every design revision on a medium-sized project site with 5 to 10 machines.
“My department has been celebrating this intersection functionality; we were very surprised at how well it worked and we are just looking for more opportunities to use it. There’s a lot of potential there,” said Gudmundsson. “I can do a model of the intersection from the basic corridor. That way I can see if all the slopes are correct before we go in and build it.”
Gudmundsson explains this functionality is important because with a higher quality model to start with, there’s less rework and operators can build to the design faster. The technology enables him to develop a corridor from a flat cross section drawing with profile information in a single day, compared to two or three days with a traditional design package.
“I tend to get a lot fewer calls from the operators and surveyors assigned to the job when I build really good models,” said Gudmundsson. “On the right projects, we are going to save a lot of money by using the intersection tool. I’m teaching several of our guys to use Trimble Business Center because it’s much faster and accurate than other design packages when it comes to 3D constructible models, which will save us both time and money for other projects.”