There has been a lot of talk about 3D modeling and BIM in recent years. Both have experienced acceptance and application in commercial construction.... but very little in the civil construction market. However, it seems that the FHWA's push for e-Construction practices over the past 5-6 years is bearing fruit. Now, all of a sudden, DOTs are starting to require e-ticketing and Digital As-Builts from their suppliers.
It's the Digital As-Builts that will have the most impact on precast concrete manufacturers since e-ticketing is used primarily for recording deliveries of concrete that is poured in place. The FHWA describes their value as follows:
"The digital information is further leveraged when the [3-D] model is updated, and other data incorporated, to reflect the project's as-built condition for future maintenance, asset management, and rehabilitation activities."
Now we see that several DOTs are starting to put this into practice:
PennDot is the most advanced, having recently announced its Digital Delivery Directive 2025 (with its clever and pun-laden abbreviation, 3D2025). By 2025, all projects will need to be bid using 3-D models that can be populated with data about the completed project ('as-built' data).
The Colorado DOT's Utility Program is requiring Digital As-Builts for utility infrastructure. Program manager, Rob Martindale, explains the value to CDOT of comprehensive product records from time of manufacture through the asset's life cycle:
For megaprojects, NY DOT is requiring that contractor payments will be tied to a model that is continuously updated with as-built information.
And many other DOTs are in various stages of development, including the state departments of transportation in Michigan, Iowa, Minnesota, Virginia and North Carolina.
We're not surprised to see the North Carolina Department of Transportation in this list, as they are pioneers in digital records. Back in 2014, they required their concrete vendors to embed RFID tags and deliver records electronically via Idencia. In 2022, they will be expanding this practice to manufacturers of concrete, metal and plastic pipes.
If you want to learn more about Digital as-Builts, the New Jersey DOT's Technology Transfer group has published a very informative report on the subject: Innovation Spotlight: How DOTs Are Moving Toward Digital As-Builts.
The take-away? Precast companies who embrace 3-D modeling and digital records now will be well positioned as leaders when these requirements become universal.
And it won't be long until they do.
If you want to see how digital records can save your plant thousands of hours per year, use our (10-minute), Cost of Not Going Digital calculator by clicking below.
Our mission at Idencia is to elevate the productivity of product manufacturers serving the construction markets. We offer tracking solutions that improve productivity and offer value throughout the value chain. As a cloud-hosted product tracking system that is seamless between manufacturers, contractors and asset managers, Idencia adds information value to all, eliminates redundancy and saves time.