Future of MEP Installation – Robotics?

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Acquired a boost with the advent of BIM (Building Information Modelling) practices, however is that as far as we are able to pass? Robotics is slowly inching its way into MEP installation practices and may development to effect more regions of the MEP installation process inside the destiny.

So, how does MEP installation paintings now?

Designs and drawings are generated from architectural layouts with the purpose of obtaining permits and for MEP contractors to take a look at, three weeks to 3 months before production begins. Then, MEP engineers, MEP contractors and people are hired. It is vital to discover the proper crew in terms of experience, knowledge, familiarity with the region and fashion of constructing and those who can work inside price range. After the lot is cleared and the foundations are laid, it is time to install mechanical, electric and plumbing components in step with the MEP layouts prepared.

Meetings are conducted with customers to finalise the area of ducts, lighting fixtures, switches, furnishings and pipes. Last-minute requirements are susceptible to crop up, such as an electrical outlet or automatic water valve. Typically, those MEP machine designs in 2D have been created the usage of CAD software, presenting basic and really restricted statistics. That became before Building Information Modelling (BIM) arrived on the scene.

In the contemporary scenario, the BIM system is appreciably used inside the West and parts of the Middle East for advanced collaboration and MEP coordination. The use of MEP BIM enables create 3-d fashions with important MEP system facts. The records hosted in a BIM version is contributed by using construction engineers, survey engineers, civil engineers, electrical engineers, mechanical engineers, designers, architects and even the building owners. Thus, the final 3-D version has a wealth of applicable creation data that is useful for both decision-making and clash-loose MEP coordination. Within the ambit of the BIM process, each pipe, conduit, duct and hanger can be represented in virtual form the use of 3-d software program.

This practice reduces fees and will increase the performance of MEP set up.

The destiny is shiny with possibilities inside the context of MEP set up, and part of that future has already all started. Along with the revolutionary adoption of BIM strategies global, futuristic technological advances are becoming cheap and being placed into practice in our gift, broadly speaking 3-d printing, unmanned drones and robotic creation strategies.

Before the massive use of BIM technology, up to 25 percent of ductwork installation on web site consisted of marking and placing hangers. Traditionally, guys can mark 100 hanger positions in sooner or later.

Now, with the assist of BIM approaches, a brand new development has came about – the rise of the robots. Well, no longer literally and now not as dramatically, but the use of robotics has made an outstanding debut on the construction scene. Trimble has developed the Robotic Total Stations and specialized Field Tablets to exactly locate hanger positions. Using virtual coordination drawings and BIM modelling sent to gadget on website, Total Stations uses lasers to locate hanger positions based on two formerly established 0 factors. With this method, a single man or woman can control the robotic station to mark 350 hanger positions in a day, which goes out to an 85 percentage decrease in labour cost for each hanger and works out to be three.5 times extra efficient than the traditional approach. The precision of the marked positions reduces delays traditionally experienced at some point of ductwork, plumbing and electrical set up, ensuing in cost and time financial savings.

Future of MEP Installation - Robotics?
Future of MEP Installation – Robotics?

BIM era introduced correct fashions into the process of design, mainly beneficial for MEP engineering design and installation. These techniques developed further, the usage of 4D and 5D BIM, which don’t forget website constraints, along with device ability, working strategies, time and material schedules. They wished a live hyperlink to the website online. Robotics Total Stations provided an answer via allowing the monitoring of labor on its final touch and referencing this against the original version. Changes can be made as and when required, and the monitoring of finished work helps a smooth progression to the following stage of the process.

Currently, this brand new generation is costly, however it has been proven to shop time and money in the end. The Robotic Total Stations, or RTS, approach can help overcome a number of the limitations presented by the traditional ‘tape degree, spirit level and theodolite’ method.

Traditional Method

Placing the additives of building offerings layouts in function has historically involved a group of workers who check with constructing drawings. They use tape measures, spirit levels and theodolite to pinpoint locations for pipework, cable trays and other MEP components. Complications arose while coping with complicated structures, people who worried curved walls, prefabricated materials and additives and non-conventional areas. Errors resulted from:

Identifying the right reference factor
Ensuring that the tape degree is stationary
Ensuring the string is stationary on curves
Keeping the theodolite degree
Ensuring the precision of angle dimension
Even minute errors ought to bring about doubtlessly risky or expensive consequences. An example would be an blunders in angle measurement which might imply that prefabricated components couldn’t suit inside the spaces they were designed for. Errors in carrier layouts can reason clashes with other constructing elements or the services themselves, culminating in transform and wasted time, materials and budget. The conventional method is painstaking and long, with any delay affecting the paintings of other stakeholders.

RTS Method

Using the RTS method, handiest one person is wanted to complete a services format in preference to the traditional staff.

How does this show up?

A tablet with the proper software may be loaded with MEP 2D drafting or 3-D building models. This controls the RTS. The version helps pick out web page survey factors, which then locates the RTS on the site and on the model.

After figuring out the RTS and its vicinity, the RTS operator can take a look at the model at the pill and choose points to be marked.

The RTS appropriately informs the operator of the space between it and the factor selected. The operator is guided to the point by using the RTS that problems guidelines, inclusive of ahead/backward or left/proper. The operator can then region a stake inside the mark and circulate to the following one.

Advanced RTS capabilities encompass Visual Layout, enabling a laser to mark the point, so a stake want no longer be used. This is beneficial in the best positioning of numerous trades concurrently, ensuing in minimal delays on web site.

Benefits of RTS

Increased performance
Using the identical drawings or fashions for all trades, collaboration is easier and faster
Improved accuracy
Layout factors are accessed from the version and layout role modifications may be recorded and documented with facts such as informative motives and pix
Minimal errors, because the RTS works from the model. No manual measuring is worried even though factors are accurately marked and the tablet references the points’ purpose to the operator
Reduced paper paintings, no chance of dropping files
Reduced expenses – handiest one character is needed as operator, which improved productiveness by means of 5 instances
Improved first-class manipulate
Challenges of RTS

Expensive initial investment
Companies without format groups foresee less ROI
The properly news is that RTS era is especially easy, simple enough for any MEP team member to mark correct layouts in order that the team of workers is utilized in a extra efficient manner. A big amount of time is stored, thus lowering the variety of workers required and the ensuing labour fees.

Savings with RTS

Minimal rework with extended QC/QA documentation and recording – cost reduction
Increased on-web page performance – labour fee reduction
Minimal MEP factor area errors – value discount
During set up, MEP designs have a tendency to adapt, even though for large-scale projects, it’s far critical that MEP set up drawings are finalised early on, especially inside the BIM environment. This is crucial to conflict detection, so that one MEP element does no longer intrude or conflict with the position or procedure of other MEP factors from distinctive services, clash detection may be executed with unique MEP coordination drawings and 3-D fashions.

Robotics has also made an entry to the development enterprise within the shape and use of drones, something many confer with as robot automobiles. Drones have forayed into diverse creation roles, specifically as inspectors of pipelines and cellular towers and taking aerial views of creation sites. With the help of unique cameras, inclusive of infrared filters or gasoline leak-detecting sensors, drones can gather multi-layered information whilst putting off the prices and risks associated with humans trying to attain hard and threatening regions. Multiple propellers upload balance to drones, thus permitting them to gain correct information. High-decision cameras, laser scanners and gyroscopes on drones may be connected to quad-copters for fairly correct records accumulating. Drones have even been used to look at sun panel array installations.

A actual-existence example of the usage of robotics in MEP set up may be taken from 2015. A business enterprise inside the Middle East turned into engaged to put in MEP structures and services for an office tower, a inn, a residential tower with basement parking and a podium. Using BIM procedures, a BIM version become generated and a brand new technique of construction changed into employed to save labour and different fees. Trimble supplied Trimble Robotic Total Stations (RTS) with Trimble Field Link as MEP creation software.

The Trimble crew of a junior engineer and operators fed guide points to the software via their model the use of Trimble Field Link and RTS, and the operators marked points at the web page even as the engineer ran the RTS. A total of 210 factors have been marked in 4 hours.

Three teams of three installers each were extensively utilized historically to manually locate assist points from 2D drawings with measuring tape, ladders and scaffolds in the equal project. It took this crew forty eight hours to mark 156 factors.

So, BIM information can be transferred to a domain and used as a base for robots to discover places for hangers, anchors and sleeves quick and appropriately. Robotics can also be used to mark electrical packing containers and drainage moulds, among many other capabilities. Though step one toward investing in robotics for trade contractors may also appear costly at the beginning and requires careful notion, using RTS in MEP installation has exhibited a bent to keep money and time at the same time as making sure accuracy. Trade contractors stand to make giant income in the end.

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