Text: Tjerk van Duinen
Producers of concrete elements benefit from the overview. From many different projects, there is a continuous flow of requests, orders, and – not uncommon in the construction industry – changes in specifications or delivery times. With IMPACT Precast and IMPACT Production, specially developed for production companies, this matter is relatively easy to manage. The result:
- production lines that run efficiently;
- precise process monitoring down to the element level;
- the possibility of extensive data analysis.
Pascal van Wijk is the Business Development Manager at the software company StruSoft, where he works for the Business Unit Precast. Having been a user of the software for ten years at a concrete factory, he joined StruSoft in 2022 to promote construction applications in the Dutch, German, and Belgian markets. "More than 160 factories are now using IMPACT and experiencing its benefits daily."
IMPACT Precast can be divided into three topics. Van Wijk explains: "IMPACT Design is a powerful design package for factories to design structures and elements in 3D BIM based on the proprietary programs IMPACT for AutoCAD, IMPACT for Revit, and Tekla Base Tools. With IMPACT Production, manufacturers can implement the designs for efficient production. Finally, IMPACT Project Management is the tool for managing one or multiple projects regarding the planning of assembly, cranes, and more. The beauty of it is that everything is always interconnected in real time through the underlying relational database. And everyone can learn to use it efficiently in just a few days."
Project overview in IMPACT Project Manager with a summary of element data and statuses.
"What we primarily offer concrete producers is freedom in their work," Van Wijk continues. "You can organize your planning from individual projects, but if, for example, you are producing precast concrete slabs, it's more efficient to schedule multiple projects simultaneously from a single work environment. IMPACT Design also provides an assembly sequence, and with that numbering, production planning can be controlled. This way, you know when you'll deliver based on the configurable standard intervals for drafting, ordering, and delivery. IMPACT then provides all the deadlines to achieve a smooth production schedule. This way, an optimal production schedule almost automatically arises from the design environment."
The screen of Project Manager where the assembly sequence can be managed.
Because IMPACT works with real-time information, it allows for lightning-fast responses to changes. Van Wijk explains, "We all know that the construction industry can be unpredictable, and schedules often deviate from the initial plans. Being able to act quickly is crucial for efficient production. In IMPACT, the status of each element is visible to all parties throughout the entire process, from design to assembly and beyond. This status can be monitored using mobile applications, for instance. An inspector can update that status on the construction site or in the field and, in case of any discrepancies, enter them and initiate the necessary actions. Essentially, a digital twin is available for each element. This provides valuable information if there is consideration of potential reuse in the future."
An employee of Starka (Sweden) is looking at the real-time production schedule on a screen.
Through an open API connection, IMPACT can also control the ERP system. Through this connection, the ERP software can, in turn, send data back to IMPACT. Van Wijk explains, "Each customer has their own ERP system, and often, we don't know which system they use. But with the interface, everything can be connected. The same goes for the design side: structural engineers, modellers, or assembly companies use different proprietary programs, have different ideas about production planning, and deliver models. We ensure that the subsequent process runs as efficiently as possible."
Schematic overview of the entire system.