The 6th Annual Gathering of Global iTWO Visionaries was held from November 7-8, as RIB representatives from across the globe gathered in Guangzhou for iTWO World 2018.
The 6th Annual Gathering of Global iTWO Visionaries was held from November 7-8, as RIB representatives from across the globe gathered in Guangzhou for iTWO World 2018.
Last month we spoke to you about the key theories behind the Industry 4.0 automation trend, and this month we will take a closer look at the technologies making it happen in construction. The advanced platforms offered by RIB utilise the following technologies, all of which we anticipate will play important roles in the future of our industry.
GPU Accelerated Computing
The advent of powerful Graphics Processing Units was an important step in the growth of iTWO and will continue to be influential in the development of Industry 4.0.
GPUs date back to 1999 when computing company Nvidia released GeForce 256, a specialised electronic circuit that could accelerate image creation in a frame buffer for output. Since then, virtualised GPUs have brought graphics to cloud computing, eventually leading to support for advanced computing programs that are fully cloud-based. We spoke about Moore’s Law of Exponential Growth in last month’s post, which demonstrates the rate at which processing power grows with every passing year. This growth of GPU power will continue to support RIB going forward, allowing us to run our software seamlessly in the cloud and on multiple devices via apps and browsers.
Misconceptions are abound when it comes to AI. Many believe that the technology is only capable of performing repetitive jobs, while others are concerned about the long-term implications of developing AI. In reality, both of these concerns are unfounded.
Artificial Intelligence generally performs better when fed more information, which is one of the reasons why companies today should be viewing data as an invaluable asset. At RIB, we place particular importance on data models and their ability to capture, transact, analyse and farm data within iTWO 4.0 and MTWO. The more diversified this knowledge is, the better. In construction, this means everything from financial data and simulations to actual progress and field data is stored.
Cloud Computing and the Internet of Things
Cloud solutions have been rapidly implemented in construction in recent years, due to the clear efficiency and collaboration benefits. The cloud is a reliable, scalable and cost-effective model for managing, storing and processing data. The Internet of Things can be defined as a network of physical devices that are embedded with electronics, software, sensors, actuators and connectivity. Internet-enabled devices allow us to connect and exchange data like never before, creating a range of opportunities for the construction industry. Contractors and project managers can access repositories of data with ease, allowing them to double-check measurements and costs when on-site. This information can be helpful throughout the construction lifecycle, from visualisation during the planning phase or as a point of reference when inspecting work completed by contractors.
It’s not just on-site that cloud technology is valuable. Engineers, contractors, surveyors, architects and any other important stakeholder can stay connected in real-time thanks to the cloud. New programs that improve information transfer are always hitting the market; managers can control document delivery to ensure that everyone involved in a project only gets the information they need.
Sensor technology has become considerably more affordable in the past decade – combined with AI advances, robotics is now on the rise in construction. We are now even seeing robots with problem solving capabilities deployed as field surveyors.
Due to this price drop, robotics will become a scalable option for the construction industry. We can expect to see autonomous drones for logistics and Androids/3D printers in manufacturing sectors. RIB is heavily involved in the robotics space, having developed software that supports the operation of pre-fabrication factories for concrete and other elements. This software controls the robots and the factory floor, allowing for smart analysis to identify bottlenecks and simulate constant optimisations.
Experience Industry 4.0 with RIB
All of the above elements play an important role in MTWO, our subscription-based joint-offering with Microsoft. MTWO deploys our core iTWO product with advanced Microsoft Azure infrastructure. iTWO 4.0 is offered for private cloud customers and is often utilised by major companies who have their own data centres and complex ERP structures.
To learn more about either platform, don’t hesitate to contact our team online. Australian customers can reach us on 1300 653 420, while New Zealand customers can call 0800 003 265.
RIB Software SE announced a major agreement with an Australian utility company earlier this month, revealing that 100 key subscribers will begin using RIB’s cloud-based MTWO platform.
This agreement is a significant development for RIB Software in Australia, marking the first major implementation of the MTWO solution worldwide since the product was launched in April 2018.
Group CEO of RIB Software Thomas Wolf said of the agreement: “We are very pleased to be able to deliver the first live users on MTWO ahead of schedule already early in H2 2018. On one side this illustrates the big interest from the market in subscription-based licenses for iTWO technology, and on the other side the attractiveness of the MTWO concept including with market best 5D BIM applications, Platform as a Service and Infrastructure as a Service in one bundled package easy to deploy, implement and use."
For this blog post, we will explore the headline features of the MTWO solution to explain how organisations can benefit from a comprehensive and integrated hub for project development.
For those who don’t know, vertical cloud refers to an online infrastructure that has been purpose-built to suit the processes of a specific industry. MTWO is built upon a bespoke vertical cloud system tailored for construction and real estate industries, supplied by Microsoft Azure.
Microsoft’s Artificial Intelligence (AI) solutions, Azure Internet of Things suite and other technological advances are built into the MTWO platform. The result is a robust and future-proof cloud solution that allows RIB to successfully deploy a range of services built upon big data, 5D BIM and much more.
The MTWO concept is built around integrating and digitalising every process required for project delivery in the modern industry. Large organisations in 2018 are still relying on a suite of software options, which can slow down productivity with vital data stored in several different places.
Some of the major enterprise-wide modules of MTWO include BIM, 2D/3D takeoff, scheduling, procurement, bidding, tendering, prefabrication, site management, controlling, document management and a whole lot more. Over 100 modules are integrated as part of the MTWO subscription service to support effective planning and maximise return on investment.
Cloud-based subscription services are growing in popularity, with many major businesses moving away from in-house hardware infrastructure. Cloud infrastructure is reliable, scalable to suit changing business plans and often has a lesser upfront and maintenance cost.
MTWO Cloud can also be customised to suit the working processes of your business. The platform utilises an easy-to-navigate layout, with specific modules able to be prioritised as you see fit.
RIB’s joint offering with Microsoft truly represents a revolution for the construction industry. Contractors, developers, owners, managers and other project personnel can all reap the benefits of MTWO to streamline processes, maintain transparency and improve efficiency. It is clear that the solution can be effectively deployed across a wide number of users, as demonstrated by this major subscription agreement in Australia.
To learn more about MTWO Cloud, feel free to get in touch with RIB’s Australian team online, or by calling 1300 653 420.
The automation trend referred to as Industry 4.0 has been around for some time now, but not everyone is clear about what it all means. For our latest blog post we have defined the Industry 4.0 concept as it applies to the future of construction, and listed a few key theories that go some way to explaining the transformational potential of digitisation.
It’s easy to divide the history of industry into three periods – first came mechanisation, with power generated by water and steam. The second period of industry was characterised by electricity, as well as mass production and assembly lines. The advent of computers was the third period of industry, and we are now entering an age of cyber-physical systems – commonly referred to as Industry 4.0.
Industry 4.0 describes the recent move towards automation, analysis and data exchange. RIB is a forerunner for implementing Industry 4.0 in construction, through interoperability, technical assistance and high-level data analysis. The company is developing integrated platforms that improve sustainable building practices, eliminate unnecessary waste and allow for greater collaboration through the supply chain. In this regard, digitisation is contributing to a better built environment worldwide.
There is often reticence to embrace digitisation in certain industries, but the tide appears to be turning. Agriculture has become digitalised through IoT, machine control and labs in an effort to improve outputs and crop quality, while the Carlsberg brewing company is even using AI in an attempt to predict the taste of different barleys in the final products from the brewing process.
Peter Diamandis, founder and chairman of the X Prize Foundation has a concept he calls ‘The 6 Ds of Technological Disruption’. This concept is largely based on Ray Kurzweil’s observation ‘The Law of Accelerating Returns’ which explains the exponential growth of IT.
This list outlines the rapid and significant impacts that technology can have upon established industries, and goes some way to explaining why humans have a hard time accepting technological potential.
1 – Digitised
Anything that becomes digitised experiences the same exponential growth that we see in computing. Digital information is easy to access, share, and distribute. It can spread at the speed of the Internet. Once something can be represented in zeros and ones – from music to biotechnology – it becomes an information-based technology and grows exponentially.
2 – Deceptive
When something starts being digitised, its initial period of growth is deceptive because exponential trends don’t seem to grow very fast at first. Doubling only .01 only gets you to .02, then .04 and so on. Exponential growth really takes off after it breaks the whole number barrier. 2 quickly becomes 32, and so on.
3 – Disruptive
The existing market for a product or service is disrupted by the new market the exponential technology creates, because digital technologies outperform their older counterparts in effectiveness and cost. Once you can stream music on your phone, why buy CDs? If you can snap, store and share photographs, why buy camera and film?
4 – Demonetised
Money is increasingly removed from the equation as the technology becomes cheaper, often to the point of being free. Software is less expensive to produce than hardware and copies can be produced consistently at a low cost. You can now download any number of apps on your phone to access terabytes of information and enjoy a multitude of services for a negligible outlay.
5 – Democratised
Once something is digitised, more people can have access to it. Powerful technologies are no longer only for governments, large organisations, or the wealthy.
6 – Dematerialised
Separate physical products are removed from the equation. Technologies that were once bulky or expensive – radio, camera, GPS, phones, maps – are now all in a smartphone that fits your pocket.
In simple terms, Moore’s Law is an observation first made in 1965 by engineer Gordon Moore, who noted that the number of components per integrated circuit doubled every year, leading him to predict that this rate of growth would continue for at least a decade. Moore revised his prediction to a doubling every two years as of 1975, a forecast which proved accurate in subsequent decades and was used to guide long-term planning and research in the industry.
RIB has found that Moore’s exponential growth theory has rung true over the past ten years. We initially experienced hardware and processing power scalability issues that limited our potential to run further services, but we accurately predicted that Moore’s Law would catch up and continued with our research and development plans. We took similar leaps with our MTWO and iTWO 4.0 platforms, offering full cloud support before GPU was publicly available.
In next month’s blog, we’ll look at the specific technologies utilised by RIB to bring Industry 4.0 to the construction industry, including GPU Accelerated Computing, Artificial Intelligence, Cloud Computing, the Internet of Things and Robotics.
The Transmittal screen has been redesigned so that the toolbar matches what is available elsewhere in iTWOcx. All of the tools necessary to carry out Transmittals are now easily accessible.
We’ve also added in a few controls to collapse each section so you can view only the information that is relevant to you.
You can also Apply a Workflow to Documents on a Transmittal directly from the toolbar – Convenient? We think so!
The Workflow screen has been split into two modes. We call these the View mode and the Review mode.
In the View mode, the Workflow can be viewed using the panel on the right side, just like any other form on iTWOcx. This is a change from directly opening the Workflow review mode, as was the case previously.
Information and attachments added during the upload and distribution process are now presented using the View mode. To review documents, simply click on the Review Documents button on the toolbar. This takes you to the familiar Workflow Review mode screen.
Here we have added in the Workflow title, in addition to who has been added for Action or Info on the Workflow. A section has also been added to display any Review Notes and supplementary attachments that may have been input when the Workflow was applied.
To apply a Workflow in the past, users needed to upload their documents before selecting them and sending them on to Review. With our newest release we have streamlined this process.
You can now Upload Documents and Apply a Workflow at the same time on the Distribution screen. Should you upload documents to a folder with an Automatic Workflow associated to it, you are given the ability to edit the details of that Workflow prior to issuing it.
When selecting and applying a workflow you can now quickly edit the workflow title, add users and review notes and attachments on the one screen. A preview of the selected workflow has also been added to the same screen so that you are in complete control.
We have also edited document distribution within the platform. iTWOcx now allows you to add users for Action as well as for Info.
When the Publication Space was first released, statuses for Transmittals and Distributions were limited to the default selections that came with the system.
With this release you can now add your own statuses and configure whether they are an Open or Closed status. You can set either of these options to be the default that appears for document distribution. If the status is set to open, users are also provided with the option to set a due date.
Workflow reporting has also been expanded in our latest update, allowing users to see documents featured on a particular workflow. This report can also be exported to Excel for further customisation.
We think these changes will help to improve your efficiency when using iTWOcx. Feel free to try out all the new features and let us know what you think. These updates are now available on all projects using the Publication Space for Document Management.
2018 sees the arrival of a whole slew of new features to iTWOcx. This includes a number of great additions to our Document Management module - the Publication Space - along with some key updates to the Tenders Module.
Here are some of the highlights.
Our workflow tools have been helping teams just like yours to manage their document reviews on all types of construction projects. iTWOcx workflows are easy to set up and use and provide you with the ability to review and track the readiness of drawings for Construction use.
However, a piece that has been missing from the workflow puzzle is providing a way to log, track and manage any Design Issues that arise from a Workflow. This changes with the new Design Review Issue Tracking feature
Built directly into Workflows - Design review issue tracking lets you mark up and log a potential problem with your drawing directly from our mark up tools.
Markups are linked to your Design Review Issue, with the ability to add additional notes if required. These are then automatically sent straight through to the originator of the drawings.
Reviewers are able to view any existing Design Issues directly in the Workflow between each step. Outstanding design issues are tracked between each of the revisions of a drawing.
Issues are accessible to all parties involved in the review process. Adding comments, resolving issues and closing them out are easy as clicking on a button.
Advanced reporting tools let you view any document with outstanding Design review issues.
The report also shows you detailed metrics for each document within your project- including the number of comments and the issues currently open and what status they are in.
On a busy project, reviews can be required at any time by different parties on the same set of documents. Now, with the ability to set up Parallel workflows you can create workflows where two steps can be carried out at the same time.
You can also configure and decide when to move to the next step.
You can now configure user fields against your Transmittals so that they can be filled out during distribution. Additional attachments to Transmittals are also supported during distribution.
Managing your Tender Databases between multiple iTWOcx projects has been made easier for Tender Admins with the ability to import a Database linked with another company that you belong to now available
Depending on your project's tendering needs you may need to have your Sub contractors enter into a Confidentiality Agreement prior to issuing them the package documents. In this release we've added a feature whereby you can set up such an Agreement that can be issued out to the relevant parties.
The Sub Contractors will be then be able to download and re-upload a signed copy of the Agreement on their bidder page.
As the Tender Admin you will be able to see the status for each Sub Contractor who has signed the Agreement and issue out the Package when all bidders have signed the Agreement.
Should you have any questions regarding this release or would like to learn more please contact our friendly Support team via email@example.com
In conjunction to our newly released document register, Publication Space, RIB Software is excited to announce the availability of iTWOcx on your mobile device. The new applications can be downloaded on both the Apple App Store and Android Play Store.
iTWOcx Mobile is fully compatible with the Publication Space and we added a number of features to help you keep up to date with your documents. You can now preview documents, its history and associated forms, as well as mark-up documents on your iOS and Android device. You have the ability to favourite those drawings you regularly use and to also access them offline.
The iTWOcx Mobile app portfolio is growing with the main difference between the two version being what Document Management module it supports.
The infographic below should clear up any doubts.
In this release, we are thrilled to announce the much-awaited update to the Register Module. We are calling it the Publication Space.
RIB is delighted to offer this next generation of iTWOcx as an optional upgrade to all our valued customers.
A simpler way for Construction Document Management that has put ease of use at the forefront for the benefit of all our users.
It is the result of nearly three years of hard work and collaborative development between RIB's development centres around the globe. This version is equipped with a wealth of new features, including some highly requested ones.
Download the Brochure and keep reading to find out exactly what the Publication Space has to offer.
One of the key goals we set ourselves when we set out to build the next generation of our document management module was to make sure it was simple and intuitive to use.
As a result of this concept, the new interface marries ease of use with new technology
Uploading is as you as expect it. Drag and drop. Suggested search is your guide to finding the information you are looking for. Workflows and reviews are directly integrated into the whole process. You have greater flexibility in how you distribute your documents. You can access your documents on the go with our new mobile app with or without an internet connection. And all this is built on top of our renowned security model to protect your information.
We've done away with third party tools so now you simply drag and drop your files to begin uploading. It's that simple. As it should be.
Added to that is the ability to fill out metadata for documents while they upload in the background. Saving you your precious time. The Publication Space also comes with some great new tools to further streamline the upload process.
Once your dragged and dropped your files you will be taken to the upload page. Here you will be able to fill in your metadata. You can do this manually if you'd like or use a pre-condigured upload template that have all these values pre-selected. Pick the template to populate the metadata.
Set up custom rules to intelligently
extract metadata automatically
from your document numbers.
Reviews and workflows can now be configured directly into your upload process. Upload your documents to a folder, fill in the mandatory information and we will do the heavy lifting for you and send them all on the correct Workflow review and put them in front of the relevant reviewers.
We call this "Upload and walk away"
Once the documents are received, reviews can be conducted within the system as our mark up tools are built into the Workflow. You won't need to do anything offline again.
Streamline the review process. Now you can allocate a Document Review Workflow to a Folder. So when you upload your files to it, the workflow is automatically started and sent to the relevant reviewers.
Distribute your documents to specific users manually. Use a distribution list. Or use a document's distribution history and send them off to all the relevant parties on your project automatically.
You can automate the distribution process with recipients set up under the Auto Distribute tab for a Folder. Uploading documents to such a folder will list the users who will be sent the documents under the Automatic Distribution section
With the Publication comes the new search engine that we've built from the ground up. The system will intelligently suggest criteria and options to help you find what you are looking for. Report via Dashboards or Traffic lights. Or maybe you'd like to build your own custom report and have it sent to you on a schedule? We've got your covered.
When we set out to build the Publication Space we had two key benefits we wanted to provide our users.
To simplify how you upload your
documents into iTWOcx. And to provide you with a tool that will help you find them without needing to understand complicated search system.
Enter, Suggested Search
Dashboards provide you with a
bird's eye view of what is
happening with your reviews.
Track bottlenecks and identify
reviews that are running late
and are outstanding
Track Submittals that are due and report on ones that are complete or overdue using our inbuilt traffic light reporting functionality
Create your own reports and customise which columns appear in the results and have them sent to you and others in your team on a schedule
Our mobile app hooks up directly with all your projects running the Publication Space. Access, view, and store documents on your device off online or offline access.
Access your folders and drawings with our mobile app.
You can view your drawings with or without an internet connection. Perfect for when on site.
View your drawings and mark them up. Changes are instantly uploaded to your project so everyone else on your team is immediately aware of any changes or issues.
Let us demonstrate how the Publication Space and the rest of the iTWOcx Platform can provide efficiency and control for your next project