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The trends in civil engineering are again the focal point as we as we swiftly approach towards another decade. The civil engineering industry, like any other, is no stranger to evolving challenges, and is undergoing a radical transformation from the outset of 2018. The shortage of labor, escalating cost of materials and commodities, along with the mounting pressure to focus on the design aspect of the construction projects are propelling the construction industry in an entirely new dimension. With the doors to innovation and technology swung wide open, there seems to be a silver lining for the construction business owners in confronting many persistent challenges.
Every small and mid-sized contractor is set to gain from the emerging construction technologies such as mixed reality (MR) and UAV data analysis along with application integration into machine control platforms. In 2018, expect a bigger push for 3-D models because models are quickly evolving from being a simple instrument of project visualization to mainstream information-rich building tool.
Here is a roundup of some of the latest trends in civil engineering that will change the way engineering projects are implemented -
As we venture further into 2018, more contractors are likely to invest in 3-D machine guidance and positioning systems for specialized machinery to perform complex civil construction tasks. For example, the gutter and curb machines equipped with elevation and steering control can perform batch operations with high accuracy while saving valuable time and thousands of dollars for contractors in the long run.
Specialized machines with automatics option leverage steering algorithms and 3-D positioning guidance for high-precision maneuvering through narrow corners and openings. Slope cutting and trenching tasks can be sped up by 30% with the use of 2-D and 3-D automated machine control in compact excavators and machine grading attachments. Automatics option can enable contractors to implement civil engineering tasks more efficiently along with better resource utilization and will be popularly used across the industry.
Many manufacturers are preparing heavy equipment with machine control capability. This new feature is offered as a built-in (or optional) module. Development towards this end will continue as a primary trend in 2018. Automated machine guidance system will help contractors to keep the benefits of high ROI because it eliminates operator fatigue and the need for dedicated on-site staff to verify the grade.
Advanced site positioning systems are fitted with automatic machine control options to speedily complete the task of grading and pounding without a surveyor. The system is highly user-friendly and enables precision grading by operators without rich experience in machine operation. The accessibility to machine control and site positioning can open new avenues to undertake more projects without additional staffing or heavy equipment and will find mass acceptance.
Civil engineering is headed for a substantial change in the future with the innovative use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), mixed reality technology, and Big Data analysis. Together, they will unravel the complexity of construction projects.
As cloud-based analysis programs become more affordable, it will enable seamless integration of UAV and mixed reality data into the workflow. The data analysis service will normalize the data collected by the UAV such as the remainder of the concrete volume to be poured, commercial plot measurement in bulk, and more. All the data can be analyzed to measure the project progress over an interval.
Also, the mixed reality (MR) based applications will gather momentum as augmented reality (AR) sees further advancements. In MR, digital elements overlap with real-world objects to allow better visualization of civil engineering projects. With the research and development gaining pace in these areas, the practical application of the technology is not far where civil engineering contractors overlay the virtual models into an actual landscape through a visual display unit.
In the past, 3-D models were used as a primary visualization tool to showcase the rendering of the civil engineering projects. In 2018 and ahead, constructible 3-D models, otherwise known as Building Information Models (BIM) will become vital in helping builders implement information-rich 3-D models. Adding more details to the 3-D model can avoid confrontation with unplanned expenses during the project implementation. The 3-D model in civil engineering can present enormous gains across all stages of construction whether it is earthmoving, excavation, compacting, piping, or finishing.
Rapid implementation of high-quality designs in a cost-effective way is possible with 3-D models because it supports the integration of multiple design processes. The constructible 3D model is a key trend that will field the interest of contractors unabated because it offers a reliable way to recognize conflicts, enhance the collaboration, and deliver accurate results.
Civil engineering in 2018 is all about seamless application integration. Many modern civil and construction technologies are based on open source platform that provides plasticity by incorporating other commercial application's interface to the platform. The machine productivity data is constantly aggregated by maps, apps, and other timesheet applications. The machine control systems powered by open platform will act as the centralized information center where machines and data mesh with the human operators.
3D printing is still in the infancy despite its inception in the 80's. The widespread applicability of 3D printing is shaping the future of civil engineering. Using printing technology to fabricate engineering materials and components from digital models is a boon for contractors and design experts because it allows project completion at short TAT. The major advantage of 3D printing is that designs can be fabricated by conservatively utilizing energy, time, and associated labor. The initial expense may run high while establishing the system, but in the long run, wastage reduction occurs at the source.
Hope you liked reading recent trends in civil engineering. The year 2018 will be a productive year for contractors and builders because the civil engineering trends are gravitating towards accessibility of sophisticated machine control platforms that are intuitive and requires less focus from the operators. The growth of 3-D models, UAV data analysis, and mixed reality is spearheading innovation for real-time information sharing, information collaboration, and better gains. Turning to technology can empower the contractors to take on complex projects and deliver exceptional results to customers.
FWS has 20 years of experience serving customers with the most reliable and cost-efficient civil engineering services. Our efforts to deliver tailored services have yielded results and let to many client success stories. Our team of experienced engineers can carry out your outsourced engineering project and deliver the best results from our world-class delivery centers. At FWS, we are well aware of the latest developments happening in the industry and offer advanced services like Paper to CAD Conversion Services, Land Development Services, MEP Design & Drafting Services, etc. as per the unique client demands.
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