- Bentley Systems Inc. and Topcon Positioning Systems announced this week that they have formed a new joint venture, Digital Construction Works (DCW), to advance constructioneering, which is automating the digital construction process to improve infrastructure project execution and lower costs. Some of the workflows that constructioneering tackles are surveying, engineering design, constructible model development and as-built data collection.
- Digital Construction Works will offer up digital automation, integration, and twinning services using software and cloud services from Topcon, Bentley and other providers. The company's experts will connect and automate its design-build customers' existing processes with DCW's constructioneering workflows, first on major projects and then, hopefully, throughout entire portfolios.
- DCW will also share what it learns from its customers with Bentley and Topcon so that the two can better develop constructioneering solutions.
Bentley and Topcon first started collaborating in 2016 in order to integrate their Magnet and ProjectWise cloud services. Since beginning their work together, the two companies have developed and introduced several 4D solutions for surveying, reality modeling, scheduling and logistics, work packaging, machine control and progressive assurance for construction.
In 2017, Bentley and Topcon opened Constructioneering Academies, which includes locations at Topcon’s “sandbox” facilities around the world, for construction professionals to get hands-on time with new digital tools and best practices.
Bentley and Topcon, however, certainly aren't the first two tech companies to collaborate and integrate with the hopes of providing better, targeted solutions for their customers.
Other construction technology companies like Autodesk and Procore are doing so as well. In fact, their customers are pushing for it.
Contractors have had it with the silos of data that slow them down. They want the digital tools that they use the most and like the best to work together.
Just Procore Technologies' Project Management software alone, for example, had integrated with more than 140 solutions as of May of this year, including 16 ERP systems. Less than a year ago, the solution has only 15 or 20 integrations, Kris Lengieza, director of marketplace business development, told Construction Dive earlier this year.
Also, in the last year or so, Autodesk has been on the integration path with several of its platforms: BIM 360 Ops and PlanGrid; Revit and PlanGrid; bid-management platform BuildingConnected and PlanGrid; BIM 360 and Assemble; and Assemble and Navisworks.
And according to Josh Cheney, construction technology industry manager at Autodesk, there's little chance of contractors being overwhelmed by too many integrations. “[Even though] it feels like there is a new construction management application popping up every day,” he told Construction Dive in May, “I think anyone would say that the pace is probably not fast enough."