State of the Art: Holding Tolerances

After Tri-City, we ended up at Kovach to see their prefabricated specialty exterior wall panels. We spent most of the time discussing their process, which is based around laser scanning the erected and framed building.

Before Kovach adopted their BIM-enabled process, they would have to hand-measure an entire building before fabricating panels. One past project required 7000 panels - 650 unique size/color combinations. About 600 of those panels had be remade due to fit problems. The problem is the tolerance of their panel is tighter than the tolerance of prior trades.

Since adopting their new workflow (which I will describe in just a second), they have completed 10 full projects. On those projects, they lost zero panels to fit problems (a few panels were lost due to damage) and have seen zero punch list issues on several of those projects. A 2-man crew is able to place 85 panels/day (compared to 10/day previously). They aren't to the point where they have figured out the exact dollar savings, but are compiling data so that they can consistently reduce pricing.

Okay, so their process.

Rather than hand-measure the building, Kovach laser scans the exterior. The point cloud data is converted to a wire frame model representing the as-built conditions. From there, they model and layout the panels and required substrates. The information is exported to CNC, as well as to a set of 2D panel maps - all dimensioned to the nearest 1/1000". (Why..because they can)

These were the kind of metrics I wanted to hear and a very unique process. The CNC part of the process was almost irrelevant (although of course, it wasn't). The concept of using laser scanning to document as-built conditions is certainly out there, but I haven't seen a subcontractor (or anyone, really) transform their process with it so significantly.

1 comment:

Erik said...

After reading the last three posts, I am blown away. So, awesome. Wish I was in Phoenix.