Discover how digitalisation has been woven into the fabrics of business and society, and how Irish engineers have risen to the challenge.
In episode two we explore how technology continues to redefine sectors of the engineering world and how these strides in digitalisation are increasing speed, accuracy and efficiency in business.
We are joined by Michael O'Shaughnessy Digital Lead for Construction at PM Group, Ed Arnott Electrical Engineer at MMA Consulting and Darragh Ryan, a Design Manager at Horizon Offsite Ltd
Listen below or on your podcast player!
Topics we discussed include:
- Offsite engineering and its benefits (01.49)
- How digitalisation has changed how we approach project management (04.47)
- The benefits of moving away from manual work to software systems (08.21)
- Trimble and the role it plays in electrical engineering (09.29)
- The biggest challenges of working in a post covid world (16.08)
Michael O Shaughnessy is Digital Lead for Construction at PM Group with responsibility for delivering PM Groups Strategic Digital Plan for Construction 2025.
Darragh Ryan is a Design Manager at Horizon Offsite Ltd. Darragh’s work focuses on the design and management of light gauge structural steel frame projects across both Ireland and the UK.
Ed Arnott, Ed is an electrical engineer at MMA Consulting. Ed’s background in the industrial gas and petrochemical industries and specialise in hazardous- area electrical design.
Ed Arnott Electrical Engineer at MMA Consulting Engineers
Micheal O Shaughnessy
Looking for ways to explore or advance a career in the field of engineering? Visit Engineers Ireland to learn more about the many programs and resources on offer. https://www.engineersireland.ie/
The cloud has probably been the biggest transformation. We've got people spread across the world working in the same environment in the same space and they're getting instant updates.
Offsite construction is a relatively new industry and born out of digitalization. It's something that's becoming more and more possible as digitalization progresses.
The great advantage of the program I use, Trimble, is that it's actually designed around the regulations. So I know not only the capability of the equipment but I also know what is considered safe and legal.
For your convenience, here is a 90% accurate automated transcript of the podcast.
Dusty Rhodes 0:39
Hello, my name is Dusty Rhodes Welcome to episode two of our digitization and engineering mini series, where experts at the forefront of their engineering fields explore how digitization has been woven into the fabric of business and society and how Irish engineers are rising to the challenge. Today we have a another three amazing guests for you. They are the digital lead for construction at pm group. Michael O'Shaughnessy. Michael is responsible for the delivery of pm group's strategic digital plan for construction. 2025 Darryl Orion is a design manager at Horizon off site whose work focuses on the design and management of light gauge structural steel frame projects across Ireland and the UK. And from m m a consulting we're joined by electrical engineer Ed Arnet. Ed's background is in the industrial gas and petrochemical industries and specializes in hazardous area electrical design. Let me start with Dara. Dara, you're an off site engineer. And I can't think of anyone more perfect to benefit from digitization. How has it shaped your industry over the last 10 to 15 years?
Darragh Ryan 1:49
Yep. So offsite construction is a relatively new industry. And it is born out of digitalization, really. So it's something that's more and more possible, as digitalization progresses, when you do a building off sites, you need a lot of coordination up front in the design, you can't really figure it out, well, you can, you can figure it out on site, but that slows everything down. And that goes back to the more traditional way of doing things. But also construction you do your your drawings and model and 3d upfront, you coordinate where the m&e where the services are going, where all the steps where they act, tact wants, doors, windows, whatever. So all that is done upfront in advance, and then you manufacture the material before it comes to site. So, you know, without the digitalization, also construction will be, you know, it wouldn't, it wouldn't be where it is today anyway.
Dusty Rhodes 2:47
And as an electrical engineer, how has digitization shaped your industry,
Ed Arnott 2:53
I suppose the main impact has been the speed at which you can perform a calculation. Electrical Engineering has always been this sort of iterative process, every time you make a small change, you have to say, increase the size of a cable and maybe increase the size of a fuse, and maybe you change the cable route. And all of these little changes can have a big impact on the design. So having a system where you can calculate and recalculate very quickly is extremely useful. And then of course, there's the means of recording the information and sharing it with other fields. So some programs allow you to do that, and to keep a good record of all the equipment that you plan to use.
Dusty Rhodes 3:35
And, Michael, I think the title of your job just shows the change that we have seen in some engineering firms, you are the digital lead ad pm construction, is this a sign of the importance that digitization is having at the company?
Michael O'Shaughnessy 3:49
Absolutely. We have a strategic plan for 2025 led by I suppose a term we call D LPD. digitally enabled lean project delivery, digital being the enabler, lean being the foundation, you know, reducing waste from processes and, and trying to get gain real value for our customers down the line as we deliver projects. So it's somewhere we have to go it's primarily driven by a major skill shortage in the industry demands our true, you know, gone through the roof. Clients want buildings built immediately as the you know, they want to get the products on the market and, you know, we're seeing something just to go back to Gary's point, you know, we're seeing a huge amount of offsite manufacturing, and lean and digital underpins, you know, the speed of how we can now deliver so it's where the industry is going and, and pm grouper are trying to stay ahead of the curve and get there you know, you know, as the front runners you know,
Dusty Rhodes 4:47
can I ask all of you these changes in digitization has changed the way that you approach a project in the first place? So if somebody says to you, we need x building facility in y place Has that changed how you start with your blank sheet of paper? What do you think? Darren?
Darragh Ryan 5:05
Yeah, it would, it would like, first of all, the digitalization process allows you to visualize things very, very quickly. So site constraints, you know, that can be easily understood before every year on site, you know what what roadways are near is there's real networks near. So setting up the site and site safety. That's, that's a huge thing. Now that that can be done through digitalization, that couldn't be done previously. Also, what you can do with digitalization is get experts involved, that might necessarily be from that location. For example, you can get experts in from abroad from other parts of the country, you know, that have more experience with the problem at hand. And you can do that through digitalization whether it's, you know, video calls, or you know, remote working, things like that, you know, so. So on that side of things, it leads to more a collaborative working environment where things are safer, you get the experts there, and it leads to just better project delivery.
Dusty Rhodes 6:09
And, Michael, how has digitization changed the way you approach a project?
Michael O'Shaughnessy 6:14
Yeah, I think I think that's a really good question. And ultimately, it underpins, you know, the whole digital transformation. So, how we started this journey was we tried to understand what we do. And the key to doing that is identifying our our core processes. So once we defined and were very clear of what our processes were, we looked at where we potentially could strike value by optimizing how we deliver those processes. So what we found was, is in any project lifecycle, the construction side is where potentially the most risk is, it's where more things can go wrong, that's the longest time on site, you've got more people that are moving, you've got a lot of equipment moving in, you know, that's where the real efficiency has to need to start. So we looked at that in real detail. And we, I suppose, identified certain processes. And we felt that if we digitize those processes from, you know, making information better available to collecting data, we could ultimately remove some of the people and waste from from projects. So to do that, what we did was we identified core activities that we would not have typically done at design stage. So we would embed certain information into the models, we would do certain activities at design stage that when the information moved to the construction phase, that information was readily available, information was set up to be utilized efficiently accessed efficiently. But ultimately, we can try to drive back a, you know, an improved quality or an more efficient quality product, you know, when it wants to get to construction stage. So we put a huge amount of effort now up front, when planning out a project because, as I said, the risk is a construction stage. And that's where you have to plan better now to make these gains and drive these efficiencies.
Dusty Rhodes 8:02
Alright, let's get away from talking about things in general and explore things a little bit more specifically, I'd like to start with Ed on this because Ed, you're very much into the digitization programs side of things, how does using software now differ from the way things used to be done by hand?
Ed Arnott 8:21
Well, some of the guys I trained with will give you stories from the 70s about plotting on a graph, what a fuse would do and how much energy would go through it. Now, the great advantage of the program that I use at the moment tremble is that it's actually designed around the regulations. So I know not only the capability of the equipment, but I also know what is considered safe and legal. And therefore I can adjust my design accordingly. So for example, things like the tolerances of cables are based around standards that are actually derived from the British and Irish standards.
Dusty Rhodes 9:05
And because you know what the standards are and you know what the regulations are and you know what is physically capable, then you know that the project is that you're working on so you're able to put all of this together within that software and boom, you can make it all happen much quicker.
Ed Arnott 9:19
Precisely. So the software already knows that I have to comply with the standards. I just need to tell it what I intend to do and it figures out the best way to get there.
Dusty Rhodes 9:29
Tell me about the software that you're using it's trembled pro design. Now I take it you don't work for them and you're not paid for them. This is not a sponsored feature or anything like that. Tell me in a sentence what tremble pro design does is it for electrical only or can be adapted elsewhere.
Ed Arnott 9:45
It is only electrical, it is mostly a low voltage design tool. And explain to me what that is. So if I am designing a low voltage power system, and I want to decide what size of cable to use or what size of fuse I need, I can use this program to calculate those things. I can also simulate an overall power system, how much energy I'll need? What would be the effect? If there was a problem on that system? Where is it likely to fail? That sort of thing?
Dusty Rhodes 10:18
And is this piece of software that you need to license and install on your network or various machines in your network? Or is it something that operates in the cloud?
Ed Arnott 10:27
It's an installed piece of software, I understand. And then
Dusty Rhodes 10:31
how does it update itself? How does it keep itself regulated with the regulations as at work?
Ed Arnott 10:37
Well, the software developer tremble issues, regular updates, obviously, you need to maintain your license. But yes, each time the regulations are updated, or each time a manufacturer brings a new piece of equipment to the market, then the database is automatically updated with this extra information.
Dusty Rhodes 10:57
So let me ask you about speed when you sit down and you're doing a project, and you're trying to decide what it is you're going to use and which cables you're going to use, and how long they need to be and all that. How long would that have taken to do on paper?
Ed Arnott 11:09
Well, there are back of the envelope calculations, you could probably do, but to give an accurate calculation, it might take an hour or so to do a calculation, which might take a matter of minutes now.
Dusty Rhodes 11:22
So you're literally saving hours on every project.
Ed Arnott 11:26
Right? But the real benefit is if you need to make a change, because whereas you'd have to start again, from scratch on paper with this system, you simply click a button, see what would happen if the cable route was longer, for example? And you can do so instantaneously?
Dusty Rhodes 11:43
Does that help you then when you're trying to design and you're trying to explore new ideas? And you say to yourself, What if you're able to make those changes and see what happens?
Ed Arnott 11:52
It's good for what if scenarios, it's also good if there is say a late change in construction, say if you have to move a substation, or perhaps a different piece of equipment is proposed from what you originally intended, then you can see what the impact would be, and you can accommodate it very quickly.
Dusty Rhodes 12:11
And do you find that that software also helps you to make better designs?
Ed Arnott 12:15
I'd like to think it's both better and more efficient. You shouldn't need to build in such big tolerances if you can calculate accurately what to expect. Very good.
Dusty Rhodes 12:26
Michael, let me move on to you when you are looking back on some of your work with renewable energy. How has digitization shaped some of those processes? Oh, I
Michael O'Shaughnessy 12:37
suppose when I was working in renewable energy, I worked on a project or the products that we developed, was designed to be remote and actually below sea level. So getting information and data off that product was something that, you know, was a huge challenge, you know, there's a huge amount of research into, you know, what information should we gather? What information would tell us what would enhance the performance of the machine. So what we find now and how that's transferable to the type of sector I'm in at the moment is, we've got teams and teams of people that are spread across the world, from clients to design teams. So you're ultimately gathering similar types of data, and making it available that provides the right information, valuable information to all those that need it, regardless of where they are in the world. So
Dusty Rhodes 13:24
Dara had referred to collaboration as being an advantage of the digital world, do you find that there is a lot of that collaboration going on?
Michael O'Shaughnessy 13:32
Probably one of our main innovations or initiatives this year has been to release the what we call the collaboration portal is which ultimately is each project now has its own suppose website for want of a better term. It's got all the specific project information. It's got a shared collaboration space where you know, the entire team work and save all of their information or access their information. But I suppose where the benefits are, is each projects collaboration portal are structured identical. So where we have teams that are, you know, a bit more dynamic, that are moving from project to project, they can go to the very same location, regardless of the project and find that very same piece of information that's relevant to that project. So, you know, collaboration is key. Similarly to that we've, you know, launched an initiative called tiered agility, which is ultimately how we structure and manage our meetings, right down from the daily huddles that designers will have, you know, in relation to what their daily tasks are, right through to coordination between the different teams to the different trade partners that we work with, right through to management and then at leadership and governance level, or we're dealing with clients. So we've a real firm structure on how we want teams to communicate. So that means the people at the top have visibility and can access the core information that would matter to them and matters. to clients when they, you know, and gained and got gathered out efficiently, traditionally to projects would have typically, at the outset sort of set itself up, you know, in its own way, particularly large projects, you know, every project manager may have, historically may have had their own flavor of how they want to structure the project, but probably bringing in the standardization enables digital, and I suppose it enables efficiency. So, as people move around, they're working in a common environment.
Dusty Rhodes 15:28
So, is this part of the strategic digital plan that you're putting together for PM?
Michael O'Shaughnessy 15:33
Absolutely, yeah, it's that standardization. And that's key to success here, it would be very difficult to digitize, you know, multiple flavors of the one way of working. So you have, we have to standardize and, you know, if you have a common way of working, you can then enhance that way of working with it with one digital solution. Albeit, you can improve that digital solution over time. But I suppose all of these digital solutions, you know, require investment. So, you know, you need to, you know, invest and get benefitted out and use that investment, and products across multiple projects to gain value from it.
Dusty Rhodes 16:08
We have a huge heavy hand from COVID, because it just accelerated everything that was digital last terrific. But now, we've been through that. And we've made a lot of advances in collaboration and being able to work across digital platforms, with your own strategic digital plan within PM, what's your biggest challenge over the next six months?
Michael O'Shaughnessy 16:30
It's good question. Everybody's back to work. And everybody is traveling again. And the demands from the sector are huge, I suppose it's fixing on you know, certain processes, ensuring that we gain that real efficiency, you know, knowing exactly where we want to push our digital take our digital journey. That's the property the big push, but I suppose the demands on the business to accelerate and then the digital team to be able to maintain that speed is going to be the challenge. Dara
Dusty Rhodes 17:00
offsite construction, that is your area and digitization must have made a huge difference in that. How do you explain to people the advantages of off site versus more traditional on site construction.
Darragh Ryan 17:14
So off site what it aims to do, right? It's it aims to construct buildings more quickly, more reliably and sustainably, by taking work away from site and using off site construction. Right. So off site isn't just like gauge steel, what I do, there's two main types of it. There's there's two D Systems, and that includes like a steel frame, which is what I'm involved, that would also include timber frame, precast, panels CLT. But there's also 3d offsite systems as well volumetric systems, much modular systems, you know, so horizon where path of an E Text group now, so we mainly focus on residential buildings. So everything from high apartment blocks, concrete floors, to small houses, lightweight floors, student accommodation, hotels, healthcare, when you compare it to traditional construction, which is a more linear approach, first, the foundations get built, then the walls, then each floor and the roof, you know, whereas also construction teams can happen in parallel. And that ties in, you know, the digital process that allow that to happen. But, for example, while the foundations are being built, you can have walls being made in a factory. And then as the floors go up, you can be fitting out your internals. So things things happen in parallel, that speeds up time on site. So we can cut down, you know, a structural frame program for a superstructure of up to say, 50%. With like HCl, compared to traditional construction,
Dusty Rhodes 18:48
I just want to double check that you're telling me that you can build the building 50% faster?
Darragh Ryan 18:54
Yeah, true. We just do a structured frame, but we normally allow, like, if we're on a housing scheme, three days per house, that's walls, up floors in roof on watertight structure. Okay, so it's apartment block, I mean, it all vary in size, but you're talking a typical apartment block a week per floor to construct it, you know, so, so you are talking about 50% saving to say some of the more traditional methods, so also, if it's utilized, right, and that pre design stage goes in early, you can have massive savings and get reduced that site time, you can get revenue earlier, you know, from selling your buildings or renting it depends what they're being used for. So it has massive, massive advantages in terms of speed. I guess then another advantage, it will be the sustainability side of things. You know, it tends to be a lot lighter. It's less carbon footprint than say your your heavier, say more concrete based masonry block schemes. So sustainability is all So another general key advantage in it, and I suppose we touched on the other things earlier, but like quality control, it's in a factory environment, it's also leads to safety. You know, so there's a lot of advantages with like H and off site in general, that are coming into mainstream more and more now. And Michael will testify to that. But we saw the opportunity in the market, and you know, that that's why we're here today, really, that there is an opportunity, it has advantages, and it can, you know, deliver housing and buildings, you know, affordable. And quickly.
Dusty Rhodes 20:37
How about digitization with clients? Because I mean, it's great for ourselves to know the industry, and we know all the parts. But what about trying to get the clients in understanding the design?
Darragh Ryan 20:48
Yeah, so what we do is we develop a pre construction model is what we call it, we call it a pre con model for short. And we work in the Autodesk Revit environment. So we build a volumetric model, which is basically just shell elements of the walls, because our walls will have a certain thickness, you know, for the system build. So we build the volumetric model and coordinate that with the architect, you know, so the openings are in the right place, the right size, the walls are in the right place, steps in the slab, whatever, and then also bring in the other design team members. So mechanical and electrical is a huge part. So we would model in openings where the services need to be under huge openings. In buildings these days for mechanical ventilation, for example, we would model in them openings haven't pre made in the factory, so that no subsequent work needs to be done on site. And we would use this model as the basis to collaborate with the client and the clients design team, we would issue out the model with drawings. And that would be used as a tool to comment back to us to build this model accurately. We then use that model then to do everything internally becomes our kind of central design. So we use it to do the structural engineering, we export the steel if there's a hot rolled columns and beams in to the steel fabricators for fabrication. And we also then export it to our own in house detailing software to detail the studs. So that pre con model in Revit becomes a central model for all the coordination and all the design and, and then the manufacturing design as well.
Dusty Rhodes 22:31
Let me ask you all, because there's pros and cons to everything in life. And we've been talking very much about the pros of digitization and wonderful is, what is the one thing that niggles you that is not being looked after? At the moment? I'll start with add on that one.
Ed Arnott 22:48
Interesting question. I suppose for me, it's probably about sharing information amongst disciplines. So with my design software, I can export the information to Revit, for example, but it's a little bit harder to get information back from Revit if somebody else makes a change, so I have to maybe manually update the model or change the calculation myself.
Dusty Rhodes 23:15
And why is that? Is it the same software that they're using? Are they using a different software to you?
Ed Arnott 23:21
It's different software packages, I think part of the problem is that different disciplines require fundamentally different things in their calculation. So in my field, electrical, a lot of what I do is it's nebulous. We don't look at the physical equipment, per se, we look at its capabilities. But we must also be aware that the physical size of our equipment has an impact on other disciplines. So we have to allow space, as Dara was saying for rises and opes. And that sort of thing. And if somebody decides that we have to have root cables through a different route, that means they have to be longer, which means we might have to redesign them, and so on.
Dusty Rhodes 24:04
And how do you think that that problem can be solved? Well,
Ed Arnott 24:07
I suppose if they were one overarching program that could do everything will be nice. I sometimes wonder if something like a VR system might help if you could get a virtual design team and actually visualize what you're designing. So if you could meet together and say, This is my system, this is where I think it needs to go, this is how much space I need. And then you could change the virtual models or suit and agree things that way rather than exchanging drawings and then going through another iteration.
Dusty Rhodes 24:40
Dara, do you think that that idea of virtual reality will work across the various disciplines?
Darragh Ryan 24:45
Yeah, it could work and raise an interesting point. But I think the key what what Ed is trying to say there and it's very important is how the different software packages talk to each other. And that could be something that's sure Repeat when it should be something that's improved. It isn't great. We have something now and IFC, which is generally a 3d model type that can be imported into most older software packages, but it's still not perfect. And I think discussion between different software companies on how they can work together and import and export compatible formats, that that's, that's clear. I also think one of the big things might be training, there's new software updates every year for all the programs, but there'll be new things on Revit that we won't be able to use, because we're not trained to use them, we don't know about them. So I think there needs to be a more proactive approach in the industry to train people up and keep developing that skill set, you know, so that when the new things become available, we can pick them up straight away and realize their advantages straight away. I think that's something that the industry could do better, maybe have a training group or society. I know there's, you know, obviously, it's stuff it with engineers, Ireland and death, but perhaps a dedicated digital one,
Dusty Rhodes 26:09
Michael, do you find with different disciplines wanting to work with each other? And then of course, having different pieces of software or even within one discipline, you've got variants of software? How are you getting across this problem with the strategic plan at PM,
Michael O'Shaughnessy 26:25
we would have multiple tools, like Autodesk is probably a big product that's on the market. But we would also have a hexagon products, which is a competitor. And particularly in the complex projects that we work in. Certain products are preferred in industry for delivering complex pharma lines, for instance, whereas you know, Autodesk is probably the more collaborative suite, we go to great lengths to get coordination and collaboration happening between our disciplines. And I suppose, where information is not fully translatable, we've developed other processes to gather information from the specific tools to ensure that they are available to those who need it. And but it does take it takes a lot of people. And it takes good processes to ensure that that collaboration happens. And it doesn't come cheap, you know. And those processes, I suppose, are continuously improving. We'd have a team of people, part of our digital team working constantly on developing and improving those processes, ensure that we stick with what's going on in the market.
Dusty Rhodes 27:31
Time is one thing and money is another and I'm quite sure that you find that people are in another area. Do you find that there is a reluctance for people to learn new digital tools?
Michael O'Shaughnessy 27:43
No, I would think I would think there's a great lot of frustration in industry. And the demands external demands on on individuals, just due to the workload that's out there at the moment is probably tremendous. So people want to do better, and they want to get to work quicker. There's no doubt about that. And, you know, when this new technology comes, people really really do embrace it as what our experience is and you know, always are willing to go that extra go that extra effort to you know, upskill and develop their skills to understand what's now available in the market and how they can make life a little easier for themselves. I suppose.
Dusty Rhodes 28:24
I'd like to wrap up today by giving each of you a chance to ask each other across questions, because I'm sure when you're listening to what everybody else has been saying that might be stuck in your head that you want to ask each other. Dara, is there anything you'd like to ask add or to ask Michael?
Darragh Ryan 28:38
Yeah, Ed, obviously, coordination with m&e is a huge part of what we do. And the big thing that we find is there is a detachment between the consultants, the m&e, consultants and the contractors who are doing the work on site. You know, it seems that the consultants don't fully do the spatial design really of where docks need to go and it's more about performance spec. And I'm wondering how could we bring that design process in say mechanical electrical forward so that it could be coordinated at an earlier stage? Would it be worthwhile for clients to get you know, the m&e contractors in earlier as opposed to waiting for, you know, site to to happen, you know, to work alongside the design process.
Ed Arnott 29:29
I can see some mileage in that I've had one project in particular where a building design was completed. And I was expected to find a way to get the m&e services from the basement to some heat pumps on the roof, with absolutely no service rises in the entire building. So I think you're right, possibly, some early discussions would help. And I suppose this goes back to my idea of virtual reality, the VR that you can talk through these things and maybe shift things around within your Virtual Building before you start drawing up plans.
Darragh Ryan 30:07
Yeah, that's that's a good point, then for Michael, it seems that digitalization is more industry led, then legislation lead at the moment. And I think that's largely driven by what saves money we will use. So what do you think has been the biggest advancement quite recently in either your strategy or, or in digitalization that you that you can see, I guess,
Michael O'Shaughnessy 30:35
access to information is probably been, you know, the the cloud really has transformed things. It's not long ago, since you know, every office in the world certainly in Dublin had a huge server room where, you know, you needed to be in the office, you needed to be on the network, to access files, access information, we've got people spread across the world, working in the same environment in the same space, and they're getting instant updates, information is updating in real time from, you know, locations right across so that what the cloud has has changed has just, you know, Ben, probably been the biggest transformation, I suppose. Yeah.
Darragh Ryan 31:17
And just to add to that, I suppose it also has helped projects. I remember in the past, you know, when there wasn't the proper BIM system, and you know, file sharing system, you could have one set of consultants, whether they're destructure, or architect or whatever, working with revision six, and suddenly, actually, revision 10 is the latest revision. So having a kind of cloud based BIM service for a project as well has eliminated that from what it used to be, you know, so there's one true copy. And that's the latest file.
Dusty Rhodes 31:50
Can I throw in a question for Ed, because we're talking about the cloud and everything being available everywhere at every time? Ed, you were saying that the software that you use tremble is based on the actual computer and getting updates doesn't happen as quick as you might have in the cloud? Do you have problems like that and keeping you up to speed with working with other people using that same software?
Ed Arnott 32:12
Well, that's the program, but the files upon which you're working are obviously stored anywhere you like. So those can be on a project server, and often our
Dusty Rhodes 32:23
Ra. Okay, see, you get around it that way. Edie? Have you got a question for Michael, or a question for Derek,
Ed Arnott 32:30
I suppose. Probably best to excellent. Michael. With a design project, obviously, we've been discussing a lot about the upfront design and how we can deliver, say, a completed building. When it comes to the finished product. What happens with your, your as built drawings? Is there a way in which digitization can make the handover package better? So all the documentation, for example, for the end user or for the local authority, or whomever?
Michael O'Shaughnessy 33:06
Tag said? That's a good question. It's certainly something that I spent a lot of time working on in recent times. So it's very fresh, in my mind, absolutely a. So the work we do typically upfront by developing the design, harvesting the data out of the design tools, and we we package that data and information into our portals. When we get to construction stage, we use digital applications to manage the inspection processes. And what we're doing in many cases, we're actually automatically populating some of the inspection forms from the data that's harvest added design. So you're, instead of using the old notepad or the the clipboard, where you're manually type writing in figures and tag numbers of equipment, and for part of the inspection processes, that's now all automated into the into the form. So an inspector will arrive to site, he's got a certain amount of inspections to do and all the forms are partially pre populated. And all they got to do is execute this step. So with that, then the asbestos and the inspection records all form part of the turnover package, because they're in a digital environment. And the models are all in a 3d environment that gets turned over as a combined package and ultimately then populates the operations and maintenance software package that they use for operating the system. The real value in that is is if something fails, or they have a maintenance strategy, they can go back and see who inspected a particular instrument or a particular piece of equipment when it was inspected by who what tests what were the figures and not shoot informed and how and when they might maintain a piece of equipment or roped off, you know, replace piece of equipment or service piece of equipment through the operation of the of the facility that they're working in. So it's just huge advancements in that space. But we probably have a lot more to do.
Dusty Rhodes 35:02
Michael, I'll wrap up with yourself. Do you have a question for Edie or Dara?
Michael O'Shaughnessy 35:08
Yeah, I got I'm not sure where to start, but I suppose maybe. Maybe for, for for Dara. Obviously, quality assurance now is a big thing. Certainly in our industry, I suspect it's the same as yours. And I'm a great believer in offsite manufacturing, do you find you have good quality processes or good digital quality processes for your product? Because obviously, when something gets shipped out your facility and lands on site, what's your kind of view on that?
Darragh Ryan 35:40
Exactly? Yeah. So look, we've we've improved that massively over the last couple of months. But we've we're introduced a digital process here where each panel gets a QR code, and a QR code is stuck onto that panel with a sticker. Every time that panel goes through a different process in the factory, that he is rolling, that's when the QR code is stuck on, then it goes to assembly. And then it goes to add insulation and boarding and things like that, every time it's scanned and more information is imported in. And then eventually, when it comes out the other side of the factory and loaded onto a trailer before it's loaded. It's also scanned. So when you scan that panel, you can see who rolled it, who assembled it, who put the boards on what time what they when it was loaded on the truck when it was delivered to site. So it follows that process through and we know exactly, you know, it ties back to your quality process. But you know, who who did it? And where the responsibility were, if there's any problem, where was the breakdown. And then, you know, like the the processes then that you have talked about filling in the inspection forms. We also have something very similar. It's an app for site inspections, where we can take a photo, and we can drop a pin on the drawing. And it's all on the app. So the photo is at the pin. And there's a small comment, for example, please insert a new screw or something like that, you know, so we've got a full quality process that brings in the digital side of things that really benefits the end user as well because they have a higher quality product. Well,
Dusty Rhodes 37:19
I think it might be fair to say that you're all very much proponents of digitization, but more collaboration, and more things working together would be helpful. Michael was shocked to see digital lead for construction pm group, Dara Ryan, Design Manager at Horizon off site, and Ed Arnett from MMA consulting. Thank you so much to you all, for joining us today. If you'd like to find out more about what we spoke about on the podcast because you'll find show notes and link details in the description area of your podcast player right now. Our amplified podcast was produced by dustpod.io for engineers journal, you will find advanced episodes on our website at engineers ireland.ie or just press follow on your podcast player to get our next episode automatically altered next time for me just erodes. Thanks for listening