The construction industry has been one of the slowest to adopt new technologies, but as one steel fabrication company found out, doing so has transformed their business.
For more than 20 years, steel reinforcement fabrication company AUSREO had built a strong business and reputation in supplying top-grade steel and processing services, typically to residential, commercial, and industrial projects on the eastern seaboard of Australia.
“A lot of our work was in post-tension design, with huge towers rising above the Melbourne and Sydney skyline” says Paul Lowden AUSREO’s General Manager VIC.
“We had the appetite for larger infrastructure projects, but found we were often locked out of tenders by some of the bigger and more established players.”
Seeking new software to assist with detailing around four years ago, the AUSREO team came across the 3D rebar modeling software now known as ADDA.
“It was still in early stages of development, but we could see how 3D modeling could be really useful in bar intensive designs in terms of being able to actually represent, before a project got underway, how we can reduce clashes, waste and improve off-site prefabrication opportunities.”
Bringing the ADDA software into their process quickly caught the attention of the industry.
“Everyone cuts and bends steel in the same way, so there’s little opportunity to differentiate. The ADDA software lets us offer a unique service. It gets the attention of the contractors early in the design phase by showing them where the difficult parts of the build are, and identifying risks and time requirements before the project has even kicked off.”
“Contractors were really interested in what the modeling could demonstrate. On projects with a high daily holding or on-cost, many were interested in resolving a huge waste on any project time” says Lowden.
“Providing them with a virtual view via a 3D model helped AUSREO to become a supplier of choice for large contractors because we could solve reinforcement challenges before they happen. So when it came to the big infrastructure project tenders, it was a differentiator – it was new and really interesting, and we started winning that infrastructure work.”
Incorporating ADDA’s 3D rebar modeling and detailing software as part of its process on key projects and pitches has resulted in a major shift of AUSREO’s business profile.
AUSREO now has a significant focus on complex and large infrastructure projects, and has used ADDA on at least a dozen big projects so far on the east coast of Australia, including Rozelle Interchange, Sydney Metro Crows Nest and Waterloo Stations, and the Cross Yarra Partnership in Melbourne.
“For a big infrastructure project, clashes, waste and project time overruns can really add up. Using ADDA we can help contractors save considerable amounts of time and costs.”
“Each time we’ve used ADDA as part of our pitch, we’ve won the contract, because we are able to engage early and consult with our customers to improve their project, as well as providing them with the required rebar.”
Winning those large infrastructure contracts has seen AUSREO’s rebar output substantially increase and AUSREO has obtained the exclusive rights to ADDA modeling software in Australia.
“It’s fair to say it has helped transform our business” says Paul Barbuto General Manager NSW.
“There are 3D products out there that come off the shelf, but ADDA is superior as it’s been designed by rebar specialists for rebar, so it’s really fit-for-purpose.”
As digital transformation makes inroads into the construction industry, Gino Federico National Digital Engineering Manager says the audience for the software and service will continue to grow quickly.
“Reinforcement is a major cost in infrastructure projects. It is usually always on the critical path and right up there in terms of risk profile. There is a growing acceptance that if anyone can provide a digital solution that reduces risk upfront, like ADDA does, it needs to be included.”
“We still cut and bend steel, but adding in this software as a service has totally changed our business, and we’re on a trajectory for more growth. It’s been good for us, good for our customers, and good for the industry.”
The different ways AusReo is helping their customers save with ADDA:
• Time on RFI requests – the detail provided in 3D is easier to read, making it faster for engineers to come up with solutions
• Reduced complexity – less time on site resolving problems
• Forecasting – improved understanding of rebar design and needs creates more accuracy
• Money and time – projects run more smoothly with a reduction in back charges between builder and contractors
• Waste – better modeling means only sending material that will be used and fewer offcuts on-site
• Shipping and handling – rebar weights and lengths are optimised for site needs
• People – fewer engineers are required to manage the reinforcement supply because issues are resolved before the rebar gets to site