Improving installation workflow with the Digital Building Components app

The Digital Building Components app streamlines the communication process while enabling earlier and more detailed installation sequencing.

Communicating installation sequences in an efficient and accurate manner can be challenging, especially under tight schedules. Digital fabrication can save a considerable amount of time compared to traditional building methods, but a seamless installation plan is key.

In the past, sequences were sent by PDF and required assumptions on details that frequently changed. Panels were stacked on trucks based on these assumptions. The process wasn't well-defined. This created jobsite problems when the stacking order differed from the general contractor’s installation plans.

Project teams need an easy and accurate means of communicating the installation sequence. Working in conjunction with vConstruct, Digital Building Components developed an app to streamline the communication process while enabling earlier and more detailed installation sequencing. In February 2019, the Digital Building Components App made its project debut.

Using the Digital Building Components app

What the app does

In the app, project teams work with the current fabrication model. This eliminates the need for assumptions. The user clicks panels in the order they will be installed. The app then relays the information to Digital Building Components. This process saves time and money.

How the app works

  1. Access: The user - typically the installation superintendent - requests access. Once Digital Building Components has verified the right person is doing the sequence, they invite them to use the app. The user must also have access to the project in Autodesk.
  2. User Input: The user enters the installation rate in linear feet/hour, along with the number of hours worked per day. Using the current fabrication model, the user taps each panel in the order it will be installed.
  3. Visual Display: As each panel is tapped, the app displays a color-coded number corresponding to the order in the sequence. The app calculates how many panels can be installed per day and once that capacity is reached, moves to the next day. When this happens, the panel numbers change colors. For example, all panels that can be installed on Day 1 will have a red number. Once Day 1 is full, the numbers change to blue for Day 2. This allows the project team to see if they can meet the desired schedule based on the entered installation rate. For example, the app may indicate that with the given parameters, the installation will take too long. The user can then make adjustments to complete the work within the desired window.
  4. Completing the Order: When the user is satisfied with the sequence, they send a summary report to Digital Building Components to complete the process. The sequence data is directly applied to the panel numbers in the digital model and the panels are stacked in the correct order.

The Digital Building Components iOS app allows project teams to order building components in the sequence they’ll build a project.

— User Workflow Documentation, February 24, 2020

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