Director, Sixense Mapping Morangis, France
«Predicting structure behaviour»
Manuel Peltier, Chairman and Chief Executive, Soletanche Freyssinet: It is hard to tell exactly where the digital revolution will take us, but we know it will be disruptive for the entire construction sector. Soletanche Freyssinet opted to actively participate in the revolution and to design some of its own digital tools. One of the highlights of 2016 was the creation of our sixth brand, Sixense. By bringing together teams of engineers, IT experts and specialists from our business lines, Soletanche Freyssinet acquired a strong digital capability. We put together the Advitam, Soldata and Concrete companies and added the digital component to create a unique brand offering an entirely new range of engineering services. The goal is to give ourselves a strong base from which we can play a leading role in a market that will probably expand ten-fold in coming years! We have set our sights very high for Sixense - it will cover infrastructure monitoring throughout the life cycle as well as site - specific fully digital solutions and services.
Yohann Rabot: Sixense Mapping, the Sixense company specialising in 2D-3D mapping, has an expanding range of digitisation services and solutions. When we digitise structures, we can better track what is happening to them throughout their life cycle to support maintenance and control risk. In 2016, we finalised the as-built survey of the SEA HSL. This meant digitising data collected on more than 350km of track and more than 5,500 hectares by means of laser detection and ranging (Lidar) and photogrammetric soundings. Is data management in conjunction with the excellence of our business expertise going to be a focus of Soletanche Freyssinet in coming years?
Manuel Peltier: It certainly is. Our expertise in soils and structures is unique. We are able to collect data, we have the equipment to process it and we have the technical knowledge to analyse it. Investing in software engineering is one of our strategic goals. To do this, the Soletanche Bachy and Menard technical departments are structuring their big data activities with a dual purpose in mind - to boost operational excellence and to deliver new services for our clients. The new generation of smart drilling tools is able to assess the terrain and adapt according to the types of soils encountered.
Yohann Rabot: In the design stage, we can already predict the behaviour of the structures according to the type of materials chosen, their use and their durability. The solutions offered by Sixense support the digital revolution in predictive maintenance, monitoring and inspection. The new technologies enable us to access previously inaccessible locations and to offer resolution on the order of a tenth of a millimetre. The power of digital technologies, the reinforcement of our structural maintenance engineering capabilities and our ability to work on the entire project life cycle are already transforming the way we work. This is indeed all about BIM (Building Information Modeling)! And Sixense now incorporates BIM in most of its tools.
Manuel Peltier: BIM is now becoming standard for all structures to be built and renovated. In France, all the Soletanche Freyssinet entities have adopted the three-dimensional approach and many major projects around the world are now using BIM. With BIM, all project participants share the same detailed 3D overview of the structure to be built, including the production process and maintenance. These new tools make it possible to build structures that would have been unthinkable just a decade ago.