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Bringing BIM methodology to earthworks


This Women in Construction Week, HEITKAMP Site Manager Sina Motsch shares her thoughts on how digital solutions have diversified the business of earthworks Located in the renowned mining region of Germany, Saarland, the Maybach mining heap stands as a testament to the industrial legacy dating back centuries. Historically serving as the repository for non-coal-bearing waste rock from neighbouring coal mines, this site has long been a landmark of the local landscape.

However, with the conclusion of mining activities in Saarland in 2012, an era spanning over 250 years drew to a close and the site remained inactive until now, as an ambitious project takes shape to breathe new life into the area. This project involves the delivery of an impressive two million cubic meters of soil across 27 hectares, over the entire duration of 10 years.

Sina Motsch, a dedicated jobsite manager from HEITKAMP Corporate Group, shares insights into her mission overseeing the project this Women in Construction Week.

How do you use data to improve site performance and productivity?

Sina explains: “For me as a jobsite manager, the daily challenge lies in grasping the latest jobsite development. Materials are being delivered, machines are constantly running and I’m confronted with a flood of data every day. It’s crucial for me to find an easy way to make sense of it and make use of this information effectively.”

Drawing on her expertise in Lean Construction and Building Information Modelling (BIM), Sina aims to integrate BIM methods into earthworks by creating a constantly updated 3D digital twin of the jobsite. This innovative approach allows for real-time consultation of the latest jobsite updates by managers, operators, surveyors, and clients.

How can we efficiently collect high-quality field data for the digital twin?

Drone surveying was the first solution Sina’s team put in place. She says: “It’s a great method to gain comprehensive terrain insights once every few months.” However, the logistical challenge of daily drone flights and the need for more detailed information on specific jobsite areas and material deliveries required them to explore alternative solutions.

“On this jobsite, progress is also recorded using as-built data and the intelligent Machine Control system from Komatsu. These intelligent machines can record actual height and position data during the filling process.”

“This data is then sent automatically by the intelligent machines to the cloud and combined with drone point clouds to create terrain models - I therefore have a daily terrain model that is solely created by my equipment,”

Why is it important to consider BIM methodology in earthworks?

She explains: “In my academic focus, I specialised in Building Information Modeling (BIM) within the field of structural engineering. Now, in my role within the earthmoving environment, digital solutions have empowered me to apply BIM methodologies to earthworks.

“By using Dashboard from Smart Construction I can transform my sites to a digital twin, where I can immediately find out where I stand, which materials need to be delivered and I can also easily look at construction fields to see where and how much has been built.”

As the construction industry strives towards becoming more digitised, digital twins can help aid this vision. Embracing the goal of a digital future, construction companies are feeling the benefits from their investment in technology - from improving efficiency and profitability to reducing spend, improving accuracy, and even ameliorating fuel wastage.

Smart Construction Dashboard, paired with Komatsu's intelligent Machine Control, serves as a robust solution for monitoring jobsite progress, supporting Sina and construction professionals alike around Europe and the world by providing efficient, real-time insight into the current jobsite conditions.


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