HARNESSING TECHNOLOGY TO UNLOCK ACTIONABLE INSIGHTS
Join the Digital Innovation in Construction Summit at HxGN LIVE to explore a real construction project on-site as an Augmented Reality experience.
Investing in the digital future
Gnant GmbH has been Lower Austria's specialist for gravel, sand and stones, earthworks and transport since 1959. To continuously become more productive, efficient and environmentally friendly, Gnant began digitising its demolition, excavation and recycling operations more than ten years ago. With more than 160 employees, the company combines traditional values such as reliability, diligence and handshake quality with state-of-the-art working practices.
"The first investment we made was a rover and a 3D machine control system for a dozer," recalls CEO Josef Gnant. With these investments, Gnant wanted to differentiate itself from the competition. While most of the industry won tenders based on the cost factor, Gnant focused on offering the best overall solution. But at the beginning, this approach met with little understanding from customers: "In fact, no one was willing to spend money on this."
Gnant offered the added value of the new technologies at no extra cost. Instead of passing on the costs of its investments to the customers, it demonstrated its solutions’ value over the years through the quality of its work.
The human factor is the key to long-term success
Josef Gnant knew that the workforce was crucial to the company's long-term success and built up the necessary skills in digitalisation internally. The growing amounts of data and requirements in work preparation are changing workflows and increasing the need for office staff. Roland Maurer, responsible for digital solutions at Gnant, also notes: "The time required for work preparation has increased, but this pays off in the aftermath."
The accurate processing of data in the office enables machine operators to work more independently and autonomously. With modern machine control and field solutions, they take on more and more tasks on the construction site. "The solutions are easy to use. Meanwhile, the foremen and machine operators on site also do the surveying work for us. They capture the elevation points and create a terrain model themselves," says Maurer.
Jointly creating added value for customers
To be a pioneer and to be able to continuously offer added value to its customers, Gnant not only wanted to invest in the appropriate technology but was also looking for a long-term technology partner. "The big advantage with Hexagon is that everything is part of one bigger system," Gnant points out as one of the reasons he chose to partner with Hexagon. All construction machinery, field solutions and office applications communicate with each other and ensure that office and field teams are always up to date. This fully connected ecosystem brings Gnant significant productivity gains in all project phases.
In addition to the extensive portfolio of technologies and brands, the comprehensive service and support network was a decisive factor for Gnant to build up a strong relationship: "What fundamentally brought us together was that we were never let down. If a product failed, a new product was available the same or the next day. This limitless collaboration and availability are a key advantage that made me feel I had found the right partner to perform this development and digitisation together."
Practising digitisation instead of just talking about it
From the survey of the site conditions and the preparation of bids to the planning and site preparation to the execution of the construction work and the subsequent maintenance of the infrastructures, the digital solutions help to complete the projects on time, on spec, safely, sustainably, and profitably.
In particular, Gnant stresses the connection between productivity gains and the reduction of waste and emissions: "In addition to digitalisation, eco-friendly construction is also a critical process for us, and we have realised in recent years that these two topics actually go hand in hand. Because the more precise work is done through digitalisation, the more accurate and consequently fewer quantities are moved on the construction site."
In the future, using digitally connected technologies in civil engineering will be unavoidable to remain competitive, use resources wisely and attract and retain talent. Gnant sees these changes as a great opportunity and highlights: "I believe that if everyone - from planners to owners to contractors - not only talks about digitalisation but also practices it, great productivity gains can take place."
Discover the Smart Digital Reality
Gnant’s competitive edge manifests in each project they work on. One of their recent construction projects in Austria was turned into an Augmented Reality (AR) experience, so you can explore how Gnant connected its people, processes, plans and machines and how the company saves time and costs by utilising digital construction technologies. Using advanced positioning, sensor, reality capture technology, cloud and office solutions from Hexagon, the AR experience combines the physical surroundings and design plans with the jobsite’s digital twin. Explore how all of these converge in one connected ecosystem at the Digital Innovation in Construction Summit at HxGN LIVE.