Cross Trimble technologies to improve virtual construction workflows

September 27, 2021 Rianna Lowrance

When you love what you do — and you have the right technology to do it — a workday feels effortless. Fredrik Bergström, CEO of FMT AB, can relate. His job and passion are experimenting with technology to improve workflows for his small construction company based in Sweden. He exclusively works across Trimble software to make FMT AB an estimated 30% more efficient than his big-business competitors. 

We chatted with Fredrik Bergström to find out the challenges he faces and how he overcomes them with innovative solutions.

What is your key to success? 

FMT AB produces quality work, nimbly responding to changes in scope and direction. Our success hinges on using technology that talks to other technology — enter Trimble software. My teams use survey equipment together with Trimble Business Center (TBC) and rely on products like Trimble RealWorks and SketchUp

An essential part of our workflow is SketchUp Studio, which includes the Scan Essentials extension for importing and modeling on point cloud data. We use SketchUp Studio to take the material world into 3D modeling, make changes, and move back again, either as files in machines like Trimble SiteVision or rendered images.

Point cloud scan created using Trimble products.

SketchUp model created from point cloud data.

This interoperability not only benefits our client relationships, but also builds our relationships within the Architecture, Engineering, and Construction (AEC) industry. Architects want to work with us because they know we can make their life easier; we send them accurate files that are suitable for their software. Due to these cultivated relationships, our partner architects recommend FMT AB to new clients and bring us on board for projects they have in progress. 

What is your typical workflow?

FMT AB is team Trimble! Typically, we kick off a project by sending a drone to collect data. We use Scan Essentials, TBC, and RealWorks to import drone data, and then after some modifications, transfer it to SketchUp.

All Trimble software is beautifully compatible: you can move back and forth between programs — for us mainly TBC, RealWorks, and SketchUp — without losing time.

We can swiftly pull surfaces and textures between the different programs, direct layout on site from the design models, and coordinate designs from multiple sources through Trimble Connect for an easy, streamlined QA/QC workflow. This workflow benefits the whole construction process, making everyone on site, from the excavation team to the concrete contractor, work faster. 

Using Trimble Earthworks to excavate the construction site. 

What are the types of issues that keep you up at night? 

In Sweden, labor is expensive. I try to plan and execute every detail possible in 3D before the shovel hits the pavement. 

Cutting down on-site time is essential in the beginning stages of a project too. Sweden gets a lot of rain in this region. It used to be that everyone would stand together on a muddy site, out in the pouring rain, trying to talk to each other. With technologies like SiteVision, we can cut down the pre-work on-site, bringing the team into the office sooner. This flexibility allows teams to collaborate in the right place, at the right time, and with the right people. 

My job is all about discovering and implementing technology to lower labor costs and other workflow issues. I keep FMT AB delivering efficient, high-quality work. 

What will be indispensable to the construction industry’s future? 

Technology has always been important, but the global pandemic has made it paramount. Meetings have moved online. Now, you need to ensure you have a precise point cloud for group meetings because you need to navigate swiftly and pinpoint data. Programs, like SketchUp, that are easy to use are crucial to our increasingly virtual world. 

We continue to invest in and make technology a priority because we are committed to staying competitive in this changing and intriguing world. 

About FMT AB

Our company has a total of 20 people. Though we are considered a small construction company, our clientele and projects vary. We often focus on constructing smaller houses for people who want to build their dream homes. We take on big projects too. There’s a famous river channel in Sweden that was dug by hand about 150 years ago, and it underwent a significant restoration recently. FMT AB did the drawings and the 3D visualization for the whole project. The client chose us over bigger consulting companies; they knew we could deliver the results they desired. 

About the Author

Rianna Lowrance

When not creating content, Rianna enjoys indulging her curiosity. You can find her reading a book with her dog snuggled into her side, enjoying trips and outdoor adventures with her friends and family, and eating tasty meals (preferably cooked by others).

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