Earlier this month, Topcon Positioning Services introduced their newest offering, Aptix. Aptix is an integration-platform-as-a-service (iPaaS) “to optimize how heavy civil construction projects are managed,” per the company’s press release announcing the new product. With this new iPaaS offering, Topcon customers will have access to more powerful integrations, as Aptix integrates Topcon solutions with third-party applications – examples Topcon provides are integrations with Autodesk Construction Cloud and Microsoft OneDrive – to “automate and orchestrate data connections between the office and job site.”
The goal of this new product offering from Topcon is to help increase efficiency by streamlining processes that can often be tedious, cumbersome, and just plain annoying. Ultimately, they say, this product will ensure as-builts match pre-construction plans, and projects remain profitable. It does this by providing near real-time reports on all phases of a project, including schedules, documentation, the location of machines throughout a jobsite, and even carbon dioxide emissions to help firms maintain visibility for their carbon footprint and stay on track with any sustainability goals for the project.
Topcon isn’t the first company to improve connectivity between different applications for the ease-of-use in a construction project – we just discussed a similar, albeit smaller-scale, integration last week between Trimble and Esri – but where they say they differentiate themselves is with Aptix’s “ability to automate the distribution of constructible models and scheduled task changes.” What Aptix is able to do is monitor project documents within someplace like Autodesk Construction Cloud and look for file updates in any program within Construction Cloud, like Autodesk Build and Autodesk Docs, among others. Once a model or schedule is changed within one of those platforms, Aptix automatically alerts key stakeholders on a project to ensure everyone is dealing with the most up-to-date information.
“Without up-to-date, accessible, and actionable information, construction teams will always struggle to communicate and collaborate,” said James Cook, director, partner integrations at Autodesk Construction Solutions. “With Aptix’s integration of Autodesk Construction Cloud, teams can ensure critical information is accessible to all the stakeholders that need it, helping companies more easily build and collaborate.”
As we talked about in the linked article above regarding Trimble’s integration with ArcGIS Pro, these kinds of connections are crucial for maximizing efficiency on complex projects like the ones Aptix is targeting. This is clearly an idea that has been on Topcon's mind for a while, too, as earlier this year they acquired Digital Construction Works, a one-time joint venture between Topcon and Bentley Systems which specializes in part in assisting firms with integrating disparate tools.
Here, the automation appears to be the factor which most benefits users compared to previous workflows. Leaving it up to one or two workers to monitor all of these different platforms for updates is not only time-consuming, taking up working hours that could be used for other valuable tasks, but also leaves open risks for things being missed. Poring through this kind of data for long periods of time makes it almost inevitable that things will be missed. Any time these types of tasks can be automated, it’s a win for efficiency on a jobsite.
In a press statement, Jason Hallett, vice president and general manager, Topcon Integration Services, said, “By automating previously manual processes, Aptix eliminates time-consuming and error-prone data entry, allowing construction professionals to focus on more strategic tasks. Project managers can make better, more informed decisions by having real-time visibility into project progress and potential roadblocks. We are confident that Aptix will optimize how construction projects are managed, providing a powerful new tool for construction professionals looking to improve their project management processes.”
Murray Lodge, executive vice president and general manager, Topcon, added, “Aptix integrates Topcon’s heavy civil construction solutions with third-party solutions to share data, automate workflows, and facilitate built actuals reporting. Being open and ready to integrate with the rest of the world is what moving the construction industry forward is all about.”