JAPAN IS THE SECOND LARGEST AEC INDUSTRY globally and has more architects than the United States. A global innovation leader in AEC, Japan’s industry formation is driven by its “Big 5” major construction industry groups.
When it comes to leading-edge technology and management adoption in Japan, the Big 5 groups generally drive the trends downward into the rest of the industry. Put another way, the industry as a whole looks up to the Big 5 groups as a source for intelligent, innovative use of digital technologies. That’s why it’s worth noting when a key leader operating across continents makes a technology switch and streamlines operations.
Taisei’s Smart Decision
Japan’s Taisei Corporation employs 8,490 workers across 14 countries from Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. Established in 1873, Taisei’s three main activities are building construction, civil engineering, and real estate development.
When the Japanese giant was looking for a more productive way to keep construction workers in the field connected to architects and engineers in the office, the company turned to Germany’s Graebert and its ARES CAD technologies.
The specific challenge was how to provide 4,000 construction professionals with iPads with a solution that allowed them to reference and be in sync with the latest drawings, having a robust capacity to collaborate with architects and engineers while doing this with simplified license management and data security.
Taisei has determined that the most efficient method of collaborating between field and office when it comes to drawings, is for both groups of professionals to work directly with the drawings themselves.
Working with centralized CAD files in the cloud, Taisei can distribute drawings and drawing updates in real-time. Design teams produce the DWG files using ARES Commander, and the construction teams in the field view, edit, create markup, and collaborate, with those files, via the cloud, with ARES Touch on secure Apple iPad devices.
Working with centralized CAD files in the cloud, Taisei can distribute drawings and drawing updates in real-time.
This process is faster, more productive, and less error-prone than exporting PDF files from CAD or BIM systems and pushing them to the field. While there are excellent PDF-based solutions in the AEC industry, widely connected into various multi-app and CDE (common data environment) workflows, it is undeniable that Taisei Corporation is economizing on this process change.
Previously, Taisei Corporation relied on PDF files or printed drawings in the field. In the latter case, it is common industry knowledge that construction workers can accidentally keep using outdated drawings left in the field. In the former case, while faster to distribute than prints, PDF documents also require a PDF exporting process to keep data up-to-date.
With ARES technologies, Taisei Corporation eliminated both issues and has economized on multiple levels. They have simplified the process via “step count” reduction; they stopped exporting and printing; they adopted technologies with better economics.
For Taisei Corporation, ARES technologies contribute to improving productivity and thus profitability. The Big 5 AEC giant has been a Graebert enterprise customer since 2014.
Authentication / License Management
Deploying ARES Touch to 4,000 iPads would be a daunting task for just about any IT management team. But Graebert’s ARES Enterprise solutions provided the answers to Taisei’s challenges.
ARES for Enterprise features included support for Microsoft Intune to deploy and manage applications available on the company’s iPads.
Using this mobile device management (MDM) software, the Japanese AEC giant could ensure its 4,000 plus iPads were only getting applications installed by the company. ARES Touch is centrally installed, providing a unified, same version install companywide.
So this means that Taisei pays for the capacity they use; only the users that have been active for the month count against the capacity.
Taisei also utilized SSO via Microsoft ADFS (Active Directory Federation Services) to authenticate its users, in addition to Microsoft OneDrive, its selected cloud solution for the storage and synchronization of ARES CAD files. This eliminated the need for Taisei to manage a Graebert account where every user had their own license. A single sign-on from the Microsoft login gave them access to any company solution on each iPad.
The Enterprise version of ARES Touch for Taisei also prevents users from accessing any cloud storage provider other than Microsoft OneDrive, adding another level of security.
Lastly, as part of ARES for Enterprise licenses, the system manages and monitors capacity for active monthly users, not specific users. So this means that Taisei pays for the capacity they use; only the users that have been active for the month count against the capacity.
For enterprises in AEC based on DWG CAD technologies or are heavily engaged in DWG technologies along with other solutions, Graebert’s Trinity of CAD means that organizations are fully serviced with a family of industry-leading DWG CAD tools for desktop, mobile, and cloud.
What sets Graebert apart from rival solutions is that ARES technologies run on all major platforms, devices, and operating systems—from Windows, Linux, and Mac to Android and iOS and the modern web browser.
Unrivaled flexibility means Taisei Corporation can avail itself of the world’s fastest hardware solutions. It can take advantage of performance per dollar metrics on Windows or Linux workstations while also capitalizing on Apple’s superior performance per watt metrics on the iPad.
Then there are Graebert’s licensing cost advantages, which are significantly less than some higher-cost DWG rivals.
The bottom line is Taisei Corporation has eliminated waste (Muda) in the classic Japanese lean process thinking descending from the Toyota Way. Muda is any constraint or impediment that causes waste to occur. In this case, waste reduction took the shape of eliminating the process steps of printing or exporting to PDF files for collaboration with the field. Combined with other economizing factors, as mentioned above, Taisei Corporation could derive clear and uncontested economic benefits over rival methods.
Taisei and ARES
The Japanese giant has been using ARES technologies since 2014. It has enjoyed years of critical influence as an enterprise Graebert customer. The capacity of Graebert to support features like MDM, SSO (single-sign-on), and integration with Microsoft OneDrive has greatly enhanced ARES deployment.
ARES means for Taisei that the Big 5 giant can leverage a DWG-based 2/3D CAD program that feels instantly familiar to AutoCAD users yet delivers innovations and enterprise features that stand apart in the industry.
Taisei’s deployment of ARES Touch on 4,000 iPads helps construction professionals in the field by doing things that PDF markup tools cannot, like measuring angles, distances, and quantities with CAD-level accuracy. ARES Touch isn’t just a viewing/markup CAD tool for an iPad either. Users can “create” on ARES Touch, drawing alternatives or live “as-built” conditions from the point of view of the field and with instant real-time sync. Back in the office, engineers and architects can respond much faster because there is no need to work with PDF markup coming from the field.
While PDF has come to be a dominant file format in both the AEC and manufacturing industries, and while its proliferation has led to the integration of this file technology into just about all CAD systems, from a waste reduction perspective, eliminating PDF exporting and working directly with common CAD files in the cloud by both field and office, eliminates steps in the process that from an end-user perspective—and especially a production process perspective—add little or no value.
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