The Bentley Synchro Roadshow Reviewed

Bentley Synchro bring its software roadshow to Dublin

I attended the Bentley Synchro roadshow in Dublin on March 22nd. It was held at the Stella theatre in Dublin’s southside, where dangerously comfortable seats were a true test of the speaking talent for the day.

David Philp, Chief Value Officer with the Cohesive Group was the event M.C. who introduced the day’s talks and panel discussions. David handed over to Rich Humphrey for the SYNCHRO Construction keynote. Rich’s experience came through in his historical overview of the digital transformation process for companies in the construction industry. He then introduced the term ‘Digital Twin’ by exploring its background and why it’s so important in the industry context. The concept of ‘Digital Twin’ is the representation of physical objects as digital objects first. It allows a construction project to test and evaluate their project’s digital design long before any move onto the physical build phase begins.

The Bentley Synchro Roadshow Reviewed

His explanation of how Synchro automates manual construction workflows from the design phase to the post-build phase was impressive. The management of graphical and relational databases housing the likes of schedules, and bills of quantity struck me as being qualitative in its implementation. Rich rounded out his keynote to explore process automation and how data transparency increases the power of the company to resolve problems before they physically arise, which in the construction industry is a huge win.

Next up was Greg Demchak, who expanded on Synchro’s core aspects in projects that he worked on. He did this by highlighting the background of his industry involvement as an Architect going back to 2001, which ran in tandem with the creation and development of 4D modelling for construction projects. Greg used his project examples to highlight the need for company-wide buy-in regarding the adoption of new technologies.

If it’s from the top down, it enables grassroots personnel to see the gains from their inputs into digital workflows. When they do, the team results on buy-in are noted as being positive allowing for guided growth of the software’s use to spread beyond the borders of the planning silo.

After the break, Jorge Ferraro, Senior BIM Engineer with Tantek 4D was up where he went into detail on their data workflows. The examples ranged from 3D to 4D modelling with an integrated data capture producing insights that increase project quality in many areas.

After Jorge’s talk, 3 consecutive talks from senior technical personnel from John Sisk & Co shared insights from the use of Synchro on their projects. Joshua Hanson, Head of 4D showed us how using Synchro in working with their temporary works team on the Isle of Man Ferry project identified key choke points for access to the site. Their resolution was based on teamwork, collaboration and Synchro’s advanced features providing forewarning, whereas in the past, none was available. This aspect led in the aggregate to millions of dollars saved on Sisk projects using Synchro.

Liam Clark expanded in the same areas demonstrating the operational advantages that impacted him through his project. Michael Hinchliffe then spoke on the use of Synchro’s sequence feature to work on the use of space issues in an Irish retail project he was involved with. The sequencing feature of Synchro provided crucial support for another John Sisk & Co project in Dublin’s city centre. Surrounded by bus stops and LUAS (metro train) lines, site access to heavy vehicles was impossible at first glance. Working the problem with Synchro sequencing led to solutions for build operations that are still in use today as the goods delivery platform for the building.

After a panel Q&A with the 3 Sisk speakers along with a Bentley Synchro speaker, lunch was had by all. I took the opportunity to interview Rich Humphrey and Greg Demchek. Both gentlemen think companies are well counselled to jump on the digital path as future needs for construction in societies will become more and more complex as time goes on.

I asked them both about cultural resistance to construction projects due to the long-standing traditions of manual labour not embracing anything more complex than is proven. Rich recalled his early years on site in construction projects, when it was just a hard hat and hoped for the best. Nowadays, health and safety for example require paperwork and procedural compliance. Synchro can aid in staying safe as well as lightening the administration workload through automation. Both agree that leadership at an organization-wide level to embrace digital workflows through Synchro is required.

The afternoon had Graham Lee and Brian Evans from SYSTRA along with Dominic Wind, 4D Planner with BBVS talk about HS2 and Synchro in Rail. It was followed by a full panel discussion around the challenges in construction before moving to a Q&A session with the audience and the ‘wrap up’. Synchro provides the means for construction and physical infrastructure companies to culturally transform from the siloed hierarchies of disciplines into a more flat and integrated product team, which delivers projects in a more controlled, efficient, and qualitative manner. This is something all industries can aspire to as the benefits are numerous for those willing to change.

John Mulhall @johnmlhll | john@maolte.ie is a writer with Irish Tech News for over 6 years and also Founder, Writer, and Engineer with Maolte Technical Solutions Limited. You can learn more about John and his new company at https://maolte.ie

See more stories by John here, and more reviews here.

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