Customer Story: SSOE
SSOE is an internationally ranked architecture and engineering firm doing business across the globe.
Lessons in Quality using Cintoo and Autodesk Construction Cloud
“Cintoo Cloud in combination with the Autodesk Construction Cloud provided a collaborative design review to easily see differences between our design and the scanned build.“
Mark LaBell, Head of Innovation
Headquartered in Toledo, Ohio since 1948, SSOE is an internationally ranked architecture and engineering firm doing business across the globe. With a focus on customer satisfaction, SSOE has documented saving $1.5 billion for their clients since 2009 and 150 of their clients have been with SSOE for 20 years. Their company values include utilizing innovation and collaboration with a dedication to being agile.
Their customer promise is to deliver value through high-quality projects that are on schedule with fewer problems and lower total cost. With a mission of delivering unparalleled client value that advances the AEC industry, SSOE Is always seeking processes and tools to improve their customers satisfaction and return on investment. One of these tools SSOE has employed is laser scanning of their projects and then using those scans to compare against their BIM models stored in the Autodesk Construction Cloud. But with large projects throughout the world supported by distributed teams, sharing data with their teams to meet tight schedules and timelines has been challenging when laser scan data sets are so large.
In 2015 SSOE began using their own custom-built solution to host and manage their point cloud data. Since that time SSOE has scanned over 700 projects with over 140 terabytes of Reality Capture data. Without an easily accessible cloud platform, the main data center in Toledo was tasked with replicating everyone’s scanned data each night to send to their offices around the world. As their point cloud scans grew in size and number along with more of their globally distributed staff working from home, this time consuming and costly solution was no longer feasible. Primarily an Autodesk shop using BIM 360 (now Autodesk Construction Cloud), SSOE required an innovative solution that was agile and collaborative while providing for Autodesk compatible RCP files.
To provide for their scan data needs, SSOE turned to Cintoo Cloud powered with TurboMesh™ as the only SaaS based solution that satisfies their corporate goals of agility and collaboration.
Various terrestrial laser scanners
Autodesk Construction Cloud
Using Cintoo Cloud with TurboMesh™, SSOE can easily upload their point cloud files into a compressed 3D mesh format to provide collaboration with anyone, anywhere. By employing Cintoo’s TurboMesh™ engine, their scanned data is easily viewed in full 3D navigation with no loss or compromise in the resolution or accuracy of the source scanner, thereby providing SSOE and their customers with a sizable return on their Reality Capture investment.
One of their main use cases for Cintoo Cloud is to view project scans and assess crucial details, such as looking at equipment across multiple levels of a building. They use Autodesk Construction Cloud as their design hub, then connect to Cintoo Cloud to regularly update their Navisworks models in the platform.
Cintoo Cloud is also highly valuable for their equipment vendors, greatly enhancing workflows. A team member can create a unified mesh and export it as an OBJ, FBX or STL file. They receive an email as soon as this has been created and then share it on Cintoo Cloud with the relevant vendor for them to plan their installation.
SSOE also uses the platform to take measurements and track issues. The platform’s Work Zones feature is ideal for providing full access to those who need it while also being able to restrict access for those focused on smaller sections of the project, such as a contractor only working in some part of a facility. This also means that they’re streaming smaller chunks of data rather than needing to stream whole projects.
“Using the platform, we’ve been able to reduce our server infrastructure. As an Autodesk shop, the integration with Autodesk Construction Cloud enables us to bi-directionally upload our models and track issues, which is hugely beneficial,” said Mark LaBell Jr, Head of Innovation.
A SSOE case study that exemplifies the integrated use of Cintoo Cloud with Autodesk is a project of an existing six story process structure.
SSOE had a fairly established process with a long-time client Corteva. After talking to the technology teams, SSOE realized they could streamline the current process and take an educated leap of faith to try a new technology, laser scanning, knowing that the adoption of any new technology starts with taking a risk.
Initially, the client was reluctant, but SSOE has proven it’s a valuable, cost-effective tool. Corteva has found value in reality capture and now scans almost every project. At first, the sharing of scan data was done with the time-consuming process of hand delivering hard drives to the team partners and client.
To make things easier, SSOE realized there was a more effective way to handle the transfer of data using Cintoo Cloud. Similar to a SharePoint site, Cintoo allows anyone on the team to upload scan data and Navisworks models.
“At first, we used Cintoo to just transfer scan data for Corteva. On the customers recent project, we were hearing that the contractor was having piping installation issues. SSOE decided to use Cintoo for a collaborative design review where we overlaid our design with new scan data showing the construction in progress. The clarity that Cintoo provided allowed us to easily see the differences. This helped us validate that some pieces of the equipment and piping were not installed or built as designed and brought awareness to other areas of potential concern.” said Mark.
The result was that all stakeholders became aligned on the project. Corteva was thankful to be able to see the issues in Cintoo and that the process made them feel reassured where there was previously some uncertainty. Not only did Cintoo help on this one particular project, but it positioned SSOE as an adopter of leading edge technology that can be of great value to our clients.
Using the tool added secure accessibility for the client to see their scans. It breaks down some barriers, as more people can review data than ever before, such as client leadership, Project Managers, core team members, etc. It also reduces the need for onsite meetings, which saves the client time and money. Best yet, there’s no need to ship hard drives back and forth!
Cintoo Cloud continues to have a positive impact for SSOE using Reality Capture for many of their projects.
Teams are able to easily review facilities year after year, planning new projects with clients without having to call up data from the archives.
The 3D mesh is providing enhanced workflows and easiness of interpretation with equipment vendors.
SSOE’s clients can get hold of their data within hours, rather than needing to wait a week or two while a hard drive is mailed to them.
And a major benefit, particularly for their large Fortune 500 clients who aren’t allowed to install software, is that they can interact with the easy-to-use platform without adding software.