World-leading technology as a result of the Produktion2030 project DigMetal

The Produktion2030 project DigMetal has developed a world-leading technology to reduce waste and save costs when producing and mounting metal assets in construction works.

Ludvig Emgård is CEO and founder of Spotscale AB, and project manager of DigMetal.

— We wouldn’t have tackled this closely production-related problem if it hasn’t been for Produktion2030. We became so engrossed in the value chain and what we could add thanks to Produktion2030. That has sharpened our solution, Ludvig says and continues:

We've developed a unique technology, with a high value for the industry. The technology is very promising and can be applied in many different areas of construction work.

The project has focused on metal staircases on the outside of buildings. When a staircase is produced the manufacturer need to know how the wall where it should be mounted looks.

Today, someone is basically taking a measuring tape and laser meter and climbs a ladder to measure and photograph the wall where the staircase is to be mounted, Ludvig says. Based on that information, a blueprint is created.

The problem is that no-one is willing to take responsibility for the measurement as it easily gets wrong, which leads to waste and costs in the production.

Both the manufacturer and the buyer wish that there was a method that gave more accurate data. More staircases would be correct which would make everyone happy, Ludvig says.

The solution developed in the project means that a QR code is placed on the wall. The wall is then photographed using a drone.

As we know the size of the QR code, we can tell the size of the wall at a millimeter level using advanced image processing and AI, Ludvig tells.

Spotscale AB / 3D Modeling

The idea is that anyone at the construction site should be able to perform the measurement. The photos are sent to a laptop that verifies the quality. The wall is then visualized in a web browser where the staircase is automatically generated and you can see how it looks and how it fits the wall.

This is unique. Often a CAD specialist need to do this, but here the salesperson can do it herself as it doesn’t require any technical competence to simulate the staircase at the virtual wall, Ludvig continues.

The vision is that the 3D simulation of the staircase should be sent directly to the manufacturer and that the staircase is produced automatically based on the 3D blueprint.

That would mean less waste and fewer mistakes as the blueprint is more unambiguous, Ludvig says.

The project consortium is made up of the staircase manufacturer ABC Solutions, the construction firm Åhlin & Ekeroth Byggnads, Spotscale with expertise in 3D mapping, SkyMaker with expertise in configuration and RISE with expertise when it comes to the drone. Collaborating through Produktion2030 has brought effects beyond the project. Ludvig tells about continuous collaboration between ABC Solutions and SkyMaker and between Spotscale and RISE.

One success factor, that has made our solution very hands-on, is that the project consortium is made up of small companies. Small companies don’t have time or means to participate in research projects if there aren’t substantial benefits with possibility to commercialize, Ludvig says.

The project will last throughout 2021 and there’s already a prototype of the technology.

Measurements are not only made for staircases but for other metal assets such as chimney-pots, balconies etc. Our vision is that this technology will be standard in the industry. Metal manufacturers and construction firms are most welcome to contact us, Ludvig concludes.