Drones Used to Monitor Bausch + Lomb Factory Expansion
The Building Information Modelling Collective (BIMC) Research Group in WIT’s Department of Architecture is collaborating with Bausch + Lomb’s expansion works in Waterford city.
“The BIMC Research Group are utilizing Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV)/Drones to conduct aerial photogrammetry surveys of the works as they progress. This entails regular site visits to conduct controlled flights using sophisticated drones and HD cameras and then supplying this information to Bausch + Lomb for use by their Facilities Engineering Management Team that, in turn, assists them in their supervision of the on-going works,” said Robin Stubbs, Programme Leader of the 4-year BSc (Honours) in Architectural & BIM Technology at WIT.
“The work the research group undertakes with industry feeds directly into our undergraduate courses at WIT. This means our graduates who go on to work in the Architectural, Engineering & Construction (AEC) sector can do so very successfully with the most relevant and up to date experience,” he added.
Derek O’Connor Facilities Engineering and Project Manager, Bausch + Lomb, said: “Using aerial footage produced by the BIM Group has proven to be a very successful method of communicating the progress of the building expansions to senior management and external stakeholders.
“Using the advanced technology of unmanned aerial vehicles – UAV/drones – has developed into an important tool for monitoring the progress of the building works. A partnership between WIT and Bausch + Lomb Project Engineering has been developed and the results of this project can be used as a unique opportunity for students to gain an insight into the live application of cutting edge technology in a locally based multinational environment,” added Mr O’Connor.
“This project is unique insofar as we are applying a burgeoning surveying technology in an innovative way to produce 3D models of the on-going construction works for monitoring purposes. By completion of the project in excess of 100 flights will have been undertaken, that equates to 9.36 million HD images for processing,” adds Stubbs.
The innovative use of aerial photogrammetry and associated BIM technologies is just one part of “applied research” BIMC is undertaking and an example of the work WIT can work on with industry partners. Others include the use of Enterprise Ireland’s Innovation Voucher programme which funds industry-academia projects.