skip to navigation


The Future of Layout, Part 3: The Real Reason(s) More RTSs Are Not Used On-Site Today

A lot of it comes down to a misconception about the technology and its use.

Companies across the world have used RTSs on construction sites for many years now. They’ve been highly popular with both Mechanical and Electrical contractors and have revolutionized layout processes and BIM progression; so why don’t more contractors use them? Misconception 1 Misconception 2 Misconception 3 Misconception 1 Companies are worried about achieving ROI with a full time layout crew. It isn’t necessary to have individuals dedicated to layout activities to use and get a great return from a RTS. New developments in on-site layout mean any member of the team can complete layout tasks quickly and simply with minimal training. AEC teams need only to turn-up on site, use the RTS to plot layout points and place assets in each location. Everything is done in one step and by one team. What’s even better is that the RTS can eliminate manual errors. This means that instead of using your highly skilled and trained individuals to layout (to make sure the job’s done right), you can now use any member of the team to do the job – having a highly skilled resource is no longer a concern. Misconception 2 Final AEC designs are decided on-site and frequently not included in detail drawings, so a RTS is not relevant. Perhaps this is true today; however, if you are working this way now, you won’t be for long. As the industry assimilates the BIM process and prefabrication of materials becomes more common for medium and large projects, AEC data and detailed design will be as essential as structural designs. Misconception 3 It takes a long time to achieve payback. The Trimble Robotic Total Station is designed to speed-up your work on site, as well as ensuring that all your work is documented for accuracy and quality. The payback on a robot may be realized during a single project through the avoidance of clash-related remedial works alone. Also, working ‘as per design’ allows the AEC contractor to ensure their work is completed exactly as they’ve been contracted. This avoids any potential disputes and claims of inaccuracy. You can calculate an ROI for yourself using this ROI calculator.

Next week – a few more misconceptions to clear up!