Practice makes perfect

Last reviewed:

Practice makes perfect

Thames Water is using innovative software that cuts costs, enhances health and safety and fosters collaborative working across the company’s major projects.


Digital software Synchro allows for a 3D model to be constructed and then synced with a project programme to provide a 4D simulation of planned works.


The simulation can be broken down into smaller, more targeted animations, which ensures everyone involved on a project can digitally rehearse each individual aspect.


Use of this technology represents a huge change from the traditional method of producing and consulting on a weighty project programme.


Graham Funnell, project manager, said: “We can condense down 30 A3 pages into a three minute video clip, making complex solutions, projects and activities easily understood.”


The technology is being employed on projects right across the company’s supply area, including at Acton, Coppermills, Crossness and Riverside treatment works.


Graham and his team can share the video clip with colleagues able to access the information remotely and contribute to its final outcome.


“We spent two hours discussing logistics on our work at Coppermills,” says Graham.


“That was after just 40 seconds of the three minute clip being played.”


To design a digital version of assets the team first use laser scanners to ensure accuracy. This allows for building assurance and can dictate what solution is most effective.


“Our model or design shows that we need plant and equipment in certain locations, by digitally rehearsing the construction and installation we can challenge the proposed solution and look at alternative methods such as off-site manufacture, reducing time on site and minimising the need to make alterations or modifications once installed, which delays progress," Graham added


“It’s great the water industry is utilising the benefits of Synchro too and if this technology can ultimately drive efficiencies and prevent anyone getting injured – it’s worth our investment."