22/09/2014 - 12:16

Echo trials point to cost savings

22/09/2014 - 12:16

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A joint project between Woodside Petroleum and Curtin University is aiming to boost productivity in the construction of liquefied natural gas projects in Western Australia.

Echo trials point to cost savings
SAVINGS: Xiangyu Wang is keen to show how Project Echo can reduce errors and lost time in mega construction projects. Photo: Attila Csaszar

A joint project between Woodside Petroleum and Curtin University is aiming to boost productivity in the construction of liquefied natural gas projects in Western Australia.

The Woodside-led initiative, named Project Echo, brings together augmented reality, building information modelling (BIM) and radio frequency identification (RFID) into one system to ensure planning instructions can be easily shared and followed, reducing errors and time wasted.

Among the practical applications developed by Curtin professor Xiangyu Wang and his team, in partnership with Woodside’s 'lean' construction unit headed by Martijn Truijens, are smart tags on building materials, which enable a supervisor using an iPad to track construction progress with multi-dimensional designs.

Trials are in place at Fremantle Steel Fabrication, Challenger Tafe, Woodside’s Pluto LNG plant and in Darwin.

Professor Wang told Business News the three-year project had reached an exciting period during which trials were providing results in terms of error reduction.

“We’re confident the technology can boost productivity, but we have not completed the trials yet,” Professor Wang said.

“All of the people that we work with, they believe Project Echo can save them a lot, but we need to trial it from the beginning to the end of a project.”

He said Project Echo had enormous scope and could be applied to mega projects in any sector; a prospect that received a lot of attention at the recent Lean Construction Institute WA conference.

LCI WA is now planning to showcase Project Echo at its global conference being held in Perth next July.

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