An Exclusive Interview with Mr. Andrew Tull , Regional Sales and Distribution Manager, APAC, General Construction and Civil Engineering & Construction, Trimble.




Mr. Andrew Tull , Regional Sales and Distribution Manager, APAC, General Construction and Civil Engineering & Construction, Trimble.

Rail Analysis India : Please brief our readers about the solutions Trimble is offering for railway and metro sector. How are these products making work easier and quicker for the industry?

Mr. Andrew Tull : In 2017, we launched our advanced and precise railways focused portfolio in India for construction and surveying. Trimble’s railway solutions combine the latest in GPS/ GNSS, optical, imaging, scanning, and monitoring technologies with customized software and wireless communications. This enables users to quickly and accurately capture the data needed to provide clients with actionable deliverables to maintain and construct railway infrastructure or to manage rail transport assets.

Our solutions use integrated processes and work flows for complete railway infrastructure and asset lifecycle management from the infrastructure planning, design, construction, and maintenance phases, to the operation, maintenance, and repair of rail transport assets. For example, our asset management solution allows railways to monitor track on a real-time basis and get real-time diagnostics, which can not only reduce downtime, but go a long way in preventing derailments that make up more than 50 per cent of all railway accidents in India.

“The solutions streamline operations to keep railway projects on time and costs on target and prioritizes workers’ and end-users’ safety.”

Quantm : Alignment Planning Solutions

Rail Analysis India : Government has undertaken a massive modernization drive in the railway sector. How is Trimble seeing this opportunity and how much Trimble can contribute to this initiative?

Mr. Andrew Tull : Indian Railways is a mammoth organization. It is great to see the several initiatives taken by the Indian government to upgrade its railway infrastructure and enhance its quality of service. The humongous investment plan of the Railway Ministry of ₹ 905,000 crore (US$131 billion) in modernizing the fourth largest railway network in the world by size, certainly is a huge scope for us. With a proven track record of delivering the best-in-class technology solutions to the transportation sector in India, we look forward to new associations with the Indian Railways during the upgradation and maintenance phase.

We provide end-to-end solutions, from planning & analysis to construction, and operations & maintenance and is confident we will be able to offer customised and precise solutions to all requirements in the modernization drive. One of our products, GEDO trolley, a modern, efficient tool to collect detailed information about track and surrounding features allows parameters to be checked at every inch of the track before it is fixed.

Trimble’s Nexala – rail asset management solution helps improve the real-time status monitoring and analytics capability by accessing up-to-date fleet status. Trimble Quantm Alignment Planning solutions support rail planners and engineers through the complex process of selecting and generating optimal 3D corridors and route alignments. Finally, TILOS, the robust scheduling software for linear infrastructure projects that combines time and distance into one graphical view, comes with a set of special railway building functions to support track maintenance and repair projects and it can also be used for track laying and train configuration.

Rail Analysis India : What has Trimble been doing in this sector in India so far? Name some projects Trimble has done in the country.?

Mr. Andrew Tull : Trimble is partnering with various agencies at both the centre and the states on large projects of national importance. Strategically, India is one of the most important markets for Trimble worldwide and our technology has played significant role in various projects in the country, such as Chenab Railway Bridge, Chennai Metro Rail and Railway stations redevelopment, amongst many others.

As I have mentioned earlier, ourtrack measurement and scanning solution – GEDO trolley has already been used for Hyderabad and Chennai Metro Rail projects. We are working closely with Dedicated Freight Corridor Corp (DFCC) and High-Speed Rail (HSR) for various solutions across the construction and operations continuum.

In 2018, Chennai Metro chose Trimble’s Nexala rail asset management solution to improve its real-time status monitoring and analytics capability by accessing up-to-date fleet status. This implementation marks the first time that a digital real-time, condition-based monitoring has been rolled out by an Indian rail operator.

“Trimble’s industry-leading construction modelling software, Tekla Structures has been used for design, engineering and construction of the Chenab river bridge in Kashmir, which is the highest railway bridge anywhere in the world.”

Virtual model of Chenab Bridge, created in Tekla Structures

Rail Analysis India : What role could Trimble play in revamping or redevelopment of railway stations?

Mr. Andrew Tull : Indian Railways has embarked on a mega transformation journey to create world class railway stations and is expected to be the largest transit oriented program ever executed in the country. A whopping 1 lakh crore of investment is announced for the development of 400 stations and the commercial establishments around it. The redevelopment work in Habibganj and Gandhi Nagar stations will become India’s first swanky airport-like hub on completion.

Our technological solutions streamline and enhance efficiencies across stages of the development. For example, in the design stage, architects and engineers can use Trimble’s SketchUp Pro and Tekla Structures to create 3D BIM models that functions as a centralised, digital representation of all-important information related to the project, enriched with manufacturer-specific data, calculation parameters, and even maintenance details.

“We are partnering with all relevant stakeholders for the stations re-development program including central and state government.”

This same information can then be passed on to the next stage, enabling engineers and fabricators to streamline actual processes of fabrication, erection and construction management, regardless of complexity. A well-designed 3D constructible model with the right information speeds up the building process and saves time and reduces wastage on site.

Software like Tekla Structures and Vico Office also help visualize the true scope and context of schedule line items, material ordering, payment requests, and the objects that other project parties create. These tools can thus be used for managing the entire process from supply to installation, including erection sequencing, schedule and reporting. Additionally, one can simulate and calculate any changes to the installations in the 3D model before applying them. Ultimately, the project is advanced with improved quality, increased profits, minimum errors and reduced risks.

The ambitious modernization agenda of stations in line with the theme of the city and its iconic structures and the commercial
utilization of surplus railway land increases the complexities of the project and to best realise it we need smart and advanced technological solutions.

Railway Bridge 3d model, Denmark

Rail Analysis India : Is there any solution which allows analysis of the existing structures? How can this information be used to modernize the asset? Does Trimble also have solutions for bridges?

Mr. Andrew Tull : Trimble has a complete workflow for analysing existing structures like bridges, buildings, stations etc. and to
modernize & upgrade them. The workflow comes in Trimble’s “Scan to BIM” process. As defined by the B1M, Scan to BIM is the process of 3D laser scanning a physical space or site to create an accurate digital representation of it. This representation can then be used for designing, assessing progress or evaluating options. To create accurate models successfully, having precise measurements to work from is key. With 3D laser scans, the accuracy of measurements and 3D model content in BIM-projects reaches new levels. Scan to BIM enables a data-rich, connected and constructible workflow.

“Trimble’s hardware (Scanning products like Trimble SX10, Trimble TX8) and software (Trimble Connect, Trimble Field Point, Trimble Tekla, Trimble Real Worx) solutions allows contractors to capture asset data from field and then create 3D Models in the design office to analyse existing structure and then use that data analysis to modernize the asset.”

We certainly have solutions for bridge and with high levels of satisfaction, our clients state that Tekla Structures is the best and most efficient Bridge Information Modeling (BrIM) solution in the market. This is due to the model to build approach, our collaborative tools and procedures and closeness to the client attitude to help our clients deliver even the most complex designs such as double curved shape bridges. The latest example being the soon-to-be-opened world’s highest railway bridge The Chenab Bridge in Jammu and Kashmir. Recognising the enormous complexity of the project, the engineering and construction teams used Tekla Structures from the very beginning. All structures, temporary cables and related anchoring towers were modelled in Tekla Structures. BIM was also utilized on site for erection sequence planning, geometry and quality control.

Tilos- robust software for linear infrastructure

Rail Analysis India : Does Trimble work with the project owners or contractors? Can you also make decisions to use such technologies particularly at their end or is it only from a project owner standpoint?

Mr. Andrew Tull : We have been working with both owners and contractors as well as project management consultants. In some cases, owner mandates Trimble’s software for the project as in case of Bhopal and Indore metro. Likewise, we reach out to the owners and contractors where we feel we can add value to the project with our technologies. Apart from these, we do engage with Contractors regularly and provide them customised and specific solutions. Owners of large infrastructure projects employ Trimble Connect, our cloud-based collaboration platform where they can allocate specific rights to people so that they can monitor.

This interview is a part of our September 2019 Magazine: Subscribe to our Magazine Today!