How Much Could a Robotic Total Station Save You on Your Next Project?

October 26, 2020 Aric Stott

As a construction contractor, you know that manual layout takes a lot of time and resources and is prone to error. While mechanical layout is a step in the right direction, it still takes longer than it needs to. You may be looking for new technology that can help you perform layout more efficiently, an important differentiator to help you stand out in an increasingly competitive industry. 

With robotic layout technology, you gain much-needed improvements to the speed, accuracy, and efficiency of your layout process. Since it only takes one person to perform layout using robotic technology instead of two or more when you use traditional methods, you can also use your limited resources more effectively. 

All of this adds up to big savings. But how much can you really save? If you plan to invest in robotic layout technology, it’s important that you know what kind of ROI you could realize. Here’s a closer look at what a robotic total station could save you on your next project.

A Robotic Layout Station Saves Time

Saving time during layout often comes down to the type of plans you have on hand when performing the work and whether you can speed up your layout workflow.

You can achieve the greatest time savings with a robotic total station when you’re using a 3D plan and automated workflows, whether you’re performing layout with a prism pole or utilizing the visual layout option with a laser. Even though you can use a 2D plan with a robotic total station and still reduce the time you spend on layout, you can complete your work even faster—and more accurately—with the 3D model as your reference. 

If you have access to 3D plans from an architect or other team member, you may be tempted to translate them to 2D printed plans simply because that’s what you’re used to doing. When you use the 3D plan with the robotic total station, though, you can dramatically reduce layout time. Conservatively, a robotic layout station can double the number of points that can be laid out, resulting in average productivity of 300-400 points per day and often even more. 

To see how much faster and more accurately you can
complete layout with a robotic total station, watch the video.

A Robotic Layout Station Saves Money

Avoiding rework and RFIs is a surefire way to save money. But to do that, you need to measure and lay out points correctly—something that’s incredibly challenging if you’re doing layout manually. 

The robotic total station automates, measures, and lays out points for you, eliminating the need for human intervention. This, in turn, reduces the potential for human error. Instead of relying on string, tape measures, and other tools, the robotic total station guides you to each point to lay out and measures them with precision. 

The layout data is then recorded in an integrated software platform so teams back in the office can verify what’s happening in the field and vice versa. They can help make sure the work onsite stays closely aligned to the model or plan as well as uncover questions or potential problems and quickly solve them. When you can rely on precision measurement tools to get layout right, you can reduce RFIs, change orders, schedule delays, and the costly rework that can blow up your budget. The improvement in accuracy and efficiency that a robotic total station provides can add up to a 90% or more cost-per-point savings. 

A Robotic Layout Station Saves Your Reputation

If a mistake or any other layout problem happens on the jobsite and someone thinks your team is to blame, your reputation can come into question. 

A robotic total station gives you the ability to document the layout work you perform. This includes taking accompanying photos and notes that thoroughly show what you did and why. That way if changes are requested later or possible conflicts with the design surface, you have verifiable proof of your actions and decisions to help alleviate any concerns about what you did. 

When you can avoid taking the fall for faulty work that might not be yours, you can also avoid the disputes over financial responsibility that come with it. With a robotic total station, you can produce quality work that helps you keep more of your profits, and rest more easily knowing that you can stake your reputation on the work you’ve done.

Ramp Up Your Savings with a Robotic Total Station

There’s no denying that a robotic total station can save project costs and help you increase efficiency in a critical phase of construction—much more than you’d be able to do if you’re still performing layout manually. 

When you invest in a robotic total station, not only do you save time, money, and your business reputation, you can also build upon your layout efficiency and productivity over time. Once your team is trained on the tool, they can steadily speed up their own workflows and gain more confidence in the tool’s abilities with each use. Productivity gains of 200% are typical in the first couple of weeks and will only continue to increase as your team masters the robotic total station. 

A robotic layout station is a game-changer that helps you:

  • Improve your accuracy when placing layout points in the field

  • Catch and fix discrepancies before they become costly problems

  • Increase layout speed and efficiency—and with just one operator

  • Document work performed

  • Improve productivity with the team you already have 

To learn how to choose the right robotic total station for your needs, get the ebook.

Previous Article
Using Field Technology to Connect Construction Workflows & Drive Productivity Gains
Using Field Technology to Connect Construction Workflows & Drive Productivity Gains

Connected construction technology addresses miscommunication by centralizing project models and data, and m...

Next Article
3 Ways to Use Technology Tools to Perform Better QA/QC
3 Ways to Use Technology Tools to Perform Better QA/QC

If you can’t effectively manage your QA/QC project, you’re much more likely to experience clashes, delays, ...