Best Practice Awards 2020: Matt Butcher, Sustainability Executive and Secretary Of British Precast Architectural and Structural Puts The Digital and Manufacturing Excellence Award In The Spotlight

7 Feb 2020

Today Matt Butcher, Sustainability Executive and Secretary of British Precast Architectural and Structural puts the Digital and Manufacturing Excellence award in the spotlight.

In 2019 the pursuit of digital and manufacturing excellence has been thrust into the spotlight. 2019 saw the government set out commitments to Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) and concepts such as Design for Manufacture and Assembly (DfMA) in public sector projects. This represents a huge opportunity for the precast sector which is built on the design, programme and quality benefits of factory production. We are hoping to see a raft of entries showcasing why precast products should be the go-to for offsite construction with their inherent durability and fire performance.

Last year, Stanton Bonna took home the big prize with their Automated Cutting Robot, showcasing the benefits of factory production. Faced with a process involving long production lead times for its manhole base, Stanton Bonna invested in a digital technology solution that facilitated a transformation in process, design, speed and quality to meet customer needs. Using state of the art technology, Stanton Bonna’s Poly Robot ensures the base channel design and pipe entry positions are honed to a precise poly former profile in around 45 minutes. A process which used to take between 5 to 7 days from external suppliers. The judges chose this entry because it creates demonstrable external value for the customer rather than internal process benefits. The benefit to lead times and productivity are a key reason to select precast concrete over competing materials in the drainage sector. The entry also ties into the automation of production and factory precision manufacture which are at the forefront of the rationale for BIM and digitalisation of the construction industry.

The short list contained two highly commended entries which both embodied the digital transformation taking place in the precast industry. FP McCann and Litecast employed digital technologies to revolutionise their internal and external processes.

FP McCann’s digital engineering protocols not only satisfy the internal BIM modelling business agenda, but also the expectations from their clients. To demonstrate these capabilities FP McCann completed their first Level 2 BIM project in 2018 on a distribution hub in Daventry.

Litecast commissioned ‘Elsie’ which is a bespoke software package developed by Techtoniq Ltd. Elsie is a ground up business wide technology system, which has enabled Litecast to successfully cross the digital divide, transforming their business processes. The awards judges were impressed by a company the size of Litecast making the digital transition so effectively. This is an exemplar of an SME adopting digitalisation in the precast sector.

With Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) and BIM so high on the agenda currently, I can’t wait to read this year’s entries.

Project Awards

Sustainability Award

Innovation Award

Digital Award

Future Leader Award