For many years, the optical transit was the surveyor's tool of choice to lay out property lines and building sites. By the 1970s, however, the electronic theodolite began to replace the transit since it could measure angles more accurately on both the horizontal and vertical axes. In the early 1980s, "total
stations," which measure distances very accurately by using electronic distance meters (EDMs), became the instrument of choice. Then in late 1990, the first "robotic total station," was introduced, adding radio communication and automatic tracking at the "target" or pole. For the first time nobody was required at the instrument, only at the target, reducing the size of a crew while increasing their efficiency and accuracy.
When checked-out and used properly, a robotic total system offers the maximum flexibility on a jobsite. While increasing productivity and accuracy, they reduce labor cost and eliminate error. Qualified layout people, like those at Precision Concrete Structures, always check their work as they proceed as well as using checks built into the calculators and software.
Precision Concrete Structures makes use of our total robotic stations to check elevations, locate columns and walls, lay out anchor bolt patterns, and lay out utilities for each floor of a building, both residential and commercial. This provides several advantages:
- Projects stay on schedule because contractors don't have to wait for others to provide them with needed control points during a job
- Today the trend is for surveyors to perform land survey work and contractors to perform job layout functions.
- Fewer costly layout mistakes are made
- Measurement accuracy falls well within all construction requirements
- They can do the work of two or three workers in half the time
According to one industry veteran, "I've been in this business for 23 years, and this is one of the greatest innovations I've ever seen." By taking advantage of "alternative advanced training" opportunities, Precision Concrete Structures is learning how to better use this equipment and become more productive with it across our entire business. It's just one more example of how Precision Concrete Structures and Bob Brown Construction combine hard work, technology, and thinking-outside-the-box to better serve our customers.