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Field Layout Insights     Jul 10, 18

Using Robotic Total Stations To Layout Concrete

Since the introduction of the total station in the 1970s, the tool has undergone several evolutions — including the development of the robotic total station (RTS). As they offer several advantages to contractors, especially smaller businesses that specialize in custom building projects, the RTS has become a go-to investment and tool for accurate concrete layouts.

Uses of Robotic Total Stations

Robotic total stations are trusted for several applications in a building project’s lifecycle, including:

  • Design: Use your RTS to survey and document a site’s condition for planning and analysis by surveyors, architects and engineers.
  • Layout: Prepare for construction by staking out the area for layout, setbacks and formwork.
  • Assurance: Complete a surface analysis as well as a verification of your concrete work to catch any previous errors.
  • Handover: Finalize your team’s work by logging as-built conditions for the construction team’s reference.

A frequent use of robotic total stations, however, is to lay out concrete.

Benefits of Using Robotic Total Stations in Concrete Work

Choosing to use a robotic total station in your concrete work offers several advantages:

  • Accuracy: An RTS minimizes human error and catches human mistakes in building plans. By spotting these errors early, companies maximize their time, budget and productivity. As an example, Walrite LLC, a contracting company in Colorado, watched its layout errors drop dramatically — the business now sees one layout error for every 100 foundations.
  • Cost: Another reason contractors use robotic total stations in concrete work is that the tool saves money. In the case of Walrite LLC, they discovered a layout error before pouring, which translated to more than $5,000 in savings. In many instances, you can also decrease your overall expenses, as an RTS only requires one operator, versus a traditional total station, which needs two. Both factors lead to a quick return on investment.
  • Speed:  Not only is a RTS serving as a tool for accurate concrete layouts, a robotic total station also offers the advantage of speed. If you’ve relied on a total station, you’re familiar with the process of communicating through hand gestures and shouts to stake-out points. Those time-consuming factors are absent from RTSs, which provide precise guidance. In fact, one construction company saw their speed and productivity increase by 600 percent, leading to the project finishing two weeks early.
  • Growth: The above advantages often translate to the growth of your business. Many contractors, for instance, promote that they use robotic total stations in concrete work, emphasizing their accuracy and ability to tackle more complex projects. Smith Bros. Concrete Contractors, for example, now dominates the market for custom foundations in their native New York.