SmartShape Digitizing the Architecture, Engineering and Construction Industry

Since 2014, CENGN has been working with small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the ICT sector to validate and commercialize networking technologies. This is a core part of our mandate to enhance Canada’s innovation ecosystem, encourage foreign investment in our tech capital and help homegrown businesses thrive in the fiercely competitive global landscape. In light of this, CENGN was recently approached by Aerys, a  provider of networking solutions based in both Canada and France, to commence a scaling project for their cloud platform, SmartShape.

Upon identifying an existing demand for model-virtualization in the architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) industry, Aerys developed a ground-breaking web-based application called SmartShape. To demonstrate the SmartShape concept, let’s take a quick look at a simple use case scenario.

Picture a shipbuilding factory where employees in various locations of the shipyard are working on different components of a particular ship. At any given point in time, each worker needs to be able to refer to the ship model for direction, and have up to date information on the status of other ship parts. To meet this need, many organizations currently rely on physical blueprints, which may not show all components in detail, or physical models which are difficult to share with a large team. As a result, productivity diminishes as employees spend time either trying to figure out details not included on paper, or moving to the location of the one physical model each time they need to view its parts. The sheer size of such job sites also makes it extremely difficult to workers to share information with one another. This is where SmartShape swoops to the rescue!

The SmartShape solution

SmartShape is a visualization and collaboration platform that allows workers, typically in the heavy industry like construction, to stream 3D models of ongoing projects. By installing the application on any consumer-grade mobile device, workers have access to an up-to-the-minute design for what they are building, right down to the last bolt. SmartShape also allows management to provide workers with any relevant information, such as up-to-date stock counts of material components. Moreover, with the application’s inbuilt messaging system, users are able to see exactly what their colleagues are working on and share real-time updates on their operations with the entire team. This allows collaboration among peers, improving productivity and lowering defect rates.

At this point, it should be evident how Aerys is digitizing the AEC industry with SmartShape. Since its introduction, the product has been employed by a number of global industry players including STX France, one of the world’s biggest manufacturers of cruise ships. Watch this video to see what the CEO and the CTO of STX France have to say about SmartShape. Going forward, Aerys is looking to scale their ‘tried and tested’ product by identifying the current user capacity of the SmartShape server, and determining the necessary configurations for increasing this capacity to meet the needs of more large companies. This project with CENGN will serve as a stress-test that will allow Aerys to give a benchmark to SmartShape customers regarding the scale of usage.

To facilitate the project, CENGN will be providing cloud tenancy in our Infrastructure as well as a Bare Metal server for the deployment of SmartShape. As with all the SMEs we work with, Aerys will benefit from our engineering expertise, business support and infrastructure services for the entire duration of the project. Moreover, the successful deployment of SmartShape on Bare Metal will strengthen the product’s value proposition and serve to potentially expand their customer base.

Projects like these demonstrate how CENGN offers our services and resources to help small and medium-sized enterprises that require a large network infrastructure to carry out their scalability and stress tests. We also accept projects in networking areas including SDN/NFV/SDWAN, IoT/Smart City Applications, Data Centre/Cloud, Network Transport, Network Applications, Security, and Mobile Networks. The driving force behind everything we do at CENGN is our vision to accelerate commercialization and make Canada the dominant player in information communications technology.

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About the Author

CENGN, Canada’s Centre of Excellence in Next Generation Networks, drives technology innovation and industry growth through our testbed, technical expertise, talent development, and partner ecosystem. Through our projects, CENGN enables small and medium Canadian Enterprises to test and validate promising technologies, removing barriers to product commercialization and accelerating market growth.

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