General Session #5: New Ideas in Innovation: Project 2020 and the Jobsite of the Future

Friday, November 16, 11:15 - 12:00 PM

Speaker(s): David J. Wilson, MS

Room #: Grand Ballroom I

A global engineering, construction and project management company, Bechtel delivers landmark projects that create long-term progress and economic growth. The company believes that the key to innovation is to learn safe, learn fast and learn forward. Its core innovation strategy involves a six-step internal process to test assumptions, integrate solutions in the business, and ensure a steady stream of diverse ideas.

Bechtel employees around the world have submitted more than 2,600 ideas to Project 2010—with over 500 ideas in the prototype stage. Of these, 35 have been implemented on 42 projects for a total of 125 deployments. These ideas range from wearable devices for employees to improve efficiency, using drones to increase accuracy and safety, creating automated mooring systems, delivering high-risk training via virtual reality, drill head collision detection, 4-D technology and virtual reality to improve cargo logistics, virtual project delivery, autonomous equipment, and inflatable scaffolding inspired by children’s bounce houses. Currently, more than $53 million has been committed to prototyping and testing these new innovations.

Project 2020 to date has begun deploying the following:

  • Big Data and Analytics—a center of excellence has been created to leverage big data and data science.
  • Virtual, Digital Production Systems—A suite of tools was designed to remove restraints from foremen, procurement professionals, and engineering group supervisors to ensure quick access to needed materials, reducing schedule time and costs.
  • Drones—Drone are being used to handle progress reporting, precision surveying, Environmental, Safety and Health (ES&H) compliance, material laydown tracking, and 4D/5D integration, which increases safety, precision and reduces costs.
  • Exoskeletons and Autonomous Vehicles—Partnerships with a variety of equipment suppliers is piloting exoskeletons and prototyping of remote delivery of materials using autonomous vehicles is underway.
  • Augmented and Virtual Reality—This technology is being used for everything from immersive bid support visualization and ES&H training to remote expert and task workflow support with smart glasses, all of which are precursors for more advanced use cases being piloted.

This presentation will discuss the company’s corporate innovation process along with the vision behind Project 2020—the jobsite of the future. The fluid and dynamic intersection of technology, data-centric workflows, integrated supply chains, and a production manager focus will result in improved performance for the company’s customers and a more rewarding work experience for the teams.

The cornerstones of future jobsite delivery include smart jobsites, data-centric execution, augmented and virtual reality, machine learning and AI, and the reimagining of manufacturing principles for construction. While the end-state vision is appreciated by many, the challenges to achieve it remain ever present as many participants along the value chain are at different points in their digitization journey.

These challenges keep the engineering, procurement, construction (EPC) industry stuck between a truly digital work-process and a document-centric work-process. It has created divides between areas like design and construction that sometimes mean work is duplicated, and it has an effect that negatively impacts productivity and continues to fuel headlines focused on inefficiencies in the industry. This presentation will address these challenges and provide solutions for the practical application of technology to achieve the jobsite of the future.