MRT builder set to make waves with engineering app

The team of young engineers that developed the winning BIMAR app (from left) Tan Wei Hong, Koay Feng Jin, Zur Ain Zulkafely, Mohan Naresh Kumar and Ikhwan Aizuddin Aziz. (MMC Gamuda KVMRT pic)

PETALING JAYA: The company that is building tunnels for the Klang Valley Mass Rapid Transit (KVMRT) system has developed an award-winning app that is set to cement its position as one of the pioneers of augmented reality in engineering.

The app, known as BIMAR, produces virtual 3D overlays of design and construction elements which are overlaid on real-time screen camera captures of the worksite.

In doing so, it allows clashes or errors to be spotted instantly, preventing costly reworking.

The company said BIMAR offers insight and precision, unlike other conventional methods which rely on photos, drawings, laser scan point clouds, and hardcopy documents for construction validation.

BIMAR was produced by a team from MMC Gamuda KVMRT (T) Sdn Bhd (MGKT), the tunnelling joint venture unit of MMC Corporation Bhd and Gamuda Bhd, who are building the Sungai Buloh-Serdang-Putrajaya line (MRT2) for the KVMRT system.

The company said the app has been customised to enable rapid, large-scale roll-outs across mega infrastructure projects, and enhanced with other digital and cloud-enabled functions.

GIS Development Lead, Tony Joseph, was instrumental in the conception and implementation of the BIMAR technology across the KVMRT underground mega project. (MMC Gamuda KVMRT (T) pic)

Developed in-house using building information modelling (BIM), Unity and Apple software, the BIMAR app marks the first such attempt by a Malaysian contractor and is already turning heads regionally.

The app won the Augmented & Virtual Reality – Engineering category at the recently concluded Malaysia Technology Excellence Awards 2020, an annual award presented by the Singapore Business Review, which honours enterprises that lead the charge in developing groundbreaking projects, digital services, reimagined strategies and technological initiatives.

Stating that the drive behind the initiative was to create a tool for efficient real-time onsite construction validation and planning, MGKT noted that the app’s development was only possible due to the digital infrastructure that was painstakingly established in preceding years such as accurate 3D BIM renderings or a reliable cloud system.

“The benefits that BIMAR brings have won over both our consultants and contractors, greatly minimising errors while saving time and improving the accuracy of their construction validation during its test implementation for the works on the MRT Putrajaya Line Project,” said Tony Joseph, the MGKT BIM/GIS (geographic information system) Development Lead.

“I believe the app will become an indispensable tool for future projects, ensuring efficiency of both time and cost as we move towards embracing Industry 4.0 methodologies.”

MGKT is the underground works package contractor for the KVMRT Putrajaya Line following the successful completion of the underground portion of the MRT Kajang Line, which was launched in June 2017.