NavVis Mapping Partner Cognica share with us their thoughts on NavVis VLX and how it could complement NavVis M6 in tackling their slate of projects.
To test the capabilities of the NavVis VLX prior to launch, select NavVis Mapping Partners were given hands-on access to prototype units for their assessment. In the third of a series, we’re sharing the experiences and impressions of our NavVis VLX pilots.
Based in Swindon, UK, Cognica provides a specialist solution for information management and documentation delivery, which supports the maintenance and operation of buildings and facilities. They’ve built an impressive portfolio of customers, working on a wide range of projects including water treatment works, universities, and high specification offices.
“Cognica have been a NavVis partner since late 2018; we were an early adopter of NavVis M6 as it allowed us to expand on what we could scan,” explains David Gillies, Head of Product. “With water companies, for example, we found that it gave us the advantages we required to scan both outside and on slopes as these sites are traditionally gravity fed.”
With a prototype NavVis VLX in the trunk, ambassadors from NavVis recently paid a visit to the Cognica offices to show off the new hardware and its capabilities. They even scanned the premises. See the results of that scan in this high-quality point cloud fly-through:
Extremely clear, well-defined point cloud data
Assessing the quality of the sample point cloud data from NavVis VLX, David is inspired by the results.
“We have seen enough examples to be extremely impressed with the data captured by the NavVis VLX, even when compared to the robust results captured by the M6,” he says. “The point cloud is extremely clear and well defined, with colours being replicated with incredible accuracy and with a very high density of point data.”
"More impressive is the fact that this was captured with a device that is more flexible than NavVis M6 without compromising on the quality of data delivered."
The extra versatility while maintaining data quality is perhaps the standout feature. “What makes this even more impressive is the fact that this was captured with a device that is more flexible than NavVis M6 without compromising on the quality of data delivered,” David says.
“We are very excited to see how this point cloud can be further enhanced in the future with even more updates.”
Scenarios where NavVis VLX complements NavVis M6
Reflecting on their current workload, the team at Cognica can already foresee that NavVis VLX would support and enhance all future scanning projects, used in tandem with NavVis M6.
“We have found that, when scanning Water Treatment Works, we are able to capture approximately 95% of each site on average with NavVis M6” David reflects.
“We have already been surprised at the flexibility offered by NavVis M6, and have taken the scanner into areas that have challenged both ourselves and the equipment, such as small kiosks or tight corridors.”
However, Cognica’s scanning technicians would occasionally encounter some tricky obstacles that even the NavVis M6 couldn’t bypass.
“The point cloud is extremely clear and well defined, with colours being replicated with incredible accuracy and with a very high density of point data.”
“We have had issues with stairs in academic or residential buildings and with access platforms or heavy plant areas on Treatment works,” David says.
“We determined the need for another piece of technology that would provide us the flexibility we needed to capture these areas of the site, but were unable to find a solution that captured both high quality panoramic images and a dense RGB coloured point cloud.”
That is, until now. “We see that NavVis VLX will overcome these issues,” he says, “and allow us to deliver a digital twin to our customers more quickly.”
Where time is of the essence
Perhaps the greatest operational challenge that the Cognica team faces when scanning, whether it’s a treatment works or a set of university buildings, is time.
Time in terms of both the amount spent on delivering a project, and the limited window of opportunity they are given to scan a site because of restricted access. As such, the team constantly strive to find the most efficient routes to capture sites as quickly as possible.
"Whilst the NavVis M6 already gives us an excellent level of efficiency, incorporating the NavVis VLX will enhance this even further."
“With our current method of working, we incur costs on each project based on the time taken for us to scan sites. Whilst the NavVis M6 already gives us an excellent level of efficiency, incorporating the NavVis VLX will enhance this even further,” says David.
“By completing sites at an even faster rate, we’d be able to successfully scan more area and deliver more sites in an even shorter amount of time; this not only reduces the costs that we incur whilst being on site, but also ultimately helps us reach our constant goal of providing a better service for our customers.”
Accelerating market reach
David now has a clear vision of how the NavVis VLX can enhance their product portfolio, and the types of customers they can attract.
“With NavVis VLX, the advantages that we already enjoy with NavVis M6 become more portable and flexible, whilst also remaining within our current workflow,” he says.
“With other technology, we would anticipate needing to learn and understand how to integrate this with NavVis data, so the ability to scan with two different pieces of technology in the same ecosystem is extremely exciting for us.”
"The ability to scan with two different pieces of technology in the same ecosystem is extremely exciting for us."
Finally, according to David, there is the tantalizing opportunity to accelerate the growth of Cognica. “NavVis VLX will also allow us to expand our current product portfolio and means we can start to look at industries we were intending to review in a few years’ time,” he enthuses.
“Cognica sees NavVis VLX as a complementary piece of equipment to accompany NavVis M6, and would plan future scans accordingly.”