Customer Story

How Leighton Asia uses DroneDeploy to automate processes and coordinate with international teams

July 8, 2023

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, companies across the construction industry had to adapt to a more virtual way of working. Yet some companies, like Leighton Asia, faced the particularly difficult challenge of continuing the physical site works on projects throughout the Asia-Pacific region and with partners worldwide.

Leighton Asia is the international contractor behind some of Asia's most prestigious projects. Their projects, teams and workforce are diverse, and they often work in different time zones. Due to global lockdown restrictions, being able to collaborate on-site was either incredibly difficult or downright impossible.

Enter DroneDeploy.

By adopting the aerial drone and ground capture capabilities of DroneDeploy's cloud-based reality capture platform, Leighton Asia was able to continue on-site collaboration by creating digital twins of each project that staff could access remotely from across the globe. And with 360 ground capture, project managers could be on the ground of a site from hundreds or thousands of kilometers away without having to leave their homes.

During the pandemic, flying out was not easy because you had to go through different durations of quarantine depending on the country you were visiting. So when we started using DroneDeploy, it was amazing because general managers could remotely check out the progress of work on site every day

Francesco Tizzani, Group Manager of Digital Construction, Leighton Asia

Accelerating Workflows

On one mega tunnel project, Leighton Asia construction teams identified large amounts of excavation that was needed to complete the project. Traditionally, a survey team would be sent to the site to quantify the excavation volume progress, and due to the extension of the site, it would have taken over a month of work.

By flying a drone on an automated path using DroneDeploy’s Flight app, they were able to cut the survey time to around one week. On top of that, the data they pulled from these captures was highly accurate, and they could update that data every week with ease, giving project managers full visibility of the excavation progress.

A traditional survey would have happened once every three months, but with us flying the drone, we were able to get useful construction data within a day

Scott Semple, Digital Engineering Lead, Leighton Asia

Making Automation a Central Part of the Process

With DroneDeploy, Leighton Asia was also able to enhance communication with teams across the globe. For instance, their project managers could create a detailed map of the site that local frontline workers could directly sketch on top of, and that map would be updated on a regular basis. As a result, project managers could communicate the necessary work more efficiently.

Thanks to the cloud-based nature of DroneDeploy, Leighton Asia project managers now have a single source of truth for their construction project data allowing them to interact with a 3D map of their entire site to review site progress on a daily basis. These maps would also come with accurate data describing the site conditions and can be tracked throughout the entire construction phases. Being able to consolidate all of their project information into a single platform that is easy to access resulted in time and resource savings during the early stages of adoption.

We have a diverse workforce and different parties – clients, consultants, partners, subcontractors and more. A picture is worth a thousand words, so having everything packaged into a picture makes things clearer and ensures everyone is on the same page,

Francesco Tizzani, Group Manager of Digital Construction, Leighton Asia

Looking to the future

Leighton Asia continues to leverage DroneDeploy and reality capture technology to help drive efficiencies in project management. Looking ahead, they hope to expand on how they empower their teams by adopting digital tools that help automate processes and gather useful data to facilitate the decision-making process.

I see reality capture and drones as fairly integral in everything that we do going forward. We have had a couple of really successful projects with the use of DroneDeploy, and we are looking forward to utilizing it to its full potential

Scott Semple, Digital Engineering Lead, Leighton Asia

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