Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Canon (Océ) introduces Océ PlotWave 340/360

Océ PlotWave® 340/360

Black & White Large Format Printer / Copier / Scanner with Multi-touch Gestures Touchscreen and Cloud Integration

Highlights at a glance:

NEW! Océ ClearConnect 10.4" color LCD, touchscreen interface with multi-touch

NEW! Enhanced project collaboration through integrated cloud printing and scanning

NEW! Intuitive preview functions help avoid expensive errors

Single all in one footprint for multifunction print/copy/scan in limited workspaces

Océ Radiant Fusing Technology for instant-on printing, no warm up time, tremendous reliability, and very low operating costs

Integrated top delivery tray with Oce's air delivery system to keep your documents neatly stacked and collated

NEW! Océ PowerM controller designed for today's IT environments

Fast print speeds: 10 linear feet per minute with the PlotWave 340, or 13 linear feet per minute with the PlotWave 360

AIA Reports that the June 2013 ABI Index remains in plus 50 territory

For immediate release:

Washington, D.C. – July 24, 2013 – The Architecture Billings Index (ABI) remained positive again in June after the first decline in ten months in April. As a leading economic indicator of construction activity, the ABI reflects the approximate nine to twelve month lag time between architecture billings and construction spending.

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) reported the June ABI score was 51.6, down from a mark of 52.9 in May. This score reflects an increase in demand for design services (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings).

The new projects inquiry index was 62.6, up sharply from the reading of 59.1 the previous month.

“With steady demand for design work in all major nonresidential building categories, the construction sector seems to be stabilizing,” said AIA Chief Economist, Kermit Baker, PhD, Hon. AIA.  “Threats to a sustained recovery include construction costs and labor availability, inability to access financing for real estate projects, and possible adverse effects in the coming months from sequestration and the looming federal debt ceiling debate.”

Key June ABI highlights:

Regional averages: Northeast (55.6), South (54.8), West (51.2), Midwest (48.3)

Sector index breakdown: commercial / industrial (54.7), multi-family residential (54.0), mixed practice (52.4), institutional (51.8)

Project inquiries index: 62.6

The regional and sector categories are calculated as a 3-month moving average, whereas the index and inquiries are monthly numbers.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Considerations for Printing GIS Applications

An informational document published by Oce

As technology advances at an ever increasing pace, the demand for GIS information, such as topo- graphic maps, population overlays and aerial photo- graphs increases as well. Often times this demand is in the form of printed output such as maps and annotated aerial imagery.
But the print production process for these types of applications is often time consuming and unwieldy, which can lead to delays and mistakes. Now more that ever organizations that rely on printing these GIS related applications must ensure that they select the proper printing solution that maximizes productivity and reduces turnaround time while providing user-friendly operation.
Link to document:

Managing Information Overload – Transitioning to a Paperless Environment

I found this PowerPoint Presentation when visiting/exploring “Construction Business Owner dot com.

Evidently, this PPT file (the presentation document) was created by a firm known as ViewPoint Construction Software.

Here’s a link to the presentation document:
(Note:  it’s a 35 page file, so give it some time to load)

Going paperless in the world of construction site documents (J.E. Dunn Construction)

Article published by The Daily Journal of Commerce, Oregon

Focus on technology: JE Dunn’s little blue kiosk

POSTED: Thursday, March 28, 2013 at 12:28 PM PT

Butch Fiedler, a senior superintendent with JE Dunn, demonstrates the use of a kiosk housing a computer which contains building plans for the OHSU/OUS Collaborative Life Sciences Building project. (Sam Tenney/DJC)
A quick glance around the OHSU/OUS Collaborative Life Sciences Building project site in Portland’s South Waterfront District offers sights common to just about any other construction site in the city. But closer inspection reveals something that sets the JE Dunn Construction Co. project apart from those being done by other companies: a rectangular, blue, metal box on wheels on one of the upper floors.
The doors on the box conceal an oversized computer monitor and a keyboard. With a click of a mouse, a subcontractor armed with a provided password can access the entire history of the project’s drawings, including the most recent updates.

The JE Dunn folks call the blue box a kiosk, and the computer setup is part of a paperless job system they’ve dubbed the Dunn Dashboard. By using the now-industry-standard Bluebeam software and adding hyperlinks, the construction company has turned the work flow on the Collaborative Life Sciences Building site into the stuff of which construction writers with a passion for technology could only dream a few years ago.

The Dunn Dashboard allows project team members, including subcontractors, to bypass traditional paper drawings and build directly off of the kiosk computer, laptops and electronic tablets. In this paperless world, PDF drawings are updated from a single, main source with the speed of a 4G network and a single click of a mouse. 

Hyperlinks on the dashboard allow crews working on the project to move quickly through drawings for specific portions of the project.
That means tables overloaded with stacks of papers are missing from job trailers. Gone, too, is the need for each project team member to track myriad changes to drawings. And while a traditional set of drawings can still be found on the floors of the project, the sheets are as clean as the day they were placed there. For the most part, even the most tech-phobic construction veterans seem to have embraced the Dunn Dashboard system, according to JE Dunn Vice President E.H. “Chip” Laizure.

“It’s very intuitive; if you can operate an iPhone, you can use this,” Laizure said. “Guys in the field love it – even the old guys.”

The idea that became the Dunn Dashboard started when JE Dunn employees were working on a job in Colorado. The changes to drawings came fast and furious, often making it difficult to keep up.

“We were getting new documents every nine minutes,” said Eric Snelling, JE Dunn’s director of field operations in the Northwest. “By the time I would get the drawings back, I would be 40 documents behind.”
One of the members of Snelling’s crew began creating shortcuts to allow him to move more easily between the Bluebeam drawings. Before long, the shortcuts had developed into a system of hyperlinks that eventually morphed into the full-blown Dunn Dashboard system.

Before plunging high-dollar, highly complex projects like the South Waterfront job into a world without paper, JE Dunn tested the system on smaller projects. The success on jobs valued at around $200,000 convinced the company that the dashboard approach would perform equally well on projects valued at $200 million, Laizure said.

Four years later, the dashboard has become the standard system for all of JE Dunn’s projects. And Bluebeam has contacted the construction company to learn more about how it took the software to another level.
“Almost every contractor is using Bluebeam, but no one has taken it to the level we have,” Snelling said.
Being at the head of a technology curve, especially one in an industry that has been so reliant on paper documents, isn’t always a smooth ride. Convincing subcontractors to trade paper drawings for an image on a computer screen was surprisingly easy, according to Laizure. But doing the same with project owners often takes more coaxing, especially when all they receive at the end of a project is a thumb drive with the entire history of their building’s drawings and plans.

“It’s still hard for (building owners) to let go of paper,” Laizure said.

But increasingly, he added, owners are seeing the benefit of having a system that lets them quickly reference a specific building portion with a single mouse click. And it’s not just because it means they don’t have to find an entire room in which to store paperwork related to the project.

“All of the documents go to the owner once the project is done, right down to identifying the actual products used,” Snelling said. “It’s really powerful for (them). But the end users – the (building) maintenance people – are the ones who really love it.

“We had a cooling tower maintenance guy ask us to include a hyperlink to the panel schedule (for one project). That way, if a pump series goes down, he can go in and determine which switch controls the shutoff.”

Memjet-powered, wide-format Xerox IJT 2000 Printer – Follow-up on Operating Costs

Last month, Ed Avis, Managing Director of the IRgA, conducted an interview of the two gents who are responsible for the launch of this new wide-format printer from Xerox.  In that interview, the gents from Xerox provided an explanation (an estimate) of “operating costs.”  (Reprographics 101 also put up two or three posts about this new equipment from Xerox.)

This was my follow-up question to the guys at Xerox about operating costs: (Numbers below do not include the cost of print-media, the cost of the equipment, nor the cost of labor required to operate the equipment.)
Operating Cost at 8.5% coverage area?
In the interview it says that the operating cost, including ink, print-heads and service, will be around $.20 per sq ft at 85% coverage. If all I wanted to produce on the printer is typical A/E drawing plan sets (CAD color printing) and if my expected average coverage was 8.5%, what would the per-sq-ft operating cost be for that?
Joel Salus
This was Xerox’s reply to that follow-up question:
Operating costs
With 8.5% area coverage and printing at 53,820 square feet per month the estimated operating cost is around $0.05 per square foot (this includes print heads, ink, waste container and service). This is a guideline. Your actual results will vary based on area coverage, job run length and average monthly square footage volume.
Geoffrey Rummel, Xerox Wide Format Manager