A Co-Developer’s Perspective
So what is eVolve?
eVolve is a solution for the electrical contractor/constructor who wants to fabricate from the model.
It’s no great benefit just to model a coordination model for electrical and not build from it. The challenges were that even if we modeled using just Revit or AutoCAD MEP, extracting the data to prefabricate from those models was tough. So first, we had to come up with a solution that worked for our team, and in order to do that we had to standardize the parts list as well as our process. Without these things in place it would fall apart. So that meant nailing down a brands list of our most used components, and starting there. Since eVolve was originally built just for Corbins Electric, that was the perspective. Second we needed to map out how best to deliver the deliverables downstream. We decided that ordering our parts before starting our Sheet sets or “spools” would allow us time to get our products in house at the same time or just before we would build them. Our output needed to come out consistent and all of the parts in the Purchase Order (Material Requisition) needed to match and be organized. This meant a lot of communication with the purchasing and prefab team to get it solid. To develop our spooling capabilities we actually sat down with team member to decide what information had to be there for fabrication and what the field actually needed. Since we were using a Total Station for layout, we were able to minimize the need for tons of (Field) Plan and Elevation Views in Revit. That meant we could add Layout points on our spools and they could be a Combination of the two. As every spool sheet is produced it includes all the materials needed to assemble it in prefab, and then we added Spot Coordinates to a known Datum point always using a SW point on the assembly to be consistent. When were ready to launch this internally, we trained staff to convert from AutoCAD MEP to Revit using the Custom tools. This transition took on average about 3 weeks. From there we had a test bed to circulate ideas and to improve the tools and content. I had realized that this feedback we were getting was highly valuable. It was not always easy to implement what they asked for and in some cases they just wanted more AutoCAD behavior. Long story short, we cleaned it up and really started to get ROI. There was a case study conducted by a third party at one of our sites. In this study they were tracking our rework percentage versus some of our competitors who were also on site. At the beginning of the study when we were still using our old process we had a rework percentage of up to 50% on average. Pretty high I know. But at the end of the study with our new process implementing eVolve, we dropped that down to 2%. That was huge for us. Not only did we go through a tremendous change as departments and process, it also meant we did it right!
So as time went on and both our tools as well as Fausto and I myself were acquired by Applied Software in order to see this product through further development. Today our customer base has grown substantially and now we have more opportunity to mold the future of Virtual Construction for all electrical contractors. In the near future there will be more content and tools to help us all get more out of BIM projects. Also we are in R&D on some exciting new features that will blow your mind. Now is the time to have your voice heard. To be part of something big – something finally for the E in MEP. It’s been a long time coming but it’s here! It’s time stop dragging your knuckles and eVolve!