Solutions / Videos

1. Inventory3D System

The Inventory3d system allows to assess and edit your server located database, eg MySQL, from desktop and mobile front end devices. Location data can be integrated with Google maps, other assets with SketchUp. In SketchUp, the data can be manually or automatically linked to components in a model, or a model can be automatically generated from the database information.

In the following I will demonstrate an Inventory3d use case from the telecommunication industry, but due to the high flexibility of the system, it can be applied for many different industries, incl. Construction, Security or Maintenance Industry settings.

In our present example, the Inventory3d desktop front end shows a list of sites that depict locations of telecommunication towers. Therefore, our database comprises location data that can be read to display the sites on the Google maps. On Google maps data can be displayed by advanced GIS visualization, including raster layers,vectors and symbols, as depicted here in yellow. Furthermore, clicking on an object in Map view allows to go to tabular view of the selected data and open a new tab with the respective datapoint.

The telco tower company needs to regularly survey the towers and make sure that the security standards are met, the technology is working correctly and defects are repaired on time. The field workers who go out and visit the towers regularly are equipped with mobile devices, eg mobile phones or tablets, which serve as Inventory3d mobile web front end.

With their mobile devices, they can view and edit selected information from the database, eg survey protocols for tower inspection. The protocols include inspection of tower equipment in the shelters on the ground, of antenna, cable connections, but also of the tower steel construction itself, eg bolts and connection parts. Last but not least they assess the verticality of the tower construction, because it could have affected by storms or other conditions.

While following checklists predefined by the backoffice, the workers carefully inspect the tower equipment and document their work with photos. The photos are uploaded to the database and automatically named according to the inspected site and inspection process. Especially important are photos from defective parts so that the backoffice may initialize the right steps for repairing.

The back-office team uses the Inventory3d integration with SketchUp to prepare drawings of the site necessary for documentation, including the relative positions of antennas on the tower, measurements and the positions from which the measurements were performed. Inv3d reads data from the database and automatically positions the equipment in a 3D SketchUp model. The type of data include height, orientation, rotation and size. The respective components listed in the database are automatically linked to the drawings in the 3d model so that clicking a component hightlights the respective database entry and vice versa.

Once an inspection and the necessary documentation is finished, Inventory3d allows to summarize and print all relevant data in a PDF report, incl. photos, plans, checklists, 3D drawings and positional information.

In summary, the Inventory3D system combines inventory management with on site inspections and monitoring for industries such as construction, production or maintenance.

2. Telco industry

Inventory3D is a system for quick and easy cross-check of inventory database records on the site with the reality. Using unique features, the system allows to verify existing objects and draw missing or planned objects in a few seconds time. Said features include easy to learn 3 dimensional drawing tools and projection of ordinary photos to create overlays of photos, drawings and plans. In the overlay, you can perform drawings directly in the model, having photos in the background.

Our first industry example is an Inventory3D database model for a Telco site. With Inventory3D we created overviews in the geographical environment, site plans and equipment plans.The sample database has been created from standard “close out” documentation material used in the United States. That means that no extra visits to the site have been performed, and no extra photos have been taken for building the model.

Telco sites can be inspected and the inventory verified within a few minutes, or a new layout plan for the site can quickly be drawn. Like that, Inventory3D can help to keep your tabular inventory database synchronized with the technical drawings and photos from the field. And your site plans and equipment drawings are always up to date.

Applications for telco industry

RAN, Transport network planning and operations management

  • – sites, cells, transmission data management and automatic OSS, synchronization
  • – map visualization (Google Maps, ArcGIS)
  • – actual/planned data management
  • – interfacing/export-import with planning tools (ICS Telecom, Cellular Expert)
  • – interface for mobile use

Sites survey, commissioning network assets management

  • – site survey, commissioning
  • – site / tower space management

Network technical support

  • – map visualization of alarms, throughput maps

3. Solar industry

In this short video we demonstrate how a the Inventory3D mobile app is integrated into a SketchUp based 3D PV engineering system for the sales, production and delivery process at a PV panels producing company.

The SketchUp and Inventory3D based 3D PV engineering system comprises all aspects of PV system planning, including a web interface for incoming customer requests via online ordering, design of an interactive realistic 3D model with shading analysis, tabular compilation of PV system components, estimated PV system output, price calculation, and a compact PV system proposal output.

Of course, a solid PV system proposal relies on information as realistic as possible. Therefore, we developed the Inventory3D mobile app for mobile phones or tablet computers. With this app a salesman of a PV company may take photos from an object in the field – such as different views of a roof structure or possible shadow creating obstacles close by – and upload the photos to an image server.

The image server is accessed from a team in the back office, working with desktop versions of SketchUp, Inventory3D and other software. Like that, the photos taken on site can readily be used to design a 3D model in SketchUp or to adjust a pre-existing proposal. The team in the backoffice creates a proposal and sends it back to the salesman. On site the salesman can discuss the proposal with the client, and, if necessary, take notes and photos, and submit them for the next approach to the back office. The same Inventory3D mobile version is used for photodocumenting the installation works and commissioning handover to the client.

Our PV system proposals comprise the summarized information for the customer and are compiled in a few working hours. They include an architectual part with a dynamic 3D view, accurate PV system performance calculations and a commercial part.

The implemented SketchUp and Inventory3D based 3D PV engineering system covers all the workflow from sales support to backoffice engineering, significantly enhances the quality of documents provided to the customers, increase their satisfaction and at the same time saves a lot of time and ressources spent.

4. Exposition planning

In this example we show you an Inventory3D use case for an exposition hall. I will go through 5 different scenes and demonstrate a selection of Inventory3D features, that I think are especially useful for inventory management and floor planing in bigger sites.

The first scene is a 2D floor plan in which each lot is depicted with the name of the expositor and the number of the stand. The second scene is a 3D view onto the exposition scenery, in which exposition areas or groups of booths are displayed in a color code. So here you can highlight thematically similar exposition stands, a cafeteria area and so on. Such plans are used as a directory, so that visitors can easily find their way in large sites such as airports or exposition halls.

The third scene shows the wiring diagram and the additional furniture, such as chairs, tables or shelves. On the right side of the model we have placed a legend for the used icons. In this scene I introduce you to the main functionality of Inventory3D, that is the connection of the content from a database with its graphical representation in a 3D model. In the present example this refers to all the furniture distributed onto the exposition stands. Note that in the database, the connected records are shown in green color. When I click on a green record, the color changes to yellow, and the corresponding type of inventory in the model is highlighted. In addition, each connected record is provided with a zoom function. Click on the magnifier tool and the model zooms to the position of the selected component.

The next scene shows the construction elements for the individual stands, such as partitions and poles. The partition elements are assembled from individual panels, and can be drawn using the dynamic components feature. Simply click on a partition, expand it into one direction, and the individual panels are added automatically. For automatically counting the panels, you can generate a report with the quantity of all the components presented in your model.

The fifth scene combines some of the earlier scenes in that it shows the furniture, the individual stands and the floor plan in 3D. This is the most realistic view, and it can be used to zoom into individual stands, make snapshots from different perspectives and present those to a future expositor.

So, with Inventory3D, different plans for large scale sites can readily be drawn in 2D and 3D scenery. Statistic reports list the quantities of all model components, exposition stands can be individually planned and equipped with furniture, and customized stands can easily be presented to expositors. And finally, all components in the entire model can be kept continuously synchronized with your inventory list. Like that, Inventory3D can significantly improve your planning and presentation possibilities.

5. Drone management

One of the applications of Inv3D is the automation of field inspections. Therefore, camera equipped drones are very useful for example for telco tower inspections, because on photos made from the ground it is not possible to see the antennas installed on the top of a tower, as presented here in the picture. For comparison, the next picture is taken by a camera equipped drone and shows the same tower. Inspections with camera equipped drones provide photos of much better detail and quality compared to photos taken from the ground, especially in situations when antennas are installed on water towers, chimneys or roof-tops.

However, flying a drone manually using standard drone software takes hands on time from the pilot, and photos can not be taken from exact positions in space.

With Inventory3D flying a drone is completely automated: the inspector just selects the site using the Inv3D mobile interface on his phone.

The 3D coordinates of the target, that is the Point of Interest, and waypoints for the drone are automatically calculated by a predefined algorithm. As you can see in the Inventory3D table on the right, for the particular site 1, the Point of Interest is defined and 4 Way Points, with 5m above the site from 10m distance from the North, East, South and West sides.

The positions of the Way Points can be not only checked visually in Inventory3D in 2D view on Google Maps or in 3D view in SketchUp, the Way Point positions can also be edited graphically in SketchUp using the Inventory3D plugin for SketchUp.

Checking or correcting the positions may be required only for the first time inspection. For a repeated inspection of the site, the inspector only needs to click the “drone” button shown here at the bottom right of the screen in the Inventory3D mobile app and the drone automatically flies to the predefined positions, takes the pictures from those positions and saves the pictures within Inventory3D as attachments to the predefined waypoints. In Inventory3D, photo attachments are indicated by a green check symbol in the first database column. The photo made by a drone from a particular position is opened by clicking on the paperclip icon.

The photos taken by the drones may serve as documentation materials and can be inspected when required.