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Fineweld used SmartDrawings at the site of the largest battery manufacturer in Europe

Fineweld used SmartDrawings at the site of the largest battery manufacturer in Europe

Fineweld, a Finnish top expert in industrial steel pipelines, applied information models at the site of Northvolt, the largest battery manufacturer in Europe, with Sweco’s SmartDrawings service. The visualisation also made requests for quotes and the steel purchases of machine shops easier.

“We have used 3D models in installation control for over a decade, which is why we were immediately interested in experimenting with SmartDrawings,” says Fineweld’s Project Manager Jani Harju. The SmartDrawings™ service allows direct access to the information model via the drawing’s QR code without the need to download an app or register as a user, which makes it easy to use information models on a computer or mobile device for everyone.

Fineweld and Sweco, who were already on familiar terms, were able to extend their cooperation in the battery factory project. As a party of the alliance agreement, Fineweld started discussions with structural engineers in the early phases of the project.

“We had very fruitful discussions with the engineers about how the plans could be implemented even more effectively in terms of practical installation work,” says Harju. “Setting things straight together in advance saved time and effort later on.”

SmartDrawings supported quote requests and cooperation with machine shops

The steel structure models illustrated with SmartDrawings supported the request for quote phase. “We were able to provide potential subcontractors with a 3D model, in addition to a list of steel components, easily with a link and without the need to install any additional software,” says Harju.

SmartDrawings was also used to visualise the material lists sent to machine shops according to which the shops place orders for the steel needed for the profiles. “This provided the machine shop with the right idea about what Fineweld requires from the very beginning,” says BIM Specialist Pasi Kivimäki from Sweco. Material lists are typically very abstract and specific structural plans are sent to the machine shop along with the compositions at a later phase.

The visual 3D presentation sent with the material lists was welcomed by the machine shops as it illustrated what will be made of the steel profiles without the need for guessing. It also saved everyone’s time and improved the quality of planning, manufacturing and installing the steel components. “There was also less material waste,” says Kivimäki.

Digital tools make site installations faster

Fineweld also used the SmartDrawings service on-site in the Northvolt project. The 3D information model is updated automatically, so all parties had access to the latest version of the drawings. “The crew were able to see the parts on the 3D model directly with an iPad instead of having to rely on the drawings. It made the installation work significantly faster,” says Harju.

According to Harju, 3D information models are already used extensively in the steel structure industry, which allows fitters more direct access to the latest drawings and lists. “A lot of hours are spent on finding them in delivery projects like this. Visualization helps find the required information faster and easier.”

Northvolt’s battery manufacturing is estimated to begin in 2022. The facility runs on completely emission-free, renewable energy, and it will provide at least 32 gigawatt-hours of electricity by 2024, which corresponds to the needs of more than 500,000 electric cars.

Picture: Northvolt

Forerunner of digitization

The SmartDrawings service makes the data models of Sweco’s structural plans easily accessible to everyone. From the QR code directly to the data model – no downloading or installing applications – no registration and login.

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