By Hexagon | Leica Geosystems

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Video: How Walrite LLC Broke New Ground in Foundation Construction Layout

Moving from tape measures and string to digital layout with Leica iCON robotic total stations transformed the business and set a new standard for the foundation construction industry.

In the construction industry, where tradition often trumps innovation, forward thinking companies are breaking the mold to pave the way for a new era of efficiency and accuracy.

A prime example is Walrite LLC, a second-generation company led by Craig Poortinga, which has redefined residential foundation construction through the strategic adoption of innovative technology.

But the company didn’t set out to be innovative. “We were looking for ways to minimize human error and improve our accuracy,” Poortinga explains.

His quest for a solution led him to the World of Concrete trade show in 2013, where he encountered Leica Geosystems’ iCON robotic total stations—an encounter that would radically change the future of the firm.

The Leap into Robotic Total Stations

Although the Walrite team was impressed with the potential of the robotic total stations, they were initially skeptical about integrating the technology into their workflows. “We thought we were really good with tape measures and strings,” Poortinga says.

Then, they saw what they could achieve with the iCON total stations.

“Right away, we realized the accuracy, the savings in time and manpower, and the speed by which we could lay out our footings, our foundations. And those are the things that set the stage for higher productivity,” Poortinga says.

“Leica wisely told us, ‘Check everything you do with this equipment until you feel comfortable that you’re good,’” Poortinga says. “So we did that for a week or less, and we realized we were wasting our time. We were so much quicker and so much more efficient and precise with the product that we knew this was the best way to go.”

Using DWG files with Leica iCON makes layout fast, easy and accurate.

New Business Opportunities

Other builders noticed how much faster the Walrite team was able to complete foundation work. It wasn’t long before Poortinga started getting calls asking for Walrite’s help on their projects.

“We couldn’t produce the foundations because we were already at max capacity, but we started doing the layout for the foundation crew using our Leica technology,” Poortinga says. “This opened up more work for Walrite. We’ve increased our bottom line by doing layout work for other companies.”

Walrite has been pleased with how the iCON technology works consistently well in all the elements, rain or shine.

The Value of Support in Technology Transition

Poortinga emphasizes the critical role of provider support throughout the transition to new technology. “The importance of support from the technology provider cannot be overstated,” he notes, highlighting how Leica’s responsive and effective support team was instrumental in overcoming initial hurdles. This support ensured that Walrite could maximize the benefits of the robotic total stations, from troubleshooting to optimizing the equipment’s use in the field.

Transformative Outcomes for Walrite—and the Construction Industry

The adoption of robotic total stations has been a game-changer for Walrite, leading to unprecedented levels of accuracy, efficiency, and profitability. By minimizing human error and streamlining workflows, Walrite has not only enhanced its service quality but also positioned itself as a leader in adopting innovative construction technologies.

As Walrite continues to reap the benefits of its technology adoption, the story is a compelling call to action for construction companies still hesitant about digital transformation.

“It’s not until you actually see the iCON product work and experience the benefits in the field then you realize the gain in your value for what it can produce,” Poortinga says. “I never realized it until we started working with it. You just have to try it and use it. It works great.”

To discuss your needs with a building construction specialist, contact us.

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