Topcon Positioning System’s regional manager Philippe Akl has seen a growing demand for GPS in the region’s construction sector for its productivity-boosting qualities. When did Topcon enter the region? While the history of Topcon in the Middle East dates back to the early 1980s, it was only in 2006 that the company decided to invest […]
Topcon Positioning System’s regional manager Philippe Akl has seen a growing demand for GPS in the region’s construction sector for its productivity-boosting qualities.
When did Topcon enter the region?
While the history of Topcon in the Middle East dates back to the early 1980s, it was only in 2006 that the company decided to invest more seriously in this market.
We currently have entities in Dubai, Beirut and Alexandria, and a sales network covering most of the region. We are determined more than ever to deepen and expand our presence to cover every Arab and African country.
What are the most popular products sold here?
Total Stations like GTS-750 and GTS- 230N and the GPS like GR-3 for construction and surveying applications constitute the backbone of our activities in the Middle East today, generating more than 90% of revenues. We are witnessing a strong increase in the demand for GPS solutions. RTK Systems are being used more and more in the construction industry as a practical tool for higher productivity. Topcon sales of GPS grew 40% in the second half of 2009 compared to the previous half.
How has the use of GPS in the construction process developed?
Developments in GPS technology and the number of available satellites has positively impacted its performance and opened doors for new applications, especially in the construction and GIS sectors. The modernisation of GPS signal, the Russian GLONASS constellation and the coming European Navigation System GALILEO will offer end users faster acquisition, stronger and more reliable tracking capabilities, lower noise and less multipath errors.
So it will allow professionals to use GPS in places not possible before, and promise higher speed and accuracy.
So can utilising these technologies reduce construction project costs?
Our value proposition relies on the benefits the end user gets from our solutions in terms of speed, seamlessness and productivity.
Particularly after the recent crisis, professionals from various segments like construction, metrology, engineering and surveying are looking for value through embracing new technological breakthroughs which eventually will make the difference between success and failure. Technology will allow them to cut costs by reducing personnel, minimising time and guaranteeing a genuine productivity boost.
What evidence supports that GPS provides increased efficiency?
Many studies have compared the productivity improvement from GPS implementation in construction applications. The results show that GPS can increase the positioning-related tasks productivity by 40-60% and cost savings by 15-35% over conventional systems like total stations on a road project execution phase. Furthermore, GPS can increase productivity by up to 120% and cost savings by 40-60% on a road project design phase.
What trends have you witnessed in terms of project demand?
We are witnessing a trend for 3D mobile scanning that combines GPS positioning, inertial measurement and imaging capabilities to produce a dynamic surface-measuring solution.
Topcon IP-S2 Lite was recently released in the Middle East market. The operator has to drive the car and the IPS-2 will capture the site images all around with millions of precise measurements. The result is a Virtual Reality data ideal for many applications like GIS. The growing demand for such systems indicates the Middle East market’s thirst for more automated sophisticated solutions.
Do have further expansion plans in this region? Where?
We plan to strengthen our sales and support network in central Africa.