Precast Software Engineering is the world’s #1 BIM software and service provider for industrial construction. They are the precast concrete experts in the Nemetschek Group, the global BIM software leader in the AEC industry. With a clear focus on this segment and a lot of passion the company has been delivering plenty of innovations for 30 years and counting. What drives them to keep innovating is their mission to help the customers to be successful. With their tools, precasters can manage their BIM projects with ever higher standards of simplicity, quality and efficiency.

Easy Engineering: What are the main areas of activity of the company?

Precast: Our portfolio covers 3 software products and our CUSTOMER EXCELLENCE Services:

  • PLANBAR is the leading design and detailing software globally, boosting your productivity and increasing quality with smart automatisms, e.g. automatic generation of reinforcement and shop drawings at the click of a button.
  • TIM|WORK is our 3D work preparation tool, ensuring an easy and precise planning phase, including 3D stapling, production planning and the creation of highly precise production data. A highlight of TIM|WORK are the excellent search functionalities and filters facilitating project management massively.
  • TIM|FLOW is one of the most innovative software offerings on the market: it’s a data hub solution. By connecting all your BIM applications (CAD, ERP, MES) TIM|FLOW automates your information flows and this way boosts your productivity. Popular features are mTIM, the mobile app providing access to the relevant data and models anywhere and anytime; also the management dashboards, which help to take better decisions, are key.

Our CUSTOMER EXCELLENCE Services help to maximise the benefits that the ideal software and hardware environment can bring to our customers. The service portfolio includes consulting, change management, training and support.

E.E: What’s the news for 2020 about new products?

Precast: We’ll publish our latest and greatest software versions early December 2020: the so called 2021 versions of PLANBAR and the TIM product family. Highlights of our new release will be enhanced interoperability, more performance and new features increasing safety at work. Details will be published on our website in December 2020.

E.E: What are the ranges of traded products?

Precast: We do not have traded products; we only sell our own software. Of course, we are happy to recommend software from our Nemetschek Group sisters like Allplan, Graphisoft, Solibri to name just a few.

E.E: At what stage is the market where you are currently active?

Precast: Around the globe more and more architects, builders, and construction companies understand the benefits of industrialized construction: creating solid, high quality buildings in a particularly efficient and fast way. Ever-increasing time and cost pressure, increasing quality demands, the growth of the world population and at the same time the increasing difficulty to find skilled workers are all factors pushing the industry.

Of course, the constantly growing precast concrete industry needs software applications to design and plan their projects with the utmost efficiency and precision. Exactly these two aspects are the strengths of our software applications: plenty of quality assurance functionalities and smart assistants help to design and plan fast and without errors. Our world class 3D functionalities make precast projects much more tangible and easier and ensure clarity for all BIM-parties involved. The biggest growth potential from a geographical point of view we see in South East Asia, Africa and both, northern and southern America. In most European countries, the precast concrete industry is already well established – Poland shows one of the highest growth rates in Europe at the moment.

E.E: What are the key market trends?

Precast: First of all, usability gets more and more important – one key driver for that is the lack of skilled labour. Today, the ideal solution is a software that can be used after a few hours of learning. For some fields of work there will be apps that can be used without any training and instruction at all. Our mTIM is an example: Employees involved in production and planning can use their tablet computer or smartphone to see exactly the plans and models they just need. The work progress is also transparent with the aid of the application: The workers scan the QR codes on the manufactured or assembled elements, enabling them to record their activities. This also ensures accomplishing invoicing quickly. The second major topic is the increasing complexity of BIM projects. Ever more teams as well as increasingly international teams and systems must work together and the time pressure is increasing. Solutions to these problems are provided by the BIM approach, collaboration software, open interfaces and data hubs like TIM|FLOW – now, a data platform is required managing the information flows among ERP systems, CAD systems, MES systems and other BIM applications intelligently. These networks also lead to many possibilities for automation – manual scheduling and material planning in an elaborate way, for example, are no longer necessary. The third topic is the „digital twin“. Today‘s planning software and the BIM approach generate digital as-built virtual models of buildings as they were built actually. Therefore, maintenance and refurbishment works can be carried out much more efficiently. You need only think about the innumerable exposures to asbestos in many buildings – with the aid of as-built models, in future, it will be possible to eliminate such hazards as soon as they are identified. Summing up the market trends: Many additional and useful software innovations and services, making things easier in the precast concrete industry, will be provided by Precast Software Engineering – and the Nemetschek Group – in the next few years, with focusing on simplification, acceleration and fascination. More and more people will recognize the advantages of the BIM method and the BIM tools and will make use of them.

E.E: What estimations do you have for 2020?

Precast: Innovation has always been a key element of our DNA. We’ve celebrated many world premieres when it comes to functionalities making the lives of precast concrete designers and planners easier: automatic reinforcement, creation of shop drawings at the klick of a button, the 3D as easy as 2D technology, 3D stapling, ICF4precast production data, to name just a few. Looking at all the innovations, which are embedded into our software products, it is hard to choose the „most innovative” product. Driven by the ever-increasing complexity of BIM projects with larger and more international teams, TIM|FLOW earns the title of increasingly important product. It is our central data hub connecting all the relevant BIM applications (ERP, CAD, MES) with each other, making the lives of all involved parties so much easier. With TIM|FLOW our customers can automatise information flows and this way speed up processes and avoid misunderstandings or transmission errors. Of course, the teams involved are freed up for more demanding activities. Routine tasks like sending emails back and forth or importing/exporting files are carried out by TIM|FLOW automatically – of course, according to the customer’s settings.

2020 is a year that will find a lot of attention in future generations’ history classes. Corona killed more than half a million people, affected 8 billion lives on the planet and caused a global economic downturn. Of course, every crisis comes with opportunities too: Corona accelerated digitalization massively. More and more companies understand the advantages of teleworking like reducing air pollution and commuting time. Paper based processes limit the freedom where to do the work. Also, in some companies, less people have to do the same work or even more. Digitizing processes, e.g. with innovative software, are a key driver for our new working patterns and help companies to be successful even in such difficult times. There might be some setbacks in the building industry, caused by economic difficulties overall. At the time, there is a strong need for tools that increase efficiency and quality, so we have a positive outlook for the software business in 2020 and beyond.