Ant Dynamics: On a Mission to Advance the Automation of Lifting Operations in the Construction Industry
August 04, 2021 – 11:51
Kamal Kassab, Managing Director of Ant Dynamics
Doha: Lifting operations in construction projects require meticulous preparation, careful planning and technical expertise. After all, the efficiency and safety of lifting operations, which typically involve cranes – arguably the most expensive equipment on a construction site – can make or break a project’s budget, according to Kamal Kassab, director. General of Ant Dynamics.
Ant Dynamics was launched amid the COVID-19 pandemic last year. It is a Qatar Financial Center (QFC) registered company that provides professional consulting services related to rigging and lifting. The services include the preparation of autonomous lifting plans which serve as the basis for the execution of successful and safe lifting operations. In addition, the company’s mission is to advance the digitization and automation of lifting operations in the construction industry itself.
Kassab believes that although software has been adopted to improve the performance of other disciplines of a project, such as planning, engineering, and accounting, most entrepreneurs have yet to adopt advanced software that improves planning their lifting operations. “I started working in heavy lift operations in 2003, and I don’t see much progress in the way we conduct our lifting studies,” Kassab said. “When I was starting out in the construction industry, our calculations, measurements, analyzes and studies were done manually and took a considerable amount of time. This kind of work was necessary to ensure that the objects are lifted safely, to avoid the risk of accident or disaster. Automation greatly reduces these risks because it removes the human factor, which means less risk of human error. Another advantage of automation is that we get much faster and more accurate results while reducing the cost of the labor hours required to prepare these studies manually, ”he added.
With BIM and other 3D modeling tools becoming an integral part of construction projects, coupled with a need to reduce project costs, Kassab believes the construction industry will inevitably move towards more cloud-based digitization and automation. . “I really think entrepreneurs who haven’t adopted the software yet will eventually have to follow suit. “
Ant Dynamics is currently on a mission to advance the automation of lifting operations in the Middle East by incorporating 3D lifting plans into BIM and other 3D models. This will allow contractors to clearly visualize all the requirements necessary to perform lifting operations on construction sites. This will improve planning and save hours of unnecessary labor and material that may have resulted from unforeseen clashes and interference. “That’s the way to go right now. We need to use this technology, as construction planning is moving towards 3D modeling and cloud storage, and this is also very beneficial for the coordination between different disciplines of a project, ” said Kassab, whose company Ant Dynamics is also licensed as the exclusive agent for Cranimax in the Middle East and North Africa.
Cranimax is an independent software company based in Germany, which has developed the world leading software CRANEbee, a tool that helps its users to develop lift plans very efficiently in 3D with the ability to export the results seamlessly into AutoCAD. CRANEbee contains all the data relating to specific crane models and calculates the ground support pressures that cranes exert on the ground during a lifting operation. As Kassab is a strong supporter of the software, his company Ant Dynamics relies heavily on CRANEbee to provide their customers with 3D lifting plans. In addition, he has already provided training to several companies in Qatar and other countries in the region on the use of CRANEbee, and he encourages all lifting engineers to use CRANEbee to prepare their lifting plans.
It is said that with every adversity comes a new opportunity. This may be true regarding the effects of the pandemic. “The pandemic has taken its toll everywhere and has had a significant impact on many entrepreneurs. Although they were all hit hard, most of them still managed to deliver their projects on time. Every cloud has a silver lining, and if there’s one thing this pandemic has shown, it’s that entrepreneurs have been able to think of other ways to get the job done despite the new challenges that have resulted from the pandemic. . Going digital is a solution. We have to accept that the way we are going to work in the next 10 years will not be the same as we are working now, ”according to Kassab.
Kamal Kassab, who has already worked on a number of projects in Qatar, including the construction of LNG plants and a stadium that will host matches for the Qatar 2022 World Cup, observed that some contractors have already started to embrace digitization in the construction industry. To underline his point, he gave the example of how Autodesk has developed their software so that construction reviews can be done virtually: different from today. Each supervisor will have to have a notepad, to view the models in real time and browse the construction sites while viewing the 3D models in real time ”.
Looking ahead, Kassab remains very optimistic seeing his mission become a reality, especially in Qatar. “I am very happy that when I presented my idea to QFC, they believed in my vision. They gave me the opportunity to open a licensed business. It’s very promising and I think it’s the right approach to give technology a chance, which in turn will open up new frontiers. Any fears about the impact of this new technology on the labor market can be allayed by understanding that the introduction of new technologies also opens up new employment opportunities. On his reasons for starting his company in Qatar, he added: “Qatar is a good place to start. Due to its relatively small size, many businesses and projects are easily accessible from our Doha office. The oil and gas sector, in particular LNG projects, is also starting to recover and we have observed that customers in Qatar are ready to adopt new technologies and adopt new methods ”.