Trimble Tunneling Software Solutions Address Critical Construction Project Demands
In the challenging field of tunnel construction, leveraging technology to enhance productivity, accuracy and efficiency is no longer optional—it’s a necessity.
Trimble offers a comprehensive digital tunnel survey system—Trimble® Access™ field software, Trimble Business Center (TBC) office software and the Trimble SX12 scanning total station—designed to provide productivity and confidence for the unique demands of tunnel construction. Together, these solutions offer a powerful combination for tunneling professionals to streamline their processes for enhanced productivity and boost confidence in the end result.
The most recent versions of the field and office software—Trimble Access versions 2022.10, 2023.00, and 2023.10 and TBC versions 5.80, 5.90, and v2023.1—build upon existing capabilities and establish workflows that support project stakeholders at every stage of the process.
Data Preparation and Design
Optimized data preparation and design revisions for field survey teams reduce delays between revisions and reporting.
If there is one thing modern tunnel construction projects cannot afford, it is delays. When it comes to tunnel surveying, these delays often occur between design revisions and adjustments to the construction method, which potentially disrupt the project timeline. The key to minimizing these setbacks lies in embracing digital technologies that streamline the process.
The Trimble Tunneling software system including TBC and Trimble Access, allows you to import design files from third-party software such as IFC, CAD and LandXML formats. Whether in the field or office, you can update designs on the fly and synchronize the new design for field crews for use in real-time. This reduces construction delays and provides additional confidence in construction quality.
The latest software versions of Trimble Access and TBC, both released in October 2023, now support reverse arcs in tunnel designs allowing for streamlined execution of Sequential Excavation Method (SEM) tunnel projects and simplified reporting on construction tolerances.
Image 1. Demonstrating the inverted arc design method in Trimble Access Tunnels application for sequential excavation (SEM) tunneling.
Image 2. Demonstrating the inverted arc design method in TBC Tunneling application for sequential excavation (SEM) tunneling.
Further enhancing the design capabilities of the software, pipe umbrellas, also called canopy tubes, can be input and automatically staked in Access, allowing you to position and orient the drilling jumbo to ensure piles are driven in the correct direction and position.
Image 3. Demonstrating the pipe setout function in Trimble Access Tunnels application for setting out features like canopy tubes, pipe umbrella, and rockbolts.
Oftentimes, the design data provided to tunnel survey teams need to be manipulated into a usable model for stakeout and as-built. Now, in conjunction with the Cutting Plane Tool, 2D and 3D CAD models can be easily converted into a full 3D tunnel model using the Create Tunnel Shape from CAD command.
Image 4. Use 2D CAD tunnel profile designs and turn them into full 3D models using Trimble Business Center.
Statistics and Reporting Deliverables
Expanded statistics and reporting on tunnel verification and construction
TBC and Trimble Access software provide statistics and reporting capabilities integral to the success of a tunneling project. By leveraging these tools, tunnel verification and construction reporting become a far more precise and insightful process.
The Trimble Access field software is designed to collate and present real-time data from the field, giving you an instant view of the tunnel construction progress. In the latest release, you can perform fast comparisons of design to as-built and as-built to as-built, highlighting out-of-tolerance areas from mis-blasts, under excavation and under spraying of shotcrete. Leverage the Transparent Color Map setting to hide in tolerance areas so easily target ‘hot spots’ in the scan inspection.
Similarly, TBC provides comprehensive reporting features, enabling you to analyze and visualize data in detail and prepare a final deliverable for your client. TBC v5.90 adds enhanced statistics to the tunnel as-built reporting to demonstrate quality conformance for shotcrete and secondary lining checks.
Image 5. Video demonstrating the transparent color setting for scan surface inspections in Trimble Access which is useful for determining out-of-tolerance areas in post-excavation or shotcrete process.
The integration of these software tools with the Trimble SX12 scanning total station—a device known for its high-quality scanning performance—means the data used for statistics and reporting is incredibly precise. This comprehensive and accurate solution gives stakeholders greater confidence in the final tunnel construction.
Customizable from start to finish
Every step of the tunnel construction process comes with its unique set of deliverables. Understanding this, Trimble has developed solutions that offer flexibility and customization in data delivery.
TBC allows you to create customizable deliverables for every phase of construction, from initial design to as-built models. Whether you need 3D as-built models of the constructed tunnel, point cloud data, 2D and 3D CAD as-built drawings, or detailed reports on construction tolerances, the deliverables can be tailored to meet your client’s specific requirements. Recently, TBC introduced a Tunnel Set Out Points report which is useful for validating as-built rockbolt, anchor, mesh, arch and formwork supports.
Image 6. An example As-built Set Out Report in TBC Tunneling which can be customized for rockbolt and canopy tube conformance reporting.
TBC also offers a Geological Overbreak Report to document overbreak conditions according to Swiss Norm SIA198 standards, providing contractors additional information that provides even more confidence in the tunnel design and build.
Image 7. The new Geological Overbreak report in TBC Tunneling for documentation special overbreak conditions.
Additionally, the Tunnel Undulation Report provides an analysis of as-built tunnel information on the smoothness or waviness of the tunnel utilizing the bar length and waviness criteria. This data can be then be translated into the field using tabular information detailing offsets and stationing.
Image 8. A video showing the Tunnel Undulation report in TBC Tunneling for documenting ‘waviness’ in an as-built tunnel surface useful in the shotcrete process.
Also newly available in TBC is the ability to automatically generate 2D and 3D CAD as-built drawings to provide yet another deliverable option for your client. This reduces the time to deliver to clients and helps feed the digital twin of tunnel construction projects with accurate and comprehensive data.
Image 9. Images showing the Create CAD cross sections command in TBC Tunneling for documenting and digitizing tunnel as-built conditions from total station or point cloud data.
Automated Data Collection
Streamline data collection and set out in the tunnel for enhanced productivity using automated routines
As noted above, efficiency is key in tunnel construction and this is where Trimble's tunneling solutions truly shine. With Access and the SX12, you can streamline the data collection process, significantly enhancing productivity.
Trimble Access offers automated routines, which allow surveyors to collect data quickly and efficiently, even in challenging conditions. Simultaneously, the Trimble SX12 scanning total station provides high-density scanning, capturing a wealth of data in a single pass. Recent versions of Trimble Access Tunnels enable the set out of all tunnel features such as arches, rockbolts, blast patterns, formwork, and canopy tubes. Leverage the profile, 3D and camera windows to efficiently stake out points.
Image 10. A video demonstrating the canopy tube stakeout using the pipe setout function Trimble Access Tunnels software.
Configurable stakeout integrated with high-resolution video feed for greater control and productivity in setting out key points during the construction process
Ensuring precision during the construction process is critical. Trimble's tunneling solutions offer a configurable stakeout feature integrated with a high-resolution video feed to enhance accuracy when setting out key points during construction.
Image 11. A video showing the use of 3D models in the video feed with a split screen stakeout profile using Trimble Access software and the Trimble SX12 scanning total station to visualize the tunnel stakeout process.
The Trimble SX12 scanning total station boasts a high-resolution camera, which provides a clear view of the stakeout area. This, coupled with Trimble Access software's stakeout functionality, allows construction teams to accurately mark key points, minimizing errors and increasing productivity.
Image 12. A video showing the alignment stake out function in Trimble Access Tunnels using the split screen video, 3D, and profile views useful for staking specific construction offsets and features.
In today's era of digital construction processes, advanced technology is at the core of efficient, precise and productive tunnel construction operations. Trimble's tunneling products, and in particular, —Trimble Access field software, TBC office software and the Trimble SX12 scanning total station, create a comprehensive solution designed to meet the current demands of both the industry and project stakeholders.
From customizable deliverables to streamlined data collection to automated routines and configurable stakeouts with high-resolution video feeds, Trimble equips professionals with the tools they need to deliver high-quality tunnel construction projects with confidence and efficiency.
When using Trimble's powerful suite of solutions, you can embrace the challenge and exceed expectations at every step of the project.
Feature release list
- TBC v5.80, v5.90, v2023.10
- Improved data preparation for field survey and construction - ability to translate a 3D linestring into tunnel design and creating pipe set outs for pipe umbrella and canopy tube workflow as well as ability to reverse arc direction in the tunnel design for SEM tunnel projects
- Enhanced reporting for greater insights into construction verification - statistics and geological overbreak reports;
- Deliverables for clients - 2D and 3D CAD cross-sections
- Volume property for as-built and design meshes
- Trimble Access v2022.00, v2022.10, v2023.1, v2023.00
- More capabilities for staking and setting out key construction points
- Streamlined set out and staking by automating all set out types and creating flexibility in visualization and staking patterns
- Ease of use for visualizing, selecting and navigating the tunnel information
- Staking alignment points for Inverted arc support
- Tunnel drive through mode
- Visualizing TXL in video mode