Introduction of “Lightning BIM Automatic and Optimal Rebar Layout” to Sato Kogyo commenced



Arent Inc. headquartered in Chuo-ku, Tokyo (President and Representative Director: Hiroki Kamobayashi), a company promoting the highly complicated DX by engineers, has introduced Revit add-in program “Lightning BIM Automatic and Optimal Rebar Layout” to general contractor Sato Kogyo Co., Ltd. (or “Sato Kogyo”) located in Chuo-ku, Tokyo (President and Representative Director: Hiroshi Heima).

Our motto is “reduce work while preserving creativity.” Lightning BIM Automatic and Optimal Rebar Layout is a Revit add-in program that truly embodies the motto. We have already been offering an automatic pipe routing software program called “PlantStream” for the industrial plant industry. PlantStream is capable of automatically performing pipe routing at the rate of 1,000 pipes per minute, as opposed to the conventional pipe routing method that would take four hours per pipe.

With high level capabilities in understanding, model development, and implementation, we worked on the development of the Revit add-in program. Work related to rebar layout used to take a lot of time, but now, with Lightning BIM Automatic and Optimal Rebar Layout, you can reduce the time-consuming work by 90%.

The introduction of the add-in program to Sato Kogyo is another step forward toward the incorporation of DX in the industry. Sato Kogyo has been offering manufacturing services with diligence and sincerity under its motto of “Construction Quality,” striving to become a company that people trust and choose. It has also been taken part in many large-scale national projects, Celebrating its 160th anniversary, the company is expected to continue leading the construction industry both in Japan and overseas.

A comment from Mr. Takami Ito (Chief of Technology Center, Senior Managing Officer, Representative Director, Sato Kogyo)

At Sato Kogyo, we have been working on the preparation of structural drawings using Revit for structural design and have been doing things such as the preparation of Revit models by carrying over the structural calculation models, as well as the extraction of drawings required for the application for building confirmation. I feel that being able to use the models, which are prepared as part of the structural design process, also at the time of implementation makes the front loading reasonable and manageable. Actually, we have just begun doing research on how we can utilize structural models at the time of implementation. That was when Arent presented us with Lightning BIM Automatic and Optimal Rebar Layout, and we thought that we might be able to utilize it as one of the options to be used at the time of implementation. Previously, we were trying to design rebar layout from scratch at the time of implementation by using another dedicated CAD software program for rebars, so we are hoping to further improve energy-saving and efficiency by using Lightning BIM Automatic and Optimal Rebar Layout for that part.

When developing Revit add-ins and when developing models in a 3D space using Revit API, I think that it is necessary to understand the 3D space mathematically. For example, if you want to rotate or scale a model centering on a certain point, you need knowledge of certain things such as matrices of linear algebra. We can rest confidently because Arent is truly knowledgeable about things like that and is strongly presenting themselves as such.

Actually, our structural design team was developing and trying out a rebar creation command add-in in Revit. The add-in creation itself was possible. However, rebar creation tends to become complicated, and we were getting bugs that we could not fully eliminate when we tried to use it stably, so we thought it was impossible for us to create everything by ourselves. Furthermore, since we had so many things that we wanted to configure when working on rebar arrangement, we thought we also needed to have a unique UI and parameters. Lightning BIM Automatic and Optimal Rebar Layout has been accommodating these needs as well.

Although it still has things that need improvement, one of the reasons we decided to adopt it was the fact that Arent showed us their stance in the early stage that they were willing to incorporate our opinions.

A comment from Taiki Shibuya (Customer Success Team, Business Department, Arent Inc.)

Sato Kogyo showed interest in the add-in before anyone else. We provided them with a trial period and we frequently exchanged opinions before they decided to adopt the add-in. Sato Kogyo is one of the companies that are ahead in the utilization of BIM in the industry, and they were proactively trying to implement front loading and to improve work efficiency through various efforts such as in-house add-in development.
Since they had that kind of a background and had a great understanding of the bottlenecks that could occur when dealing with Revit API or automatic rebar layout, they regarded highly of our implementation capabilities.
At Arent, we have the highest-level experts of 3D and math among the development companies in Japan. We also have strong confidence in our speed as a startup. This July, we released a major update and added a shear reinforcement rebar feature. We will continue to add new features regularly.
In the world of architecture, not one thing is identical. Rebar placement also differs completely by project, and so much knowledge and experience of designers, on-site managers, rebar companies, and other people involved go into making those projects possible.
That is why I believe that DX for rebar layout matches our mission to “democratize tacit knowledge.” Just like buildings, construction methods, and structural technology are advancing every day, our add-in programs must continue advancing too.
Although many aspects of Lightning BIM are still underdevelopment, we continue to strive to make it a “living add-in” to make it capable of swiftly accommodating users’ needs.

■Company Information

Company Name: Sato Kogyo Co., Ltd.
Head Office: 4-12-9 Nihonbashihoncho, Chuo-ku, Tokyo
Representative: Hiroshi Heima, President and Representative Director
Founded in: 1862
Capital: 3 billion yen
Business Lineup: Contracting and planning of construction projects, as well as surveying, design, supervision, consultation, etc. for construction projects

Company Name: Arent Inc.
Head Office: 2-10-7 Hatchobori, Chuo-ku, Tokyo
Representative: Hiroki Kamobayashi, President and Representative Director
Founded on: July 2, 2012
Capital: 796.09 million yen
Business Lineup: DX consultation, new business creation, and development and sale of in-house developed products