Customer Success Story: Harkins Builders, Inc.

The Emlid Reach RS2 can be used in a number of industries – everything from surveying and construction, to forestry and mining. In this article, we will discuss how Harkins Builders utilizes the Reach RS2 to improve their quality control and avoid costly mistakes.  

Organization Background

At its core Harkins Builders is a construction manager specializing in multifamily, commercial, and government building projects.  Harkins has an expanding team of 250+ employees and covers PA, MD, VA, and NC.  

Harkins on Technology

Harkins has always been a proponent of utilizing technical tools such as Building Information Modeling (BIM), virtual reality, and drones to assist in project collaboration, both internally and externally. We believe that technology provides our project teams, owners, architects, engineers, and trade partners the insight to communicate and plan more efficiently. According to a survey performed by Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) and FMI Corporation, 58% of construction professionals expect to see technology-driven changes that will drive the success of their organization in the next five years.

Harkins Adds Legacy Brand GNSS 

Harkins Builders often used a transit as a quality control tool, but set out to improve upon that method.  Initially investments included legacy GNSS brands with costs upwards of $50,000 for equipment and yearly subscription services. While extremely capable, some of these capabilities were underutilized by Harkins and the high cost prevented scaling the program across multiple teams.  Harkins explored receiver options that were more flexible and affordable, finding the Emlid Reach RS2 as a potential contender to these legacy GNSS systems.  

Testing the Reach RS2

Harkins started out with Emlid Reach RS2 Base + Rover combo and Emlid ReachView3 iOS application. This worked well for some of their work, such as setting Ground Control Points for their drones and capture site conditions. However, being a free application, some features were not available. To bolster their quality controls effectiveness and allow real-time drawing visualization, Harkins added a Blaze 2.0 rugged table with FieldGenius, which augmented the capabilities of the Reach RS2.

The Results 

Some legacy GNSS systems require a minimum of 3 site controls in order to be used. This is problematic in some underdeveloped sited where only minimum horizontal and vertical controls are available or where only relative accuracy is desired. Since the RS2 doesn't require a localization prior to use, it was much more efficient for some of their work, especially when setting Ground Control Points for their drones.  With FieldGenius they were able to effectively run QC on their projects.  Owing to the fact that the all-in cost came down from $56k with the legacy brand to $8k, they have begun to scale, with five teams geared up with the "Site Superintendent Package", Base/Rover Essentials, Blaze 2.0, and FieldGenius.

The RS2 is an excellent choice for any positioning application; it is lightweight, durable, cost-effective, and provides centimeter-accuracy. It’s comparable to mainstream devices and can obtain a fix even with obstacles like buildings or canopy. The receiver comes with the ReachView3 app, and can be paired with FieldGenius for more enhanced features such as site plan import, linework, surface staking, COGO, grade check, and much more.

If you need assistance when setting up or using your Reach RS2, contact E38 Survey Solutions to learn more about our customer support options.