It's been nearly three years since Intergraph agreed to be acquired by Hexagon and over eight years since Hexagon acquired Leica Geosystems, which had bought ERDAS in 2001. During this time, there has been a gradual synthesis to integrate corporate cultures and, more importantly, technology. This year may represent the turning point when the company's geospatial assets begin to mesh.
At this year's annual user conference, renamed HxGN LIVE, Hexagon AB brought together its Metrology, Process Power and Marine (PPM), Geosystems (think Leica), and Security Government and Infrastructure (SG&I… think Intergraph/ERDAS) divisions to demonstrate the technological synergies between each. Obviously, not all divisions focus on geospatial solutions but the goal of demonstrating these synergies is to present an entity that addresses the global infrastructure challenges of today. Ola Rollén, Hexagon's CEO, believes his company's solutions enable "smart infrastructure."
Rollén’s strategy leverages the company's software and hardware assets, and provides a continuum of solutions from high precision parts design for manufacturing all the way to processing an unmanned aerial vehicle's (UAV) remotely sensed imagery. In other words, providing both micro and macro views for design and analysis. In his words, Hexagon is "fusing the real and digital world to create a constant flow of information to create smart solutions."
This was particularly on display as each of the division executives gave their presentations:
Gerhard Sallinger, PPM's president, discussed precision laser scanning for plant design and maintenance, as well as announcing his solutions in an SaaS configuration. Norbert Hanke, Metrology president, demonstrated how his solutions for modular construction applications support PPM's smart plant and shipbuilding workflows. Juergon Dold, Geosystems president, announced MultiStation, a combined total station, imaging scanner and remote camera, offering multiple use cases in PPM, metrology and geospatial. According to Dold, it’s a solution for maintaining a new generation of "smart buildings" that are more complex to operate and require more information to manage efficiently. Dold sees "smart updating" of maps and building information models (BIM), reducing from days to hours the process of updating changes to infrastructure. John Graham, president of SG&I, works with the Geosystems division's surveying and laser scanning tools for data capture as inputs for GeoMedia and G/Technology applications.
So, this synthesis of hardware technologies and software solutions is a story for industrial and infrastructure markets. Shipbuilding, city planning, manufacturing plant design, oil refinery maintenance are all markets where Hexagon focuses its attention. Specifically, the geospatial domain requires more dynamic information as the global population migrates to urban centers, bringing the problems associated with increased traffic congestion, energy management, and the impact on natural resources. "Data is the new natural resource," said Rollén. As a company, its solutions can support the flow of information from hardware capture platforms (MultiStation) to the analytical software (Geospatial Solutions: GeoMedia, ERDAS IMAGINE, APOLLO). Hexagon can, therefore, deliver data capture tools for above and below ground, and both inside and outside buildings, thus giving users the opportunity for multidimensional location analytics.
Editor's Note: Hexagon supported travel to HxGN LIVE conference.