company’s SiteVision technology offers an outdoor
augmented-reality solution for visualizing 2-D and 3-D
data on virtually any project site with cellular or internet
Garcia says innovation is the lifeblood and the philosophy
of his company. Their goal is to make people’s lives easier
and technology more useable.
Fifty-five years ago, Harold Godbersen and his son Gary
started the GOMACO Corporation in Ida Grove, IA. The
company is now a well-known worldwide manufacturer of
concrete curb and gutter machines, slipform pavers, placers/
spreaders, trimmers/placers, cylinder finishers, canal
machinery, and accessories. The company is still owned by
the family, and GOMACO team members take pride in
helping their company be a leader in the industry.
The company consistently devotes the necessary resources
to R&D, and it maintains a constant search for the best and
brightest engineers. Kevin Klein, the company’s Vice
President of Engineering/Research and Development, says
their R&D staff includes 45 engineers with expertise in
software, control, electrical, mechanical, and civil
engineering—allowing them to do just about anything in-house.
The process of slipforming concrete is constantly evolving.
New models have been introduced throughout the years to
help contractors increase production while creating a better
product. These changes include onboard control systems, 3-D
machine controls, software, and hydraulics. For example,
Matt Morrison, GOMACO’s 3-D Machine Controls Manager,
says GOMACO was the first to introduce stringless paving—
fully 10 years ahead of their competition. More recently, they
have developed smart pavers, which have control systems
with six degrees of freedom.
The creative process
Manufacturing large pavers that can place concrete
pavement up to 50 ft (15.3 m) wide in a single pass means that
GOMACO serves a niche market in the construction industry.
Their sales staff members stay close to their customers and
they listen to their concerns and ideas. GOMACO staff
members bring this information back to the engineering team
members, who consider each idea to continually improve the
company’s product line.
Developing a new attachment for a machine can take as
little as 3 months. But developing a new machine can take
much longer. When a new prototype machine is ready for
testing, it starts in GOMACO’s test plots. After initial testing
is completed, the prototype is delivered to trusted contractor
partners and tests are conducted on jobsites where concrete is
being placed. These contractors are willing to take part in the
testing because, like GOMACO, they want to be the first to
learn how to work with cutting-edge technology.
GOMACO also teams with 3-D control companies such as
Trimble, Topcon, and Leica Geosystems to make sure their
46 JANUARY 2020 | Ci | www.concreteinternational.com
equipment interfaces properly with GOMACO machines.
Morrison says this also means that when Trimble products are
being used to guide a stringless paver, for example,
GOMACO needs to understand the 3-D control technology as
well as Trimble’s staff.
GOMACO has developed its own digital G+ control
system in-house. G+ allows the company to interface with
3-D systems, paver attachments, the GOMACO’s Smoothness
Indicator (GSI), bar inserters, and other options. For instance,
a GSI mounted to the back of a paver will instantly report
pavement smoothness on the go, so contractors will know the
smoothness of the finished pavement in real time. G+ and
other innovations help to keep GOMACO in a leadership
position in their field, and that’s right where they want to be.
Klorman Construction Corporation
Bill Klorman, a carpenter by trade, started his Los Angeles,
CA, company from scratch in 1980. From the beginning, he
wanted to differentiate himself from his competition and
decided that he would lead in the use of technology and
electronic assistance to help manage his business. Computers
were just becoming available for business use at the time, and
he thought they could improve the efficiency of his work.
Later, he thought computers should be able to replicate
building models, and that led him to explore and help develop
BIM. His company started producing BIM models for every
project, using the models for estimating construction costs and
then using their models as marketing tools for showing clients
how their project would be built and scheduled. The
company’s specialty became structural concrete high-rise
buildings and large concrete parking structures. But their work
also includes multifamily, low-rise construction, civil projects,
and transportation projects.
Klorman’s goal from the beginning was to figure out how
to do things faster, better, and more efficiently. He depends on
technology to accomplish this and estimates his R&D expense
each year is about 17% of sales.
Cost accounting in real time
Klorman Construction grew up in the 1980s and was a
pioneer in applying computers to construction work. But the
company’s success was threatened by the recession well under
way in 2008 when construction work slowed dramatically.
Klorman says this forced him to bid projects with very tight
margins, challenging him to find ways to work more
productively. To do this, he needed to know in real time how
they were doing. “If you aren’t doing well, you need to know
it in time to make changes,” he reasoned. But it also provided
his team a way to look at their work and constantly figure out
better ways to be productive. “The object wasn’t how to work
cheaper or force labor to work harder—it was to work
smarter,” he says. This started his company on a continuous
learning journey. He divided his projects into cost account
areas—a high-rise building could have over a thousand cost
codes. Next, they used technologies such as radio frequency