Roofing Firm’s AI Project to Revolutionise Technical Drawings

FLAT ROOFING specialist TaperedPlus is working with academics at Teesside University on a system that uses artificial intelligence to streamline its technical drawing processes.

The Stockton-on-Tees headquartered company is collaborating with researchers from the university’s School of Computing, Engineering & Digital Technologies on a Innovate UK – Accelerated Knowledge Transfer (AKT) project to develop design tools which use Natural Language Processing (NLP).

NLP is a branch of artificial intelligence (AI) that enables computers to comprehend, generate, and manipulate human language.

The project will play a crucial role in TaperedPlus’s mission to digitise its processes. It will enable the scaling of product manufacturing and consultancy services in new markets by targeting inefficiencies within its business processes. Once it has been fully evaluated there is the potential to roll it out to the wider industry.

Revolutionising Technical Drawings

TaperedPlus specialises in the design and supply of flat roofing and insulation systems across multiple sectors.

The research is into creating a design assist tool with NLP capabilities and other methods like Requirement, Applicability, Selection, and Exceptions. The tool will examine digital sources such as emails, PDFs, and Word documents to extract their meaning – known as semantic information.

By automating the semantic capture process and creating rule administration across the design process, the tool will ensure consistency and protocol adherence.

The potential impact promises increased efficiency in the technical drawing process. It will lead to a quicker extraction of technical details and ultimately contribute to higher turnover and net profitability. Moreover, it introduces cutting-edge technology into the workflow, fostering a culture of innovation and adaptability within the company.

Harnessing the Power of AI

Dr Alessandro Di Stefano, Senior Lecturer in Computer Science, and Professor Farzad Rahimian, Relevant Knowledge Base Supervisor, will utilise their expertise in machine learning, AI, and predictive modelling to support the project.

TaperedPlus and Teesside University have also appointed two Teesside University PhD research associates Ghazal Salimi and Donatus Okonta to work on the project.

Dr Di Stefano said:“By embedding cutting-edge technology in its design processes, this ambitious project is destined to have a major impact on TaperedPlus’ efficiency and sustainability.”

Aman Chahal, CEO of TaperedPlus, said: “We are thrilled to be harnessing the power of AI to revolutionise our technical drawing processes and creating a synergy between the technology’s huge potential and our expert knowledge in flat roofing systems.

“By integrating Natural Language Processing into our design tools, we aim to enhance efficiency, precision, and innovation within our operations – enabling us to scale our offerings more effectively.

“I believe that the future of building and construction lies in such innovations, and we are proud to lead the way in digitising and optimising industry standards.”

The four-month programme is part-funded by the government’s Innovate UK.

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