DACS Update: Paving the way for automation in the construction industry

Project DACS, a robotic ‘Distributed Automatic Cutting System’ is ‘paving the way’ for the future of automation within the construction industry.

Project DACS led by Eurovia UK in partnership with Loop Technology and The University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC), is making significant progress on the path towards delivering an innovative, ground-breaking robotic paving unit cutting process.

The current practice of cutting paving in town centres and other public places to fit within set boundaries or around street furniture is normally performed manually on site. A process that can be noisy, messy, and disruptive. To reduce this on-site disruption and environmental impacts the DACS process will automate the manufacture of bespoke paving units; tailor-made to fit unique ground conditions.

Loop Technology has developed a working prototype that automatically identifies the area which contains pieces that need to be cut. It then generates the cutting paths used to produce the finished slabs in the robotic cutting process. Various scanners and technology solutions have been trialled and a demonstration of the final solution will be ready to be demonstrated in Spring 2022.

Philip Reid, Digital Construction Manager, at Eurovia commented; “I’m blown away by the progress that has been made to date. When we started on this journey, we had high hopes but weren’t sure that what we were asking for would be sustainable and cost-effective. What Loop Technology and AMRC are showing us is impressive and there is every indication that we will be able to bring this to our site operations in the not-too-distant future.”