New PDF Standards Group Hopes to Accelerate “Paperless” Jobsite

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PDF Standards

Having been on both sides of the fence, reprographics and now iProjectSolutions, the use of PDF's has already dominated the landscape for several years. I understand the clients perspective as 90% of them do not understand the full functionality within the document control workflow that PDF's provide. In full disclosure I was a consultant to Adobe in the transition from a graphic art standard V 6.0 to the AEC standard 7.0. In 2000 I invited Adobe to our 2000 IRGA convention to witness the strength and depth of our industry's influence on this process. We had them meet with reprographers so they could better understand what we do. They were floored by how much information we managed. Since that time my companies have processed millions of PDF files using BlueBeam and Acrobat, and even built a business unit around it called iFileService so our clients would pay us to manage their PDF's for size, fidelity and archiving. When it feel under reprographics they thought it should be included, when we identified it as a service so did they.

Because PDF's have a definitive effect on printing it was difficult for our industry to embrace their impact and everyone struggled to print bloated and layered PDF's. Our whole premise of our iPlanTables was to leverage the use of all digital formats, and have the reprographer provide the digital workstations. The use of PDF's are not going away-they are just getting stronger.

The idea of workers using tablets in the field is a misconception, it is the project managers who have embraced them in a big way. Our iConstructionOnline service provides 10 dedicated iPad/Android apps to manage this mobile explosion and we interface with BlueBeam or Acrobat for mark-up and redlining. Workers don't walk around with the prints either-they go to the trailer - now they will go to the trailer and look on digital workstations.

I suggest the IRGA and it's member put together a cooperative PDF initiative as well so we can lead in this area for all contractors and embrace the technology and put our industry back in the lead for project information logistics.

PDF and BIM models is a much more complicated issue and most of the time they must be used with the native software or an interpreter software.

Kevin Rowe more than 3 years ago

Thank for the background

Hi Kevin - Thank you for sharing this interesting background information, especially how IRgA interfaced with the PDF people 13 years ago! Sounds like you figured out how to effectively profit from management of PDFs, something that would be valuable for other members to learn.

Ed Avis more than 3 years ago

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