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Using Bluebeam's Revu 9 software, architects, engineers, contractors, and producers can effectively communicate by sharing marked up PDF pages of paperless drawings.

I'm beginning to regret that my kids are not computer geeks. It's a sad state of affairs when three college graduates rely on me to help them deal with the challenges of today's technologically modern society.

Fortunately for the concrete industry, there are hundreds of sharp young and old geeks developing innovative software technologies. Producers are traditionally focused on software developments in dispatching, batching, and billing. But one development in software development may help in an age-long problem—handling project drawings.

Managing project documents is a necessary evil. My office was always full of rolled up project drawings. And I'm sure this problem is even greater for pre-cast producers who must manage field erection. The challenge must be more complex today, because engineers and architects can bury producers and contractors in electronic files of drawings.

I first reviewed the Bluebeam software in 2008, the year it won the Experts' Choice Award in World of Concrete's Most Innovative Product Awards program. But I discovered that Revu 9, released at CONEXPO-CON/AGG this year, takes the quest for paperless construction projects to a whole new level. Spurred by the emphasis on sustainability that is causing everyone to think about construction differently, the provider unveiled an innovation that is leading us to a paperless jobsite.

Features galore

This version contains more than 30 enhanced features to streamline PDF markup, viewing, processing, collaboration, and sharing. Several technicians from Bluebeam Software, a Pasadena, Calif., software developer, shared their new PDF Revu 9 with me. Even an old- timer like me found this fully loaded version of its PDF platform technologies easy to learn. I'm sure your staff will find the technology a smart, simple solution to create, markup, edit, and manage PDF files.

“Revu 9 is truly fully loaded. We took everything our users love about Revu for project communication, incorporated their feedback and suggestions for features, and made it better,” says Bluebeam Software CEO Richard Lee. “The result is more power, more flexibility, and enhanced usability to help our customers get their jobs done.”

The Bluebeam array of products have gained acceptance from many of the nation's largest contractors who are using the system. One major user has even prepared some research on how the system has streamlined production and reduces costs. In mid-May, Chad Dorgan, vice president, quality and sustainability, for McCarthy Building Companies Inc., is hosting a webinar, “Managing Documents Through the Life of a Project Using Bluebeam PDF Revu.” The discussion is based on a white paper that was released at CONEXPO.

Fortunately for producers, Bluebeam PDF Revu 9 is available in three editions: Revu Standard for general CAD and Office users; Revu CAD for AutoCAD, Revit, and SolidWorks users; and Revu eXtreme for PDF power users. I urge you to take a free test drive of Bluebeam PDF Revu 9 software by visiting www.bluebeam.com.

In the last few months, I've been gathering a boxful of new products, software, and such I've found at recent trade shows. Our manufacturers continue to invest in our industry by introducing innovations. I urge you to check my blog, or the LinkedIn Concrete Producer network for my What's New updates on these products.