The utilization of Internet of Things has been modernizing the whole construction industry– from railways to roadways and offices to home. Due to this, it has opened a lot of doors and has given better control over the assets and employees to perfect the entire process of construction with better energy utilization, asset management, and resource allocation.
That said, here’s how the IoT is impacting the construction industry.
1. Real Time Sensors to Evaluate the Behavior
Embedded “wearable” solutions are slowly becoming a trend, as everyday consumers are getting interested with the features it has to offer. This holds true, especially in the world of sports apparel, where there’s a prevalent use of health tracking devices, such as Fitbit. This trend is slowly affecting the business industry as well. Professionals are trying to look for ways on how to utilize similar technology to safeguard one of the most significant assets to business– the people involved. These advancements are seeking to reduce the occurrence of extreme risks from mobilizing crews or non-conformances in case of an accident.
One great example would be, two oil companies placed workers on drilling platforms with wearable gadgets perfect for tracking their activity, location, and contact with chemicals. This would allow them to limit the exposure to chemicals of their workforce and have the assurance that the workforce is not overworking themselves.
2. Sensors on Traffic Equipment
The IoT has helped the construction industry come up with a platform that allows system integrator to produce real time systems in emergency traffic cones that look after a pedestrian and vehicular traffic that happens within the building site.
This can utilize different devices, such as the ones that work with Bluetooth on a construction site, passageway, or roadway that differentiates hands-free kits from mobiles, where the sensor data is transferred using an Internet gateway, moving it to the server. After which, one can assess the traffic and be able to address any issues right away.
With the help of sensors in traffic equipment, it becomes possible for the construction industry and other fields to understand the trend of vehicular traffic. This could encourage smooth vehicle flow that would lessen journey time, save energy, and reduce emission. Similar to that, the movement of a pedestrian in a construction site saves time. Through traffic monitoring, be it people or road vehicles, not only is it useful for the operator on the roads but to other fields as well.
It will allow you to efficiently calculate the average speed of moving vehicles, and see how it can impact the job site.
3. Condition Based Management Operations
A lot of construction equipment is being placed on a precautionary upkeep schedule and follow up. Unfortunately, there are still some construction companies that utilize the paper processes for this– this slows down the development process, and it can also be a waste of time. Likewise, even if the paper processes are done accordingly, and fed into the corporate dashboards, this doesn’t mean that everything will be alright. Perhaps, the only benefit would be is that it would be the same as the manufacturer’s specs that have already been lay outing the routine maintenance plan, to begin with.
This is considered as a rule-based operation, and it can be downright costly for construction managers in a couple of ways– carrying out maintenance when it’s not necessary and missing significant breakthroughs between intervals. This could trigger breakdowns and problems on equipment.
There’s a possible alternative to this rule-based process, and it would be a condition-based management process that focuses on factual data coming from the equipment, and from thousands of pieces of the very same tools on other parts of the world; this would be merged with the updates to features coming from the manufacturer.
With Internet of Things, instead of solely counting on tolerance probabilities estimated by the manufacturer a few years ago, you’ll have real-time, historic data that could be utilized across thousands of equipment operators to optimize the maintenance schedule. Aside from protection benefits, it’s expected that the IoT development could also be of great help in reducing the total maintenance cost for as much as 10%– allowing operators to save their budget.
This is close to happening as IoT is here to influence linking equipment and people to cloud to guarantee that the set of facts would be utilized to help the construction crew make the best decisions, lessen risks, and seek possible ventures for improvement.
SaaS providers are doing consistent research and development to have the assurance that the innovation in IoT would go well with the cloud software. This would lead to the constant improvement of systems, specifically in hazardous industries.
4. Lowered Costs
There will be cases that a construction company would lose some cash on supplies that have gotten mislaid during the project, or it can be an accident where the products delivered at the building site are not what you originally ordered. Likewise, it can also be the mistake of laying out quite a bit on fuel costs for the machinery. These costs could add up.
Luckily, with the IoT, you’ll be able to label your supplies with tags that could assure you that nothing would be lost again, and it will also be easier to track. Tags can also be used to remotely monitor the numbers of a particular machine, even at different sites. Also, energy conservation can be possible, because you’ll be able to control the temperature efficiently and determine how much power was consumed.
5. Safer Employees
With IoT, you’ll be able to lessen the accident rate on a construction project, because you’ll be utilizing hands-free devices that would allow the workers to transfer images and accept important instructions without the need to take their hands off the machinery. These devices allow automatic time logging-in, preventing records falsification and could even provide health monitoring
Overall, for those who are in a construction business, or a construction equipment manufacturer or dealer, this is just a sneak peak of where the industry is headed with the help of Internet of Things. Although it’s a lot to digest, it shows that we are moving in the ear of mobile technology and connected equipment. There will be better opportunities to everyone involved.
Chris is an Digital Strategy Consultant in Orlando, FL who helps small business owners grow their business and make more money. He is passionate about digital marketing, emerging technologies, and transportation issues.