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Use cases: IIoT deployment transforms the construction site

IIoT at the construction site

The industrial internet of things has the potential to disrupt nearly every enterprise domain in existence. While the prospect of smart cities, automated vehicles and energy management spark the interest of consumers and entrepreneurs alike, several under-the-radar industries have already been critically impacted by IIoT including the location of where our smart infrastructure starts: on the construction site.

Here is a look at several IIoT use cases that have already been transforming construction operations around the world.

Equipment Monitoring and Repair

Predictive maintenance is a key part of enterprise IoT. The deployment of sensors not only reduces the amount of downtime for a piece of equipment, but can also monitor and predict whether that system will fail in the first place. Not only knowing that something broke, but when it is estimated to, can save companies millions of dollars.

In the construction industry, that means outfitting equipment with sensors so that if they go idle due to equipment failure or poor planning, a construction company can avoid having workers standing around waiting while revenues drop.

Wearables

Thought of mainly as a consumer product, wearables like smart watches can allow management to be alerted of their health, location, work time, scheduling, and other notifications that help improve efficiency.

Management and Ordering

Managers can outfit their construction operation with RFID tags that track when supplies are running low, and even order them when required. This also reduces downtime by ensuring workers have the required equipment available to them.

Energy Conservation

IIoT has the potential to significantly reduce energy usage, and it could all start before a structure is even built. Tracking lighting as well as HVAC usage on site eliminates wasted energy costs construction companies incur.

Tagging and Tracking

Tagging and tracking materials with RFID tags reduces the cost incurred by businesses for lost or misrouted items. It also gives managers visibility over their operation to ensure all equipment is accounted for, and that there is no wasted time spent looking for a particular item.

“There is a lot of demand for our product at the construction site,” said Eric Simone, founder and CEO of ClearBlade. “If you have a heavy, expensive machine and don’t know where it is, you are wasting money. We can let you know where it is so you can make sure it doesn’t sit idle.”

Safety

According to the United States Department of Labor, 4,821 workers died on the job in 2014. In fact, the department website features a ticker that scrolls through recent injuries and deaths of construction workers, many of which are only otherwise documented with an online obituary.

Making a job site safer is incredibly important for the livelihood of workers, and for the production and costs of a company. Falls, collisions with heavy objects, electrocutions – all could be avoided by using machines, instead of people, for dangerous projects. Also, ensuring that infrastructure and conditions are safe by using sensors can save avoidable death.

Additionally, remote operation capabilities mean workers don’t need to be at the helm of potentially dangerous machinery.

A lifetime view of buildings and constructions

Embedded sensors can continually track the dynamics of a building after it has been constructed, telling builders and building managers how the materials and components perform and change through their entire life. This allows planners to change their approach on future projects, and to make any corrective action on current buildings before a failure occurs.

 

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