Over the next ten years, technology is likely to impact the construction industry in a big way. The new technologies will enhance the industry by creating what is called the ‘Connected Jobsite’, meaning that all elements of the construction process are linked together and are able to be monitored and controlled centrally.
Changing conditions and participants are issues that face any business owner when construction is taking place at multiple locations, and this is nothing new. What is new is the technology being used to improve the situation. The flow of information is extremely important, and more recently smartphones and tablets, and connectivity through the internet have helped to provide smart solutions.
The emergence of new technology is the driving force of change regarding information management in the construction industry. It is built around three fundamental aspects that are converging: computing, computing, and networking. There are three ways in which these connecting elements can benefit the construction industry: awareness, performance, and control.
In the past, it has been difficult for business owners to be on the job site around the clock. But now, with the Connected Jobsite, technology is allowing them to gain a more precise view of what’s going on with each job, and in a much easier way, too. They want to be able to anticipate future needs rather than reacting to current ones. This is a much more efficient way of working, and over the next decade business owners will be able to do so because of the technology that is now being developed.
This technology will be able to help business owners track what is happening at each site, and also the equipment that is being used there. This jobsite connection will make business owners aware of the current machine and component statistics, which they’ll be able to view directly from their smartphone or another computer screen. The information gathered will include data such as location, machine health and performance, fuel levels, and operator performance.
This site management system will also be able to notify equipment providers about any issues. It will no longer be necessary for a technician to come beforehand to assess the equipment, as they can diagnose the equipment remotely. This will save time and ensure that all machinery is kept in order as technicians are constantly monitoring it and ensuring that it is maintained on time.
This is good news for business owners, for a couple of reasons. To begin with, fewer on-site mechanics are needed, as all equipment diagnosis can be performed remotely. Secondly, leasing equipment, rather than owning it becomes a more cost-effective option as it provides certainty of costs and full maintenance can be guaranteed.
Because of the connected jobsite, business owners can have the machine and operator performance statistics available at the press of a button, meaning that they can save significant time and money regarding management of equipment, logistics and labour. Leasing equipment now becomes the smarter option. Here at RMEWA, we are specialists in construction equipment rental, and offer excavator and bobcat hire in Perth, ready to fulfil your site needs.
Operations can be optimized by the first factor of the connected jobsite: awareness. The technology that is being introduced over the next ten years will also help make it easier for business owners to estimate jobs and evaluate efficiency. This is connected performance.
This means measuring just how much material the equipment hauls, so that business owners are able to charge exactly by how much work has been done, rather than charging an hourly or daily rate, or a flat fee. The will allow businesses to estimate the cost of jobs much more efficiently, and then work out a margin on top of the actual cost, and then bill the customer that way.
This way of measuring machinery performance will also allow for smarter and safer working practices. Machine operators will be able to see underground obstacles live on a screen as they work, and the machine can also be programmed to automatically avoid any hazards. This will wipe out costly damages but also speed up the construction process on any site as operators will know exactly where the hazards are. This will avoid damage to both the equipment and infrastructure.
The last aspect of this evolution in technology will allow business owners to work much more efficiently by understanding just what kind of jobs they are best at, and not simply taking on all jobs that are not be a good use of time or money. Once they realize what they’re good at, the business can then outsource and bring in experts at jobs they’re less efficient at. This will really boost the entire construction industry.
Connected control is also about using operator-less equipment whenever possible, e.g. to complete redundant and repetitive tasks like site preparation. Manufacturers of construction equipment are designing and building machines that maximise productivity because they don’t need to include aspects of operator safety or comfort.
However, some jobs will continue to clearly have a need for an operator, and they will also benefit from connected control. Using the latest technology, the design plans can now appear on the front window of the machine via augmented reality. This will really speed-up and enhance the process as data is easily viewed in real time as the machine-operator completes each task.
The Future is the Connected Jobsite
There are three main elements that are being developed in unison to make up the ‘Connected Jobsite’: awareness, performance and control. This means that by 2027, business owners will have access to certain data and real-time performance updates that were not possible to view before. These technological advances will transform construction sites and the way people do business.
Construction costs will now become much more precisely estimated and measured, increasing cost-efficiency. Operations that were once estimated and varied will become precise and measured. Because of the technology available, specialization in the construction industry will also increase, and businesses can improve their efficiency in certain areas, whilst employing outside experts to complete jobs they know they’re not as good at.
All in all, the connected jobsite means that businesses can join up the dots to ensure the most success going forward in any construction project. As was the case before, one of the vital factors of any work is the communication flows, and now technology will allow us to know more about the machines, their operations, their operators, and the jobsite as a whole.
If businesses know more they can do more, and more importantly do it better. The connected jobsite is being developed and it will improve efficiency, but more importantly saving money will ensure an increase in profits for business owners.