Have A Look At What’s New In The World Of Concrete
Earlier this month, we announced that World of Concrete is returning to India after a three-year hiatus. I’m excited to be involved again with the excellent concrete industry professionals who have shown me great hospitality during my previous visits to Hyderabad and New Delhi. All of us share one common goal, to construct sustainable, long-serving concrete structures, while providing a safe work environment for our workers, and crafting structures that give the maximum return of investment to owners.
This is an exciting time in concrete construction. Our industry is adopting new technologies, exciting products, and incorporating new software to produce, construct, and repair concrete structures.
Each month, I plan to highlight one or two of the innovations we are witnessing in the construction market. And this is difficult, with many innovations happening. So, in this first of what I hope to be a long series of updates, let’s focus on one of the hottest topics in concrete construction.
Contractors Adopting New Technology
The concrete construction industry was slowly adopting digital techniques for the everyday construction tasks in 2019. But, the combination of physical distancing and remote management initiatives required by COVID-19 health guidelines accelerated job site introduction. A recent survey of Canadian Contractors indicates digital transformation is here to stay.
Procore Technologies, Inc., a leading provider of construction management software, published these and other interesting results in its inaugural How We Build Now Canada survey in mid-November. When they asked contractors, “What are the key success factors post COVID-19,” 64 per cent cited increased productivity and efficiency – issues that transcend the pandemic. The survey results support the growing trend of adopting digital products that 53% of contractors feel the ability to work remotely will be a key success factor, and 38 per cent realize improved safety and compliance will be critical going forward. Procore’s survey also reported that contractors believe technology will either play a key role in the future of construction (50%) or be the construction industry (38 %).
Let’s look at a few examples of these new technologies that brought focus on safety:
Proximity Trace IoT solution has helped companies minimize the impact of COVID-19 in the workplace through social distancing alerts and automated contact tracing. The platform supports clients’ safe physical distancing guidelines and quickly identifies potentially exposed individuals through digital contact tracing. A worker has tested positive for COVID-19, helping them mitigate and control the spread at their worksites.
Since Proximity Trace identifies the individuals who may have been exposed through contact with co-workers, it helps companies make informed decisions, which may help avoid full shutdowns and associated costs. The solution also delivers data insights to help companies identify new operating procedures that minimize the number of close interactions by as much as 50%.
Along with health safety benefit, managers can better track job site efficiency. Workers wear a small device while working. The sensor can also indicate worker location and movement.
Kenzen Body Heat Monitoring System
The Kenzen’s Smart PPE patch monitors and relays real-time stress indicators to protect against heat injuries. It is a cloud-based SaaS system that includes wearable devices workers wear on their arms. The device alerts both the worker and supervisor when the core body temperature is too high. The device also monitors multiple physiological and environmental metrics, including heart rate, activity, skin, and ambient temperatures. A second “back to work” alert indicates when the worker’s core body temperature has returned to a safe level
Contractors are focused on reducing labour inefficiencies. Whether large or small, construction companies waste thousands and even millions of dollars every year on labour inefficiency. STRUXI jobsite software enables contractors to have better records and transfer information between field crew and back-office staff with less paper. The result has been shown dramatic gains in productivity and better job cost accounting.
One of North America’s largest concrete contractors, Lithko is the subject of a white-paper demonstrating the economic, productivity, and quality effects of adopting this software. You can download this report at https://struxi.com.
Kryton Smart Concrete
At the February 2020 World of Concrete, Kryton announced the North American launch of a software system that offers a new approach to the real-time monitoring of placed concrete in structures. Maturix Smart Concrete technology runs on the Sigfox 0G network, the world’s largest IoT network. The Sigfox networks offers users the benefits of a long-range and low-power-demand network that enables allows sensor batteries to last for years
Using the Sigfox network, Maturix users are not required to visit the worksite to take data readings physically. At chosen depths, concrete temperatures are displayed to the user in real-time anywhere in the world. Temperature and strength readings are recorded and reported as required by the user. Additionally, by using Maturix’s patented process, this data is converted to actual in-place concrete strength.
The ability to monitor concrete strength and temperature in real-time from remote locations helps expedite faster construction schedules, optimize efficiencies, reduce costs, and improve safety.
“What is really exciting about this technology is that the sensors are reusable,” says Kevin Yuers, VP of Product Development. “Unlike single-use sensors that are cast into concrete, Maturix Smart Concrete Sensors can be used over and over for multiple castings and projects. Not only does this significantly reduce cost, but it’s also a much greener and more sustainable use of materials.”
The company has not announced when this technology will be available in India.
The World Of Concrete Is More
I hope you have enjoyed this first edition of What’s New in the World of Concrete. The takeaway from this note, is that successful concrete construction practices involve more than just mix designs, plant configurations, and finishing tools. Our industry is becoming fast-paced, technologically focused, and cost-effective. And to accomplish this, we need to be aware of the exciting advances in our world of concrete.
Please feel free to reach out with questions by emailing me at [email protected]. And just as necessary, please share your insights and success stories.
And stay informed by connecting to us at www.woc360.com, where we post pertinent information for concrete contractor and producers.