The construction industry is one of the last ones to digitize and they have a lot to gain from embracing new technologies. Advanced technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT) are opening endless opportunities for construction. It has already proven its value in health care, manufacturing and other industries in which automation and asset management is critical.
According to research conducted by McKinsey, large projects take up to 20% longer to finish than scheduled and are up to 80% over budget. Could productivity growth in the construction industry perhaps be unlocked by IoT?
In this article, we will touch base on how the construction industry can benefit from implementing IoT technology.
Repairs and maintenance have a big effect on the industry and poor maintenance will impact the overall cost of a construction project.
IoT technology can provide you with real-time information about the condition of your assets. Real-time data enables you to know the current status of every asset, schedule maintenance activities or refuel and turn-off idle equipment.
The continuous flow of data from the installed sensors combined with historical data from former projects can be also be used to predict potential failures in a current project. For example, data from a previous project may help you identify a certain pattern that has led to failures before. This will help you to keep an eye out for such patterns in future projects and prevent you from experiencing the same failure twice.
It is no secret that the construction industry is conditioned by (often) tight deadlines and meeting targets as well as staying within a certain budget. IoT improves productivity by enabling increased readiness and efficiency. For example, by using IoT as a monitoring solution, the need for manual inspections will decrease. This will allocate more time for workers to interact with their teams and project managers and provides them with an opportunity to generate new ideas. In the end, this will most likely improve the overall project delivery as well as the costumer satisfaction.
The expectation to meet tight deadlines leaves no time for interruptions and incidental expenses. In order to avoid this, an adequate supply of materials is required. However, poor scheduling often leads to a late supply of materials. Fitting the supply unit with suitable sensors makes it possible to automatically determine the quantity and either make automatic orders or raise alarms.
Ensure the jobsite safety
Safety is a topic of concern for both workers and the managers leading them. Today, various safety measures have been taken in order to ensure a safe working environment, but this can be further enhanced by using IoT.
By using impactful tools and techniques, workers can be alerted of an increased safety risk when approaching a dangerous environment. This will enable them to take appropriate measures and never be left blind about potential safety risks.
In addition to notifying workers about dangerous working conditions, IoT can also detect potential safety hazards before they happen. Real-time data collected from IoT technology empowers workers and project managers to predict job-site issues. This enables them to prevent situations which may lead to a safety incident and loss of valuable time.
Protect material and equipment
Theft of valuable material and equipment continues to be an uncomfortable issue to deal with. It often results in additional expenses and revenue from project delays. Naturally, this affects competitiveness and the overall customer satisfaction.
With the help of IoT it is possible to tag material or equipment and secure them from theft. By installing a tracking device with intelligent sensors, it will be possible to get real-time data of the current location of the tracked equipment. This provides increased visibility of the supply chain and will limit the risk of theft as well as increase the chance of recovery.
Only a fraction of the potential
Construction workers and project managers have a wide variety of responsibilities that compete for their undivided attention. Completing a construction project requires coordinating personnel, equipment and materials, and as we all know, mistakes are unfortunately easy to make. This is when IoT comes into play.
IoT technology provides a unique insight into the construction process and the overall performance of the structure. IoT can support construction safety and increase quality, efficiency, productivity as well as sustainability. The benefits listed in this article represents merely a fraction of the potential of the IoT technology.
- Mazhandu, F. (2019). IoT Applications in Construction
- Rau, K. (2019). This CEO Is Using IoT Technology to Transform the Construction Industry