The research partnership between Leonhard Weiss and SmartMakers leads to interesting results in the construction industry. Digitalization is also making its way into this sector. In particular, it is about the so-called asset tracking. Since not everyone is familiar with this term, a brief explanation follows.
Basically, it’s about a construction company wanting to know at all times where its construction machines are and to what extent they are currently being utilized. Ideally, all machines are optimally utilized at all times. Every stoppage costs the construction company money. Checking the machines in real time is called asset tracking.
Cooperation of Leonhard Weiss with SmartMakers
The construction company Leonhard Weiss got involved in the collaboration with SmartMakers because it is expected to provide fundamental insights. To this end, the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research has launched a project specifically for this purpose, which is also being accompanied and supported. It is called IoC or, better, Internet of Construction.
The aim is to improve networking and optimize collaboration. In this context, people also like to talk about BIM. This is the abbreviation for Building Information Modeling. It all sounds a bit abstract, but it’s not. It’s all about optimizing the entire value chain in construction.
Faster and better communication between all parties involved in a construction project helps to save time and costs. Experience shows that most delays during a construction project occur due to misunderstandings or other communication problems.
The important role of SmartMakers
There have been joint projects between Leonhard Weiss and SmartMakers in the past. This was followed up in the realization of the new research project. The so-called LoRaWAN was used in this project. This involves IoT sensors that record data at crucial points and forward it to a central location. This technology was deployed at a reference construction site on the RWTH Aachen University campus so that it could be used in practical applications.
For the first time, various processes associated with a construction project were determined and evaluated. This involves supply chains, the use of construction machinery and tools, and of course the efficiency of employees. Thanks to this new technology, it was possible to recreate various scenarios that usually arise in a construction project.
What findings have been made so far?
IoT sensors were attached to different parts and construction materials. In addition, LoRaWAN technology was set up in halls as well as on trucks and other delivery and transport vehicles. This allowed insights to be gained from all areas of the value chain during the course of a construction project. In addition, asset tracking was used to better determine the utilization of construction equipment and tools.
Close cooperation between the construction company Leonhard Weiss and SmartMakers revealed weak points and possible sources of error. These findings can be used to improve the work as well as the supply of construction materials.
In practical everyday life on a construction site, it happens again and again that construction workers cannot work because the wrong construction materials were delivered or because the urgently needed construction machines are still in use on other construction sites. By using modern technologies, such costly breakdowns in a construction project can be avoided from the outset.