While the construction industry has generally moved at a conservative pace when it comes to adopting new and upcoming trends, the rapid rate of change in technology is beginning to trickle down and impact the way we design and construct our projects. This includes the development of more sustainable and eco-friendly business practices, as well as the automation of many common and frequent construction tasks.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is one of the latest trends in the world of technology which aims to revolutionise the way the construction industry functions as a business. IoT encapsulates the concept of physical objects communicating with each other, using embedded electronics, sensors, and network connectivity. In essence, allowing devices, vehicles, buildings and other items to collect and exchange data with each other.
Major equipment manufacturers have been highly invested in the IoT space, allowing equipment to be able to calculate and optimise machine hours, monitor fuel consumption, as well as provide GPS tracking. The potential for IoT applications are unlimited and with a wide variety of different types of sensors and network technologies, companies now have the power to maintain complete control over every single aspect of their business, from the delivery of their projects to the supply of their materials.
These metrics will allow companies to schedule maintenance on ailing equipment when detected faulty, determine the most effective process for a given task, as well as prevent misuse of equipment. Ultimately, these aspects will allow workers to make better decisions with the information they are receiving, providing businesses with the means to better analyse their flow of production, and optimise their business based on their objective needs.
Various State Governments around Australia have also made extensive use of IoT technology, including the New South Wales Government which has begun a trial to bring IoT technology to the state’s streets. The trial aims to lay foundations for vehicles to be able communicate via road infrastructure, to reduce the amount of time vehicles spend at traffic lights and on the road.
Involving around 110 trucks total, the vehicles will utilise Cooperative Intelligent Transport System (CITS) technology to allow them to communicate with road infrastructure, such as street lights and traffic lights. Not only will this kind of technology be able to reduce congestion, however it could very well spark an evolution in the way that future equipment and vehicles are manufactured and designed, increasing productivity, as well as efficiency.
The applications for IoT are practically endless, whether for the monitoring and repair of equipment, the management and ordering of supplies or the promotion safety within a worksite. As IoT gains prominence, be on the lookout for IoT solutions which can best solve your business problems.