The Latest Innovations in Construction Equipment

The latest innovations in construction equipment are transforming the way the industry works. They can reduce human error and increase safety, all while cutting down on downtime.

Offsite fabrication is a key innovation in the industry, where individual parts are built offsite before they’re brought to the job site and assembled. This process saves time and money and ensures the quality of the end product.

1. Autonomous Equipment

As technology progresses and automation becomes a more viable option for heavy equipment, manufacturers like Caterpillar, Komatsu, Volvo and Hitachi are hard at work developing semi-autonomous machines. This type of automation will be used for jobsites where safety is the highest priority.

For example, mining and agriculture are largely suited to driverless machinery. But on construction sites, where the terrain is more unpredictable and jobsite conditions can change at a moment’s notice, the benefits of full automation are not yet clear.

Still, manufacturers and startups are working on solutions that allow existing heavy equipment to become autonomous without having to replace it entirely. The industry is always looking to improve equipment like YRCO KATO excavators. Built Robotics, for example, is designing upgrade kits that allow customers to convert their existing excavators and loaders into autonomous machines.

Its technology uses a combination of cameras, GPS, LiDAR sensors, RFID and vibration sensors to navigate its surroundings safely and efficiently. It can even operate 24 hours a day, as well as communicate with other autonomous vehicles on site.

However, even though the potential for full autonomy is great, there will likely always be a need for human operators on job sites. This is especially true for projects that involve high-hazard or difficult terrain.

Nevertheless, the benefits of fully-autonomous construction equipment are still impressive: a lower cost to operate, improved safety and increased productivity. This is a big deal in an industry where labor costs are increasing, putting more pressure on companies to find ways to reduce the manual labour component of construction projects.

Some equipment manufacturers are also offering rental options to help construction companies make the switch to automated machines without having to make high upfront investments. This helps professionals feel more at ease and get a taste of what this technology can do for them.

2. Remote Monitoring

Remote monitoring is a tool that can be used to keep track of construction equipment from a distance. This is an excellent way to increase productivity and ensure safety on a construction site.

When it comes to maintaining construction equipment, remote monitoring can save money. This is because it allows you to monitor your heavy machinery and predict maintenance requirements before the equipment breaks down.

It can also help you to identify issues with your equipment so you can get them repaired quickly. This will decrease your overall costs and make sure you get the best possible performance out of your equipment.

Another important use of remote monitoring is in helping to prevent theft. This is especially important on construction sites where equipment can be easily stolen.

A report from the National Crime Information Bureau indicates that construction equipment is stolen at a rate of $1 billion every year. Thefts of this nature can cause huge problems for the project manager and the client, so preventing them is crucial.

One of the major issues for project managers is the generation of reports. This can be a time-consuming task, as they often need to visit the site and take notes.

However, with remote monitoring, these tasks can be done remotely and then sent to other people in the company. This will save a lot of time and effort for the project manager.

Other applications for remote monitoring in construction equipment include monitoring ground borne vibrations, which can be a concern when working in close proximity to sensitive structures or buildings. This can be done by placing special sensors around the building, which will transmit a signal to a receiver on a device. This can then alert the user if there is an issue with the machine or the building itself.

3. Telematics

Whether your fleet consists of a few skid steers or hundreds of heavy equipment, telematics can be beneficial. It provides real-time insights into equipment performance, reducing fuel consumption and maintenance costs and improving productivity.

Telematics systems are incorporated as standard on machines from many manufacturers, such as Caterpillar and Volvo Construction Equipment. They combine GPS technology, on-board diagnostics and monitoring sensors to collect data via cellular networks on the condition and operation of your fleet.

With telematics, managers can track the location of each piece of machinery, helping them find lost assets and make quick, informed decisions about their fleet. They can also use telematics to monitor a variety of different data points, including fuel usage, idle times and engine health.

Another major benefit of telematics is predictive maintenance. If a machine is experiencing excessive wear and tear, it can send alerts to site managers, allowing them to schedule repairs or replacement parts before the problem becomes too serious.

As a result, companies can save money and maximize the life span of their equipment. Additionally, telematics can help dispatch teams plan better routes for heavy equipment so that they can get to job sites quickly and efficiently.

Aside from these benefits, telematics can also help reduce compliance costs and theft. Moreover, it can prevent unsafe driving practices like overloading and excessive idling, which can result in fines or accidents.

Ultimately, telematics can benefit all construction organizations. Whether you run a small construction business or a large enterprise, telematics can improve operations and increase profitability. It can improve safety and compliance, lower operating costs and help you submit more competitive bids to win work.

4. Digital Twins

Digital twins help to optimize asset performance throughout the entire construction process, from the design phase all the way through to operations. They are used in many industries, from oil rigs and pipelines to urban planning.

A digital twin is a virtual representation of an object that incorporates engineering data and can be used for visualization, modeling, analysis and simulation. This information is continuously derived from sensors that are attached to the real-world object.

In addition, digital twins can be used for testing different scenarios and options before committing to new construction projects. This can save time, money and avoid environmental problems. For example, gas mixing systems can be simulated in production to determine how they can be optimized for better output.

Another popular use of digital twins is to monitor workers and their presence on a construction site, including how they interact with equipment. This helps to ensure the safety of workers and reduce the risk of accidents and injuries.

Using a digital twin in the construction industry can also increase collaboration between project teams. This is especially helpful in large, complex buildings and infrastructure.

For instance, a digital twin can provide accurate details of a concrete pour and other construction processes, so that it can be compared to the actual build before it begins. This enables the contractor to identify any discrepancies and correct them before the construction project begins.

Digital twins can also be incorporated into a building information model (BIM) to improve the analytical capabilities of BIM models and to visualize the real-time status, working conditions, and position of physical assets. The result is a more realistic building model that allows stakeholders to understand the impact of decisions on physical properties and structures before they are made.

5. Wearables

Wearables are a form of personal protective equipment (PPE) that integrates technology and innovation to make construction work safer and more efficient for the user. From exoskeletons to smart boots, these devices are helping to improve safety on the job site.

Wearable technology is a popular solution in a wide range of industries, and construction is no exception. These devices can collect data on the jobsite and help to reduce injuries and deaths by delivering more accurate information.

With wearables, workers are able to get a better view of the entire project and keep track of the progress in real-time. This is especially important as projects can be highly complex with many stakeholders and timelines in place.

These devices can also enhance worker communication with other employees and management. They can also be used to monitor health and safety by capturing vital signs, monitoring heart rate and sending alerts in case of an emergency.

As a result, they can prevent jobsite accidents and increase employee satisfaction on the job site. These devices have been shown to lower insurance rates and can also reduce time spent on injury recovery, thereby improving productivity on the job site.

A variety of sensors, GPS, pressure and fall detection, activity trackers, heart-rate monitors and biometrics are among the numerous technologies that can be incorporated into various wearables. This data can then be used to better understand worker health and safety and address any concerns that may arise on a jobsite.

While wearables are still a relatively new concept in the construction industry, their use is expected to grow. This is mainly because of their ability to help construction firms improve onsite efficiency through the collection of critical data.