IoT in Construction: Applications and Fields of Interest

Mario HonrubiaCase StudiesIoT

Industry 4.0 has already emerged in several industries as a response to the new challenges. In this strong competitive environment, companies must be more productive and flexible and use real-time information but, is it necessary to incorporate it in every sector? First applications or ideas for industry 4.0 were designed for manufacturing industries to produce cheaper and faster by connecting machines and systems in an intelligent network. This has been a success so far but, could these revolutionary innovations be implemented in other sectors with technical equipment such as construction or miningLet’s see how some companies are implementing IoT in construction! iot in construction An essential industry 4.0 pillar is IoT, whose goal is to connect every device to the network. How can this be useful in the construction sector?

IoT in Construction

These 3 fields appear to be the most important for IoT in construction:
  • Productivity: The construction sector is conditioned by deadlines. It is mandatory to avoid backlogs because they may result in a budget increase. IoT can provide more readiness and efficiency and improve productivity in civil works around 5% and 10%.
  • Maintenance: With real-time information, it is possible to know the status of every machine, to schedule maintenance stops or refueling. This organized system also increases productivity between 3% and 5%.
  • Security: It is possible to track the position of every machine, as well as the workers' position. With IoT, we can create a digital real-time map with the updated risks associated with the works and notify every worker when getting closer to any risk or entering a dangerous zone. Moreover, workers can be notified about the special security equipment they need for every activity and location.
How can we land these applications in real and useful acts, improvements or situations in a civil work? iot in construction Sensors are able to pick up uncommon sounds from a certain machine and use it as rupture indicator but sensors can measure plenty of parameters like temperature, energy consumption or mechanical ones. Sensors give information about inventory levels too so it is possible to let our supplier know we are close to finishing stock. More purposes are, for example, know why two machines doing the same work have different fuel consumption or identify water leaks or concrete cracks in non-accessible places. Do you know another industry where it could be useful to deploy IoT and it has not been done yet? Also, you can check out how open innovation helps obtain innovative construction solutions from industry challenges. Join our engineering community here