The Internet of Things (IoT) is rapidly changing the way a construction jobsite functions. The McKinsey Global Institute has estimated that IoT could have an economic impact of as much as $11.1-trillion within just a few years, outpacing other disruptive technologies like advanced robotics, autonomous vehicles and mobile internet.
Things on a jobsite equipped with sensors can now collect information and communicate with each other through connected software tools.
IoT data gives visibility into onsite conditions a company chooses to track, most often connecting the office and the jobsite through cellular networks or wi-fi. Connectivity of IoT devices with cloud-based applications, such as Autodesk Construction Cloud, can help unite, analyze and manage data extracted from a jobsite.
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If your company cannot support a full implementation of IoT sensors at one time, you can start small by identifying key areas where IoT could improve your operations, for instance worker safety. You can then add to your IoT technology in increments.
- Worker Tracking and Safety
Sensors can help a project manager with overall project management and the workers on it. When IoT sensors are worn – smartwatches, hardhat attachments, vest accessories, safety glasses – they can help monitor and improve site safety and worker health. Environmental sensors gather data on jobsite conditions affecting safety; biometric sensors monitor the workers.
Worker posture, heart rate, body temperature, repetitive motions, among others, can be analyzed to assess risk and prevent accidents and injuries. The sensors can also alert management to slips, falls, heat exhaustion, and other problems. If an accident occurs, a sensor can make notification about it immediately, decreasing emergency response time.
- Materials and Equipment Management
IoT sensors in construction can enable the tracking of materials through the supply chain so companies can stay apprised in real-time. With a more efficient supply chain, companies have a better chance of staying on track with project timelines.
Sensors can also help with equipment and construction asset management. By providing data on the status and productivity of equipment, maintenance can be optimized. Monitoring real-time sensor data can help with scheduling maintenance to avoid breakdowns requiring expensive repairs or replacements.
- Monitoring Site Conditions
Sensors can monitor safety issues like gas and chemical leaks, as well as weather, humidity, wind, and other conditions that impact materials and worker safety. Sensor technology is a more advanced, continuous and effective approach than site visits alone.
Whether your implementation of IoT sensors on your construction projects is in the form of wearables or another type, they can help you solve issues with safety, schedules, productivity, and efficiency on your construction projects.
With the right implementation plan, you can employ sensors to position your construction company for a smarter future by integrating sensor-collected data into other technologies you use. When connected through products like the Autodesk Construction Cloud platform, you can discover improved processes throughout your company.