Contractors continue to adopt jobsite technology like never before, providing the industry with new and valuable data. In our #SmarterwithSpotr series, Ian Ouellette, Triax’s Vice President of Product, shares his thoughts on how the industry can leverage the groundswell of data to build safer, smarter, and faster. Below, he breaks down Triax’s Spot-r system, the current construction technology ecosystem, and the importance of first identifying business problems and then deploying technology solutions.
Spot-r is an IoT platform that connects the jobsite with a robust network “backbone” capable of reliably hosting IoT devices and sensors. Our network works in conditions where traditional networks do not (such as low or no-power environments) and also hosts devices capable of producing large amounts of data while consuming low amounts of power themselves. This makes connectivity possible in new, traditionally challenging environments (like the construction worksite) and keeps the burden low to maintain that connectivity.
With minimal amount of hardware, we can create our own full jobsite network, and as the project progresses that network scales to cover new areas. This enables our compact wearable and sensor devices to collect 3-dimensional location data on people and things in addition to trigger-based events such as worker falls, push-button alerts, or certification issues.
First, Spot-r helps actively change safety culture on site via the worker alert/push-button feature, helping to document and address unsafe conditions. With objective safety data, safety leaders can better assess – and if necessary, behavior modify – near-miss events, all of which can help control exposure and mitigate risks.
Also, a lesser known benefit is that Spot-r helps manage worker certifications. Not only does it digitally store and report on that information, but it can notify personnel about upcoming certification expirations, when a worker arrives on site with no or expired certification as well as unauthorized equipment operation.
In terms of pure efficiency gains, Spot-r can reduce the time spent on mundane tasks such as man power reporting or practicing jobsite evacuations, and it can be used to optimize resources by overlaying as-built man power with as-planned to identify delays and inefficiencies. We’re working hard towards a lean construction solution that overlays our workforce and equipment location data to identify large bottlenecks.
The industry is still evolving in our ability to leverage IoT data. The first step is to identify key business problems or challenges that aren’t able to be tackled with traditional, outdated tools. The next step is to assess the array of available tech on the market. Combining these two pools of information is the critical first step towards formulating concrete use cases and actually analyzing and acting upon the data.
In general, the construction industry is lacking the ability to make real-time, data-driven decisions to better manage people, assets, schedules, budgets, and projects. Buildings are – and for the foreseeable future, will be – built by people. Keeping workers safe and eliminating barriers to them realizing their full capacity will minimize downtime, increase productivity, reduce costs, and improve overall quality.
Growing the ecosystem
We want Spot-r to be at the center of on-site IoT data, which involves working with industry players to continually assess and understand their business problems and apply data to create real value. Another big part of that goal involves partnering with other leading solutions to create a more flexible, cohesive technology ecosystem.
Leveraging IoT takes practice, iterative learning and developing how it fits with your specific business cases or drivers, but to realize the potential of tomorrow you need to start practicing today.
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