One of the great revolutions in the construction industry is born with information and its ensuing use to optimize tasks. Smart sensors gather data to make constructions more efficient, smart and safe, among others.
What is a smart sensor? A wide variety of devices capable of measuring different variables and providing information on the data obtained to support decision making and project management, from measuring distances to calculating temperature and pressure, through path and status of workers and materials.
Discover the main applications of smart sensors in the construction industry.
Building efficiently with sensors
Managing construction machineries and equipments requires multiple resources and might have a high cost. Unexpected breakdowns can extend the estimated time of a construction project, increasing its costs.
With predictive maintenance, sensors allows to reduce the risks of repairs and breakdowns. Since they help collect information in real time and provide data on the most common patterns of machineries and equipments. In this way, they allow early detection of unexpected changes.
Integrating sensors to smart buildings
Integrating sensors directly into infrastructures is useful to detect problems faster and that could otherwise go unnoticed or be more expensive to locate: water leaks, short circuits, mold, damage, etc.
The use of sensors in smart buildings and cities is a breakthrough in the construction process. The sensors can be present on a buildings’ life, from the moment of placing the first concrete block to the measurement of the electrical consumption to detect possible risks. Also, they are not only limited to one building, since sensors can communicate with each other and share information about other buildings in the same city.
The use of sensors in smart buildings begins with their integration into Building Information Modeling (BIM), which data generation and management uses smart sensors to increase their database and provide data to measure key factors: temperature patterns, energy use or pedestrian traffic. Thanks to sensors it is possible to collect and use this information to make decisions on future projects, in addition to saving significant costs.
Promoting safety on construction sites with sensors
Ensuring safety on construction sites is essential, as it prevents risks and negative consequences that can affect both the project and its workers. There are different types of sensors for risk prevention:
- Environmental, capable of measuring and analyzing sensitive parameters inside and outside the perimeter of the jobsite, thus ensuring compliance with environmental plans, permits and regulations. A clear example is the air quality sensors that, once integrated with Internet of Things, can detect the decrease in air quality during an underground construction and automatically activate the ventilation system.
- Biometrics are transducers that transform a physical aspects of a human being into an electrical signal. In general, the sensor interprets or measures aspects such as light, temperature, speed and other types of energy stimuli. These sensors allow detecting the entry and exit of authorized personnel on site, as well as the identification of workers in restricted areas.
Smart sensors are key allies of the construction industry, once applied to safety they can prevent injuries and accidents, as well as reduce response times to risks generated on site.
Boosting the supply chain with sensors
Managing construction materials and workers on site are essential improvement points in the construction process. By implementing smart sensors, it is possible to have real-time monitoring of deliveries, as well as the state of the materials.
The use of Internet of Things together with the sensors encourages communication among the different actors in the supply chain and optimizes the tracking of materials. The margins of human error, the inconvenience of labor shortage, low budget, adverse climate and other environmental factors are reduced.
Among the main benefits of the sensors in the supply chain, the following stand out:
- Logistic patterns visualization, such as tracking the quality, quantity and cost of resources.
- Compare the delivery plans with the actual delivery times, as well as the inspection of the delivered products.
- Create a decision making system that allows generating a production and supply plan for suppliers and buyers.
- Control operations following trucks position and detecting the movement and condition of the transportation in real time.
- Optimize vehicle routing and vehicle logistics programming.
- Monitoring system to improve efficiency and scaffolding management.
- Remote monitoring of tools and equipment in a construction site.
- Facilitate the problem diagnosis system and the maintenance of construction equipment.
Smart sensors drive efficiency in the construction industry and foster an innovative methodology in data management.