Construction document control is the hot item right now with regards to industry technology. With several leading tech companies working tirelessly to convert all contractors from hard copy drawings to digital, the race is on to see who will emerge victorious. Not only are technology companies seeing opportunity in plan management, their also seeing opportunity with the new Windows platform. The Surface Pro tablets and Surface Book laptops have given Apple products a run for their money recently for jobsite use, after jumping 20% in use in 2016 compared to the previous year, according to a new construction technology survey.
PlanGrid, an easy to use, web-based plan management and markup software, originally released a beta version for Windows back in March of 2016, but has now officially released the full version. Some of the features you’ll get with the new Windows version are multiple windows for side-by-side comparisons, an offline mode which will update your drawings when you regain internet access, and snap-to annotations for easy notes.
Aside from the Windows update, PlanGrid has also released several enhancements that users are sure to love. As of last week, the software now allows users to set their own issue date on sheets, so that they are in control of the order of their sheets in the revision history. No matter what order sheets are uploaded in, you can change the order to display the most recent version of a particular drawing first, which will ensure all trades are working off of the most current version. If you’re interested in learning more about this new feature, PlanGrid has scheduled a webinar to help users navigate the change on Wednesday, December 14th from 1:30pm to 2:30pm EST. You can register for the webinar for free by clicking here.
Another recent update for the software include an additional 4 colors for document markup, on top of the 8 colors they originally offered. That should help contractors using a specific coloring system for each trade.
Finally, PlanGrid also released an update to make as-built hand-off even easier. With the addition of hyperlinked as-builts, facility owners and operators can navigate their building’s drawings with ease, including manuals for equipment and warranty information. Not only should that make life easier for contractors, but it’s an added benefit to the owner. The hyperlinks will work on PDFs, even when PlanGrid isn’t being used.
If you’re unfamiliar with PlanGrid, the video below is a quick overview of the program:
Every now and then a new product comes along and you ask yourself, “why didn’t I think of that?!” The OVAL Fire Extinguisher is just that product. Architecture and interior design have been moving towards cleaner lines in their spaces. Foregone are the days of bulky protruding water fountains (bubblers for my northern friends) and fire extinguisher cabinets. Interior designers are looking for cleaner and sleeker interior spaces but the 10lb fire extinguishers and cabinets have not changed for quite some time. OVAL is about to change all that.
Do you own Bosch Cordless Power Tools? Is it time for a battery upgrade? Take a look at Bosch’s new CORE 18V batteries. They have gone in and completely revamped their 18V batteries! They are now smaller, lighter, more powerful, have a longer life, and allow for more cuts and drives. Bosch has been able to achieve all of these benefits while also delivering corded performance in high-load applications.
The 2017 Milwaukee Tool New Product Symposium (NPS) was held last week at Milwaukee’s headquarters and it proved to be a whirlwind of new products and information from the red brand. Over 80 new tools and accessories, which will be released throughout the remainder of 2017, were presented to dozens of media representatives, including construction magazines, YouTubers, Instagrammers, and your favorite construction blog (Construction Junkie, obviously).
After flooding our social media pages with Milwaukee information and gathering our thoughts from the event, we’ve come up with our 9 biggest takeaways from the event, in no particular order.
After recently announcing the release of a bunch of new Bluetooth enabled tools and products, as well as an inventory platform, DeWalt has jumped all-in on internet connected construction sites with the announcement of Construction Site WiFi. Construction sites, especially large complex sites, are becoming more and more reliant on internet connectivity to efficiently manage their projects. This is great news for all of you who count on a consistent internet connection to use programs like Procore, PlanGrid, and Bluebeam, among others, to communicate between different parties on the job site and in the office.
Skip the ties this year and get your dad something he really wants. Weather he's a full time construction workers, a handyman, or a DIYer, there are plenty of tools and accessories that will keep him productive and make his life easier. Below is a list of products that would make any dad happy this year.
Almost two years after they announced the release of their Bluetooth Battery that allowed owners to remotely monitor battery life and even disable the battery if it’s stolen, DeWalt is set to release a massive upgrade to their connected tool platform.
There’s no shortage of company’s trying to improve the world’s roadways. Asphalt and concrete each have their own disadvantages, especially when maintenance environmental factors are taken into consideration. Plastic is a major problem for landfills, as well, as it can take an estimated 500 years to fully decompose. One UK company believes they can solve both maintenance and environmental problems through the use of recycled plastic.
Feeling the pressure of 9 straight quarters with a decline in total revenue, Caterpillar has acquired the equipment sharing startup, Yard Club, to get help dig themselves out of the dirt. Their most recent quarter was the company’s first positive revenue quarter since November of 2012.
I’m a firm believer that before robots start taking over construction jobs, we’ll first be working with robotics to make workers more efficient and our job sites more functional. Instead of using 3D printing robots to build an entire project, why not use them first to create intricate details and bring character back to buildings? Instead of pushing human labor out of the way, why not use robotics to enhance the abilities of our workers, to improve their health and productivity? With rise in development commercial exoskeletons, workers will soon be able to harness additional strength by just slipping on a suit.