It’s no secret that it’s much easier to create heat than to remove heat, which is probably why no one has created a “reverse microwave” yet. It’s also one reason why there is only a small amount of clothing and accessories built around cooling people off outdoors, especially those who work in the construction industry. Sure, you can install some fans around the job site, but they only help workers when it’s blowing directly at them. Now, a Japanese company is releasing their personal cooling jackets and hard hat fans to US customers and targeting the construction industry.
Zippkool, invented by Japanese manufacturer SFT Laboratory Co. Ltd, is making its American debut in May at the National Hardware Show 2016 in Las Vegas, which runs from May 4-6. The cooling jackets are powered by a lithium-ion battery, which can run the cooling fans inside the jacket for up to 20 hours on a single charge. Using two fans, which are located at the lower back, air is pushed through the jacket simultaneously cooling your body and evaporating sweat. That jacket will add a little weight obviously, since there are extra components. The two fans together weigh just over 7.05 oz, which is less than half of a pound and the battery will add additional weight, but that amount has not been released.
There are currently 5 different versions of the cooling jacket to choose from:
BP-500N – long sleeve, 100% polyester, cuts 99% UV, meant for outdoor use
BPN-500N – long sleeve, titanium coated polyester, blocks 92% IR heat and cuts 99% UV, meant for outdoor use
BPF-500N – Roughly the same as the BPN-500, but includes a hood
BM-500U – long sleeve, cotton jacket, meant for indoor use
BMK-500U – short sleeve, cotton jacket, meant for indoor or outdoor use
The main challenge with these jackets are the bulkiness, because, as you can imagine, blowing air inside a jacket makes you look like a balloon that’s ready to pop. Creating greater surface area can set a worker up for getting snagged on plenty of job site hazards, so it remains to be seen how well these jackets can hold up to the rigors of a typical job site. But, as you saw in the descriptions above, the outdoor jackets also provide an extra benefit, besides the cooling: UV protection. Construction workers are at one of the highest risks of getting skin cancer, due to the long hours worked in the sun and our general aversion to using un-macho sunscreen.
For those who may not be interested in a fairly cumbersome, upper body cooling system, the company is also releasing a hard hat fan, which is attached to a polyester neck cover. As opposed to the cooling jackets, the hard hat fan will be powered by a Nickel Hydride battery pack, which you can clip to your belt. It’s not cordless, either, which is probably better on your neck, but leaves you to deal with a cord wrapped around your body.
What do you think? Would you use a cooling jacket on your job site?
CAT, the name synonymous with heavy construction equipment across the world, has been slowly adding technology to its brand over the past year. Early last year, the company announced it would be releasing a rugged smart phone, which was also the first ever to have a built-in thermal imaging camera. This year, they’re releasing their first step into the world of tablets.
Video feeds on a construction site are not only great for timelapse videos, they can potentially help stop intruders who enter your site.
On August 18th, around 200 new tools were showcased at the annual DeWalt Media Event. This particular event was held in Nashville, Tennessee, where you can’t escape country music no matter how hard you try.
Below are what we thought were the highlights of the event. Let us know what new release you’re most excited about!
Falls from height is one of the leading causes of death among construction workers and ladders are a major contributor to that number. According to the CDC, falls from ladders caused 64 fatalities and 11,500 injuries in the construction industry alone in 2011. There are many things ladder users can do to make their work safer, like setting it at proper angles on level ground, checking for damage, and maintaining 3 points of contact, among others. One technology company is trying to take some of the thinking out of ladder set up.
Almost exactly 2 years ago, we shared details about an autonomous, driverless construction work zone vehicle that would be the first to hit US streets of its kind. That vehicle is gearing up to hit US streets as the Colorado Department of Transportation has teamed up with its developers.
When construction companies initially started to adopt mobile technologies like tablets and smartphones, there was a race between many construction technology companies to be the future leader in the area. As the years rolled on, it became less and less likely that one app was going to be the end-all-be-all, like AutoCAD became in the architectural design world. There’s not one app out there right now that provides every single function that a construction company needs, because each company is very unique. The solution? Integration.
Communication is key to a safe and productive construction environment. One of the biggest challenges of effective communication on job sites is the complexity and size of the project, which inhibits being able to contact the correct people in a timely manner. Tracking devices have been a hot button issue in construction news for the last few years. Some examples include RFID tag sensors in hard hats, such as the one being used on certain job sites in Washington DC and time sheet applications, which allow employers to track their employee’s locations using the GPS on their phone’s or tablets.
In March of this year, Elon Musk announced that Tesla would begin taking orders on their Solar Roof Shingle concept. Tesla Solar Roof is a solar power roof system that eliminates the need for bulky solar panels installed over top of traditional roof materials. Instead, the shingles themselves, which come in a variety of different styles, are the solar panels.
At the company’s second quarter earnings report, Tesla announced that the first solar roof installations have been completed.
[guest post] The progress of construction sites is usually captured by taking still photos of different areas that have been subject to change. Documenting a full construction site requires a lot of pictures (usually more than ten per room), and even then not every corner of a room can be captured.
Standard vertical elevators have had it too good, for too long. After the first cable dependent elevator was unveiled in 1857, not much has changed in the elevator industry. They’re still using cable systems and still only going up and down. But not anymore. ThyssenKrupp has officially made a multi-directional elevator a reality.