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.
“DEWALT understands how vital the building and construction industries are to local and global economies,” said Tony Nicolaidis, Vice President of Marketing for Connected Systems, said in a press release. “Leveraging technology, our goal is to provide solutions for gathering in-depth jobsite data for better decision-making by general contractors and trade contractors, thus enhancing productivity and safety.”
The DeWalt WiFi system is being described as a ruggedized “mesh” solution, which means that many WiFi access points will be connected to each other. This type of system will greatly reduce network dead spots in buildings and is also easily adaptable and expandable, which is great for an ever-changing construction site.
Following the release of the WiFi will be DeWalt’s Internet of Things (IoT) platform. Using wireless mesh systems to allow WiFi connections is just the tip of the iceberg, as far as their capability goes. It’s all about data. Much like how cell phone towers give a general idea of where calls have been made from, each WiFi access point can not only determine a location of connected objects, they also allow for many opportunities to add sensors and other data collectors.
The possibilities are endless and a solution like this is a big step towards a smarter and more data automated job site. DeWalt is accepting pre-orders of the WiFi solution on their website right now. The IoT system is currently listed as “coming soon.”
6/5/17 UPDATE: After reaching out to DeWalt, we received some additional information about pricing and availability. DeWalt is anticipating a 4th quarter shipment date for the Construction Site WiFi. The WiFi access points will be purchased by the contractors, as opposed to being able to lease them per project, and each access point will cost $1199.
DeWalt anticipates that the IoT dashboard service will be subscription based. Among the sensors that will be released with the platform are temperature, humidity, motion sensors, and air quality and noise trackers. And that's just the start. The sensors will generate important data points that will hopefully be used by company's to greatly increase their safety.
Check out the Rob McKinney’s (the ConAppGuru) interview with Tony Nicolaidis, DeWalt’s VP of Marketing of Connected Systems, for more information about DeWalt’s announcement:
There is an opportunity to revolutionize the way we protect construction workers from fall hazards while dramatically reducing waste and inefficiency in the construction industry. The Hilmerson Safety Rail System™ was designed and engineered with feedback from industry experts with one goal in mind: Reinvent the guardrail to eliminate inefficiencies, cut costs, send zero waste to landfills, and improve workplace safety.
FieldLens, a web based application available on both Android and iOs, allows for real-time documentation of safety hazards, job site notes, and punch lists. The app eliminates the need to re-type your notes or send separate emails to the correct people, because it can create instantaneous reports on all the information you typed in to your phone or tablet on the job site.
Recently, Fieldlens added three new features that the company says are requested often
The Netherlands has a ton of bridges, especially pedestrian and biking bridges, thanks to its abundant system of canals. Perhaps because of that, they have become a leader in 3D printing technology when it comes to bridges.
It seems like every month there’s a new robot being debuted for the construction industry, with the promise of reducing costs and improving productivity and safety. There are robots for laying brick and block, placing concrete, and even self-driving mining trucks. The most recent robot to hit the job site is Built Robotics’ Autonomous Track Loader (ATL).
Concrete is an extremely strong building material, but has a notoriously weak tensile strength. In order to resist tension, bending, and shear forces, steel rebar or other reinforcement materials are added either prior to the placement or into the mix. Even with reinforcement, concrete is still extremely rigid and prone to cracking. In the event of a major earthquake, the uneven and horizontal forces can cause structures to crack and, in the worst case, cause failure.
Concrete can adapt to any shape its formwork calls for while it’s being placed. While it’s POSSIBLE to make intricate designs with the material, it’s not always easy or practical to do so. Researchers from ETH Zurich have designed a new method of forming and placing an ultra-thin, curved concrete roof system that they plan on installing on a construction project next year.
The immense technological growth the construction industry has seen in the past decade has been a refreshing change, to say the least. Fax machines, large filing cabinets, and redundant work are slowly becoming a thing of the past. More importantly, software developers are actually paying attention to the construction industry, making our lives collectively easier, while giving us more data to make better decisions. Bluebeam, maker of one of the industry’s favorite construction document software, has recently announced a wireless digital sensor specifically for under construction buildings.
In July, we shared an article about a new augmented reality app that would allow iPhone and iPad users to use their devices’s camera as a tape measure. That app, Air Measure, is now available for download after Apple’s iOs 11 release.
As electric vehicles are becoming more and more popular around the world, researchers are trying to find ways to adapt the technology to heavier duty applications. Due to the large size of projects and amount of money in the industry, the mining industry has seen its fair share of technological advancement. Several manufacturers, like Komatsu, have developed and released driverless dump trucks for mining operations in the past few years. A team of companies in Switzerland is now working on a gigantic battery powered dump truck that will be tested for 10 years.
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.