With the development of smart cities in full swing, the Internet of Things has penetrated into all walks of life and promoted the technological upgrading and transformation of traditional industries. It is also an inevitable trend to promote the construction industry with the help of IoT innovations. No industry is better suited for change than the construction industry, where IoT devices and sensors are helping builders improve construction processes, minimize waste, and save money. In this article, we focus on Bluetooth beacon trends for smart construction site.
What is a smart construction site
Imagine a construction site where all tools, machines, materials, equipment and personnel are synchronized to a central server to monitor their activities in real time. These devices communicate with each other and report to the central server automatically and continuously, enabling managers to gain unprecedented insight and control over the status of the project on the construction site.
The smart construction site is a loose term that applies high-tech information technologies such as the Internet of Things, cloud computing, big data, and artificial intelligence to transform the interaction, work, and management mode of traditional construction site management and realize the visualization and intelligence of project management. Based on the demand of the current construction industry and construction site, it is also possible to integrate the management of personnel, safety, machinery, schedule, equipment, etc., as well as comprehensive information query, so as to realize the effective integration of project managers and construction site.
Why deploying beacons on smart construction sites is a good idea
When referring to a construction site, chances are that you may think of an onsite scene filled with a large number of workers, tools, equipment, building materials and utilities. The complexity and diversity of the construction site environment make it hard to imagine that small beacons can have a wide application here. In fact, there are several reasons why deploying beacons on construction sites is a good idea.
- Low power consumption and long service life. Bluetooth beacons are incredibly energy-efficient, and their battery life typically can last up to 2 years.
- Flexibility design. Beacons can be worn by the workers, or attached to the smart helmet and other mechanical devices.
- Scalability. Beacon hardware can be integrated with sensors to perform extra capabilities. They may include temperature and humidity sensors, accelerometers, and light or movement sensors.
- Indoors reliability. Beacons can provide accurate location information and navigation services for construction sites beyond the reach of GPS signals such as inside buildings, underground, and even underwater.
- Low cost. Beacon prices are relatively low, which is affordable for a wide application in construction sites.
- Reusability. Once a particular task is completed, the workers can reuse the beacon for other purposes or for another job site.
Applications of beacon technology in construction
The construction industry has been committed to providing better services to customers. At the same time, they are also trying to make the construction process more efficient, thus increasing profits. In order to make these construction processes more intelligent, more and more construction managers choose to deploy Bluetooth beacons on construction sites. Here are some applications of beacon technology in smart construction solutions.
The Bluetooth access control solution leverages Bluetooth low energy technology. When the Bluetooth-enabled mobile phone approaches the Bluetooth access reader, the smartphone can automatically connect to the access control system and start exchanging data to complete the authentication. The construction site environment is relatively complex and unsafe, the adoption of Bluetooth access control solutions can help manage visitors and workers efficiently.
Personnel and equipment tracking
Bluetooth beacons can help track and locate workers and equipment. The tracked staff or equipment wears or installs beacons, and the gateway judges the position of the tracked objects through the RSSI signal strength of the Beacon or Bluetooth AoA technology, so as to realize in-place control or positioning tracking.
Unexpected weather and road conditions are the most critical problems faced by fleet managers. With the Bluetooth-enabled connected fleet management tracking solution, project managers can track the state of materials and the location of vehicles during transportation, thus helping them to plan and coordinate onsite operations more effectively. This will not only help to optimize transportation routes but also can prevent project delays.
Construction machinery monitoring
With the continuous development of science and technology, construction machinery is becoming more and more intelligent, and its most prominent performance in construction is that beacon hardware can be equipped with sensors to collect relevant parameters of machine operation. Beacon sensors can broadcast the sensed information through Bluetooth signal, and then transmit it to the application server through the gateway.
Onsite environmental monitoring
The pollution caused by the construction site is closely related to the health of field workers and the lives of nearby residents. In order to build a green and environmental-friendly construction site, beacon sensors are widely adopted to monitor the ambient temperature, humidity, air quality, noise, and so on.
Wearable technology is increasingly being adopted in the construction industry for a wide range of benefits, with the biggest gains coming from worker tracking and safety. Wearables can automatically count the number of workers, show their accurate position, mark dangerous zone, and send safety alerts at specific construction sites.
Benefits of beacon implementation in construction industry
Beacon technology is changing the way we built our cities and interact with the smart construction sites. Construction companies taking advantage of Bluetooth beacons can enjoy numerous benefits, from improving employee safety to reducing costs. Let’s take a deeper look at the benefits of applying beacons.
Enhancing employee safety
Safety is of significant importance in construction sites. Construction sites take various safety measures to ensure a safe working environment. Although there are safety guidelines that can help prevent injuries in the workplace, some workers are rarely aware of these problems and are reluctant to comply with them. With beacon-enabled smart helmets, construction managers can monitor workers’ locations and potential hazards, further improving the safety of the construction sites.
Better monitoring of the construction site
Beacons give site supervisors a real-time picture of the smart construction site, which maximizes the visibility of personnel, equipment, and materials. They can also inquire about the historical activity tracks of these construction objects. All of this enables the construction company to provide better and faster service while reducing the workload of the project manager.
Improving resource management
Generally, there is various heavy machinery on the construction site such as cranes, concrete mixers, piling machines, excavators, or bulldozers. Each asset represents thousands of dollars of investment, and construction enterprises want to utilize them as efficiently as possible. Bluetooth beacons allow project managers to know the usage status of these devices in real time, thus increasing their utilization.
Cutting waste and theft
Millions of dollars are wasted due to waste and theft in the construction industry every year. Apart from increasing the utilization of equipment, cutting waste and theft is one of the prominent benefits of applying beacon technology. Once the location of the device is out of the specified area, the administrator will be notified immediately and measures will be taken in time.
Reducing project costs
Budget is critical for any project manager. Whether they can complete the project within a limited budget is a key performance metric for the project manager and the construction unit. The deployment of beacon technology in construction can help the contractor make efficient use of its available resources. The utilization rate of vehicles, equipment, and materials can be monitored through beacons, thus helping to reduce costs and keep the project budget friendly.
Facilitating project management
Beacons enable project managers to track worker activities to ensure that their working hours are efficient. In addition, a networked fleet management system helps project managers keep a close eye on material delivery to improve the accuracy of completion time estimates. By collecting real-time data on project progress, project managers will be able to identify the causes of slow progress and optimize the day-to-day operations of the team.
Look into the future of smart construction site
As society steps forward, the construction market continues to improve, the project volume continues to grow, as well as the construction site environment is becoming more complex, all of which put forward higher requirements for the construction technology and craft level. The rapid development of new technologies such as 5G, the Internet of Things, Big Data, BIM, and Artificial Intelligence has had a great impact on the construction industry and opened up new opportunities for the development of intelligent construction sites.
The construction of a smart city is inseparable from the development of intelligent buildings. In the future, smart construction sites will make full use of various advanced technologies in the era of the Internet of Things to provide people with safe, efficient, convenient, healthy, and comfortable green building services.
Choose an IoT construction solution with MOKOBlue
With the popularization of safe production, more and more construction enterprises are inclined to integrate Bluetooth IoT solutions into smart construction sites. MOKOBlue, founded in 2006, is one of the world’s leading Bluetooth solution providers. If you are considering adopting any Bluetooth beacons into your construction solution, our Bluetooth expert can provide you with a satisfactory answer.