The Towering Demand for Construction Asset Tracking
At the beginning of 2022, the price of lumber nearly tripled. The cost of concrete has steadily increased since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Home improvement project costs have increased an average of 15% since 2020 and, overall, material costs in the construction industry have experienced a 23.1% total price increase (Figure 1). There is no one factor to blame for inflation in the construction industry. The pandemic, rising labor costs/shortages, and supply chain disruptions have all played a role in the construction sector’s skyrocketing rate of inflation. That is why it’s more important than ever that construction companies protect valuable materials by integrating comprehensive methods of asset tracking.
Figure 1: Material cost growth in construction sector since WWII
Source: Commercial Property Executive
Benefits of the Internet of Things in Construction
The U.S. construction sector is valued at 1.6 trillion dollars and continues to rise. Digitization of asset tracking through internet of things (IoT) devices and sensors provides construction companies with a broad range of benefits including:
Reduced Theft and Enhanced Equipment Management
IoT sensors and edge-based solutions offer enhanced visibility surrounding equipment and other company assets. IoT-enabled asset management solutions enable awareness of cargo loads and other valuable assets in a real-time environment.
Enhanced Logistics and Increased Productivity
IoT-enabled asset management solutions provide companies with increased intelligence and actionable insights that maximize resource efficiency. Asset tracking offers valuable data regarding routes, fuel use, maintenance, and worker needs that can be used to streamline logistics and reduce downtime within an organization.
Improved Safety and Predictive Maintenance
Enhanced logistics allow businesses to take worker health data into consideration. Conditions like fatigue and worker/machine proximity can be closely monitored through IoT-enabled wearables. Businesses can also have confidence that only authorized users are operating equipment through IoT asset tracking solutions. Additionally, predictive maintenance insights bolster workplace safety as businesses can mitigate maintenance emergencies before they occur.
Greater money savings is a combined benefit of the advantages of IoT-enhanced asset management. Theft mitigation, enhanced equipment management, predictive maintenance, improved safety, and increased productivity work hand-in-hand to provide businesses with maximized resource efficiency.
Harnessing IoT Sensors in Construction
As experts in IoT, Symmetry Electronics is a great resource to support developers in designing an indoor/outdoor industrial asset tracking solution that is suitable for businesses in the construction sector. IoT-enabled asset tracking solutions rely on the interconnection of sensors, devices, and equipment to transmit data. Connectivity protocol also plays a crucial role in the efficiency of an asset tracking system.
When selecting an ideal protocol for an asset tracking solution, developers should consider the following technologies depending on the physical environment (indoor/outdoor, area size), the quantity, and desired accuracy of assets managed:
- LoRa ™ is a Low Power Wide Area Network (LPWAN) that features enhanced indoor transmission, cost efficiency, and extended battery life.
- Ultra-Wide Band (UWB) provides indoor real-time location services (RTLS) and provides an accuracy range of 1m-10cm.
- Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) Beacons can be affixed to physical assets to wirelessly transmit data at very low power levels.
- Global Positioning Systems (GPS) is known for providing comprehensive accuracy (10-50 ft.) in outdoor asset tracking use cases.
There are a wide range of connectivity protocols that may be ideally suited for your device’s specific use case. Our expert team of Applications Engineers are ready to provide the support you need in developing your industrial asset tracking system. Consultation is free and our service is unparalleled! Contact Symmetry Electronics today!