Building Information Modeling was a new technology a few years ago that is now a universally accepted staple of the industry. It allows all the stakeholders in a project, from builders and architects to accounts and owners, to look at the process in real-time to see completed work and the challenges looming ahead.
And BIM just keeps getting more integrated, first into CAD, and now into robotics and laser scanners, which give accurate 3D views of the project under construction, everything from the supports and rafters down to individual electrical outlets.
As of 2019, only 38% of construction firms were not using BIM. It’s estimated (according to the National Institute of Standards and Technology) that the waste produced by not using the technology could amount to more than $10 billion.
Simulations for Training
Pilots have long used flight simulators to train on how to fly their massive jetliners, but now heavy machinery is getting in on the action.
“Simulation allows operators to train in a safe environment while experiencing challenging situations,” says Curt Leconte, product manager, simulators, for John Deere to ForConstructionPros.com. “Some of the benefits include concentrated seat time, repeatability, and experience to a variety of equipment in a cost-effective way. There is no need to fuel up the equipment, rope off an area and occupy an instructor. Simulation can be reset and tried again and again.”
Improving the technology of simulators enables such details as soil simulation, including blade interaction with the soil combined with the weight of the machine compacting it. Every new advance makes the trainee better equipped to move directly into their role as an operator.
Telematics, which uses communications and information processing to monitor vehicle operation, maximizes the efficiency of construction vehicles—watching everything from fuel and oil usage to mileage and maintenance problems. Telematics is a technology that is revolutionizing fleet management.
“At Volvo, some of the most common issues we see with our ActiveCare Direct advanced telematics system are excessive idling, hot turbo shutdowns, high-speed shifts on wheel loaders and misuse of excavator work modes,” says Dave Adams, product sales manager. “Catching these issues can lower costs, increase uptime and identify operator training opportunities — all of which can help a company’s bottom line.”