Remote Site Monitoring / IoT on the Job: Construction

Remote Equipment Monitoring is simultaneously a necessary evil and a highly valued asset. Construction sites are busy places. The majority of tasks there are performed by workers, but others, often equally important, run unattended, and that’s just in the daytime. Some of those unattended operations—concrete curing, ground thawing, and generator operation—run at night as well when the entire site is unattended. If any of those activities fail without being noticed an entire project can be thrown off schedule, costing thousands of dollars in delays and penalties. And then there’s site security, which can cost thousands and protect hundreds of thousands in equipment and materials. Remote Equipment Monitoring puts your mind at ease.

The challenge for builders has been balancing the costs of monitoring those systems against the costs if they fail. The good news is that all those “things,”—the generators, ground heaters, alarms, and other systems—can now monitor themselves and send alerts when problems arise. Ground heaters can monitor the temperature of water flowing through the heating mats and send notifications when the temperature drops. Generators can send messages when the “juice” stops flowing. And security systems can scan for the body heat of trespassers and set off local or remote alarms.

Some of the necessary sensors have been around for years and new ones are being created every day. The challenge has been getting the notifications where they need to go. Construction sites often lack phone lines, and their only power may be what is produced by generators. All of these factors point to one technology for transmitting data: cellular. Cellular coverage is vast and growing, and simple text notifications use the network’s signaling channel, which provides coverage even where voice coverage is spotty. In standby mode cellular devices require very little power, and when equipped with backup batteries they can send alert even (or especially) when onsite generators fail. If no generator is available onsite, a cellular gateway can utilize an external storage battery good for a year or more without a recharge.

Finally there is the question of setup and maintenance. With all the complexities of a typical construction site, no one needs additional complications. This is another plus for cellular. Self-contained cellular gateways can take literally minutes to install and setup even in the hands of an inexperienced user. With appropriate protection they can be used as easily outdoors as in, as well as in vehicles. And if they are needed elsewhere they can be moved just as easily. For information on cellular modems and gateways and mobile implementations contact your NimbeLink or NimbeLink Partner representative.
Remote Equipment Monitoring made simple, by NimbeLink.