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Joining the dots: on the rising interconnectivity of on-site equipment

PMV Middle East points to the growing signs of the increasing interconnectivity of plant, machinery and vehicles on the jobsite

John Bambridge, editor, PMV Middle East.
John Bambridge, editor, PMV Middle East.

A theme that interwoven throughout the September issue of PMV Middle East — though explicitly unspoken — is the topic of connectivity, and the rising degree to which plant, machinery and vehicles not only connect with telematics servers in the cloud, but with each other.

The cover-feature discussion about the rise of cloud-based services aggregation platforms for the GCC transport segment counts — for one — but there are also a myriad other ways in which the industry is becoming more intelligent, and enacting methodologies that bolster efficiency.

In the Q&A with Chicago Pneumatic, one of the impulses behind the growing sales of LED equipped on-site lighting towers is the benefits they yield in terms of a reduced energy bill, or — in the case of diesel powered units — fuel costs.

But this simple relationship also points to a further shifting dynamic in on-site plant — and that is for ever greater numbers of compressor or lighting units to be connected up to ever dwindling numbers of on-site generators.

In many segments, the drive towards greater efficiency is itself being driven by a broad range of benefits that can only be harnessed through the greater integration of all the various items of plant, machinery and vehicles on-site within the context of an altogether more holistic paradigm.

A lighting tower is no longer just a lighting tower illuminating a dank corner of the project site: a lighting tower is but a cog in the wheel of the overall lighting plan of the fleet manager.

Cost efficiencies are not singular; they are collective, and the benefits that can be derived from more efficient equipment are often only fully appreciated when viewed at a distance.

Generators themselves are also, of course, increasingly connected in parallel — allowing large numbers of modestly powered models to collectively provide all the necessary for large projects sites — but with the ability to vary, or downtick, the output at any time. This discards the risk previously associated with having large, fixed-capacity on-site generators, which might otherwise fall foul of the risks associated with being run under capacity during low demand.

While I digress, the big interview with Rohan Saldanha, of Auger Torque similarly points to a future where construction fleets are more multi-functional, harbour less excessive redundancy, and perform, more generally, at a higher level.

The fleets of the future will undoubtedly be highly modular, adaptive and connected. 

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Construction Week - Issue 751
Oct 13, 2019