Precision tracking enhances productivity

By Dominic Ellis
New measurement launches and tie-ups enable construction firms to keep close tabs on all inspection activities

In a post-COVID, data-driven world, nowhere is digitally out of bounds, and contractors have an increasing number of solutions at their fingertips to ensure accuracy at all times.

The importance of insights and real-time data to heavy equipment operators and fleet owners is stimulating more interest in the integration of telematics system into heavy equipment machineries – spurred by the growth in wireless comms and mobile devices. These factors are likely to support development of the global telematics in heavy equipment market in the near future.

Trimble recently announced that Infotech is adding high-accuracy positioning and measurement capabilities to its Mobile Inspector Measure Service application through an integration with Trimble Access field software. 

Infotech provides field staff with simple, yet powerful and configurable, mobile apps to manage data collection and inspection activities for digital delivery of civil infrastructure including Federal and State Department of Transportation (DOT) projects. 

"Trimble recognises the importance of an efficient, transparent and repeatable workflow that focuses on industry-specific solutions," said Stephanie Michaud, strategic marketing manager, Trimble Surveying & Mapping Field Solutions. "By sharing precise geospatial measurements between Trimble Access and Infotech's Mobile Inspector application, users can pair high-accuracy locations with asset inspection data to verify final as-built models for civil infrastructure projects."

TrustLayer, specialists in compliance tracking, has integrated with Procore Technologies, bringing its real time insurance verification capabilities into the Procore platform, and allowing Procore users to validate that a company has the required insurance to access a job site. The TrustLayer platform also automates the collection and tracking of certificates of insurance (COIs) and other compliance documents such as W9s and surety bonds.

TrustLayer’s collaborative risk management platform helps construction teams track, manage, and verify the compliance statuses of subcontractors, vendors, and other third party service providers. The new integration between Procore and TrustLayer enables quick access to valuable insurance compliance details within the Procore software.

“During these tough economic times, many subcontractors are not maintaining proper commercial insurance coverage,” said John Fohr, Chief Executive Officer of TrustLayer. “The TrustLayer/Procore integration allows construction companies to speed up start times by automating the collection and tracking of compliance docs.”

Virtek’s Iris ActiveTrack laser positioning software continuously projects stable, accurate laser lines onto moving parts to guide workers in a variety of manufacturing processes. Even complex, 3D shapes are projected with precision, dramatically accelerating time to market and ensuring product quality. The company has also released the newest edition of its Iris 3D software with enhanced API.

"Iris ActiveTrack enables technicians to position the right part, in the right place, at the right time, even while the part is in motion," said Sean Francoz, Virtek Group Product Manager. "This is game-changing technology that will help our customers reduce costs by eliminating time spent reviewing paperwork, measuring, marking, and using templates during assembly processes. The largest gains come from the elimination of rework caused by quality escapes."

Datumate recently released its automated, digital grade checking capabilities. The DatuBIM Construction Data Analytics platform now transforms 2D designs into digital data model objects, calculates grade checking reports, and further automates progress monitoring.

This entirely digital process significantly reduces work, prevents human error, saves professional resources, and ends the construction companies' dependence on several software tools to perform these frequent reports. DatuBIM's new capabilities cut down office work for grade checking by approximately 70% on a typical elongated infrastructure project.

"Our customers are extremely excited about our new, automated grade checking. For them, it is an entirely new level of efficiency and control. And for us, it is an ample example of what we want to achieve with DatuBIM: making infrastructure construction better," says Dr. Jad Jarroush, Datumate Founder and CTO.  

"DatuBIM's virtual 3D data objects derived from 2D plans and automated grade checking are a giant leap that brings our customers closer to BIM with 4D (schedule) and 5D (costs). Right now, we see that our customers, as the construction industry at large, need help in handling 3D. So our role is to make sure they reap all the benefits that 3D can offer."  

In April, OpenSpace, which specialises in 360° construction photo documentation and analysis, announced a $55M Series C funding round, led by Alkeon Capital Management. The funding follows the expansion of its ClearSight Progress Tracking platform. Additional participants in the round include PSP Partners, GreenPoint Partners and New World Development, as well as returning investors Lux Capital, Menlo Ventures, JLL Spark, Navitas Capital and Zigg Capital.

Mark McLaughlin, General Partner at Alkeon, said: "OpenSpace's combination of advanced AI technology, an easy-to-use platform, and an exciting product roadmap positions the company well for further growth in this rapidly-advancing industry.”

PV Solar sector adopts tracker systems

The PV Solar industry continues to adopt tracker systems for increased energy yields and higher power output during more hours of the day.

Solar-Ops' myPV IQ software – a low-cost monitoring and control solution for utility scale PV solar and energy storage facilities – includes robust tools to visualise ganged and independent tracker rows, supporting enhanced asset management and maintenance capabilities.

Duke Energy has begun construction on the 22.6-MW Speedway Solar power plant in Cabarrus County. The project will be owned and operated by Duke Energy Sustainable Solutions, a new brand that includes Duke Energy Renewables. During peak construction, Speedway Solar will employ about 70 workers.

Chengdu ups hi-tech stakes

Chengdu is upping the hi-tech stakes after unveiling six projects and pledging to invest RMB30 billion in building 50 R&D institutions in the next five years. The six research projects cover Hydrogen Energy and Carbon Neutralization Technology; Integrated Positioning and Navigation Timing; Power Semiconductors; Microelectronics Advanced Enclosure Technology; Cell Engineering Technology; and Medical Surgery Robotics. They will be backed by RMB450 million in funding.

Centering on the three leading industries of electronic information, biomedicine and new economy, Chengdu High-tech Zone has attracted 128 Fortune 500 companies such as Intel and BOE, and introduced 11 ten-billion-yuan projects last year, involving companies such as TencentBaidu, and ByteDance.

In recent years, the zone has introduced six Nobel Prize winners, 20 academicians, and 328 national high-level talents, and nearly 150,000 enterprises from different industries have set up a presence, including more than 56,000 tech companies.


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