THE SMART CONSTRUCTION SITE

Where are the doors? When will the facade elements arrive? Full control and insight into the flow of materials in and out of a construction site is a logistics dream scenario that can now be achieved.

The full extent of the efficiencies that come with using Ericsson's Connected Logistics Cloud via LogTrade’s delivery management system are not yet known. That is something the evaluation of NCC’s test will tell us.

“But there is huge potential. The construction industry is far behind today when it comes to logistics. Keeping track of materials involves a lot of footwork,” says Henrik Hyll, Research & Development Manager at NCC, who explains that workers often have to run around a lot on a construction site to find what they need.

Since a construction site is a temporary location and the material that has already been delivered must be covered with tarps to protect it from the elements, it is difficult to know when the right material has been delivered from a terminal or by a supplier and to find what you need when you need it. The people in charge of the test project are therefore looking forward to the new technology.

NCC TESTS THE SMART PALLET

Site: Sergelhuset in central Stockholm, Sweden.

When: January and March 2019. Facade elements will be tested in January and doors will be tested in March.

How: NCC will tag the selected construction materials and containers with a URI code. At this stage, this means that the URI code will be embedded in a QR code and that the container, which means the pallet, has been equipped with an IoT transmitter. The site manager and the foreman at the Sergelhuset site will be able to see and follow all shipments. When the time comes to use the construction materials, the codes on the components will be scanned, both when the items are taken off the pallet and when they have been mounted. That way, “everyone” knows how much material is left on the pallet and when and where an item has been mounted. This enables full insight and complete transparency.

Goal: A more cost-efficient construction process and a future where just-in-time deliveries have become a natural and integrated part of the logistical value chain in the construction industry.

The future: When Ericsson has built the network base stations that form the foundation of the whole technology—meaning the Narrow Band technology—and the IoT devices have shrunk, and battery life has been extended to amount to years, each and every construction component will have Internet connectivity—not just the pallet or the container. This will eliminate the need to manually scan each component.

Will You Be Using the Traditional EUR-pallet?
“No, the facade elements and doors will not be able to fit into one of those. We will be using a slightly larger container instead. But the technology behind it is the same,” says Henrik Hyll.