PART 2: Why We Love Construction Technology (and You Should, Too!)
In the first part of our discussion about emerging construction technology, we talked about the widespread value of using smartphones and tablets to conduct your work from wherever you are. Mobility saves time, and that means money.
Now, let’s look at some of the specific new applications helping contractors of all types be more productive.
CONEXPO-CON/AGG goes mobile.
If you’re headed to this huge event in a few weeks, you’ll be happy to know there’s a special show app that can seriously enhance your experience, because you’ll be able to:
- Browse exhibitors, mark and map your favorites.
- Map exhibit booths and meeting rooms and the shortest route to them.
- Sync up the schedule you’ve planned and add new sessions.
- Look up speakers, link to their sessions and take notes.
- Connect with fellow attendees.
- Check out the show buzz on Facebook and Twitter.
The names may differ, but OEMs are giving owners and dealers remote control.
Wireless connectivity is making it easier than ever to monitor and control equipment functions and maintenance from the cab and from afar. Here are just three examples of construction technology:
(1) Komatsu goes mobile with Komtrax fleet monitoring.
Dealers and owners can now check fleet monitoring data from either iOS or Android devices, so you can get real-time information any time, from anywhere. Use the app to text, email or call your dealer, product support rep, salesperson, service provider, parts counter or Komtrax coordinator, or use the GPS feature to locate a piece of equipment and drive right to it.
(2) Case introduces SiteWatch telematics.
This adds Case to the growing list of companies that now offer some type of remote control and tracking. With a broad range of diagnostics accessible in real time from anywhere, you always know where every piece of equipment is and what it’s doing. This system stores machine data for up to 18 months, and since your dealer also has access, it’s easier to maintain your routine service schedule.
(3) Hyundai Construction America expand availability of Hi-Mate.
Not new to the telematics approach, Hyundai is adding their popular Hi-Mate remote management system to an ever-broader list of product lines. Like similar systems, it enables electronically-assisted control of machine operations and provides ongoing diagnostic and other data to track service and other needs.
Caterpillar creates its own rugged phone.
Construction technology has to stand up to construction work environments, and consumer-grade devices do not. So Caterpillar designed the B15, their own ruggedized version that meets military specs. It’s waterproof, dustproof and can survive a drop from nearly six feet onto concrete. The display is protected with extra-durable glass to reduce risk of scratches or cracks.
OSHA is helping you cool it.
OSHA has created a new heat advisory app that calculates the current heat index anddisplays the resulting risk level. You can simply click to read tips on how to help workers prevent problems and how to handle a heat-related emergency. Summer may seem like a distant memory now, but you’ll be glad to have this app when it does make a return appearance.
ADI has developed a custom warranty management software system that provides seamless communication between OEMs, dealers and end consumers. Automating the warranty process by connecting all three streamlines the process, making it more efficient. That’s construction technology at its finest.
You can’t have all work and no play.
Good news! The new game “Scoop” is now available for Android devices as well as iOS. It’s the fun way to feel first-hand (well, almost) what it’s like to operate an excavator. The game puts you in the operator’s seat, with joysticks that feature actual control physics for both SAE and ISO control patterns.