What Real-Time Asset Tracking in Construction Looks Like (And How It Actually Works)

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  3. What Real-Time Asset Tracking in Construction Looks Like (And How It Actually Works)

What Do We Mean When We Talk About Assets in Construction?

In construction, “assets” refers to any kind of equipment or machinery used in completing a construction project. Examples include backhoes, cranes, and PPE. The process of managing these things is something construction project managers have to get right if they want to avoid going over budget.

Why You Need Enterprise Asset Management

Research has shown that without a proactive approach to asset management, project managers are in the dark with regard to asset location, maintenance status, and other key factors. Reactive asset management leads to inefficient asset use, which incurs heavy costs. This is why so many construction leaders are investing in real-time asset tracking technology to be able to adapt to changes in the project, stay under budget, and finish each project on schedule.

What Makes a Good Enterprise Asset Management Solution

A good Enterprise Asset Management system will have the following:

  1. Reliable tagging hardware (ideally self-powered and self-reporting)
  2. A software solution that can ingest all data received from this hardware and display it in a clear format.

How Tagging Assets Makes Them Visible in Up-To Real Time.

When setting up your assets with tagging technology, you’re connecting them to the Internet of Things, making them instantly accessible to you and your worksite personnel. These tags vary in capabilities, so reaching out to an expert can help you determine the most efficient solution for your projects. Keep in mind that if you choose tags that don’t supply their own internet (e.g. Bluetooth or RFID), you’ll need edge devices that scan for these tags and connect to the internet via LTE or Ethernet.

If you need your assets to be visible in real-time (i.e. with down-to-the-second accurate) you’ll have to take internet quality and ping rates (how often the tag reports to the internet or edge device) into account.

Tag Types

Real Time Location Services (RTLS)  – Depending on the type of connection used, RTLS tags are great for tracking a wide variety of heavy machinery, including backhoes and bulldozers. They can send data on a machine’s current location or when it was last serviced. Because they can be self-powered and self-reporting, they’re perfect for tracking machines out in the field where it would be impractical to manually take them off and charge them.

OBDII – These tags can be attached to fleet vehicles on the road to report diagnostics, driver behavior, and location.

RFID – The smallest of the tag types, RFID tags can help you track smaller items with the help of an RFID scanner. With the press of a button and the wave of the scanner, you can instantly know how many of your assets are in a predefined area, such as a storage shed or trailer. These can help prevent workplace theft (especially if used in tandem with custodial tracking).

Readers

Edge Devices – Bluetooth tags and RFID tags can’t connect to the internet on their own. This is where edge devices come in. Edge devices have antennae that can scan for Bluetooth or RFID tags and connect to the internet via LTE or Ethernet.

RFID Scanners – RFID scanners read the information in RFID tags (and can be tuned to work with high precision in small areas).

Connectivity

Depending on the limitations of your site and your visibility needs, your choice of Internet-of-Things (IoT)- connected tags will vary. Types of networks your asset data can be transmitted over include the following:

  • Bluetooth
  • GPS
  • LTE
  • Ethernet
  • Satellite

If you’re unsure what tagging options your projects will need, Apptricity might be the answer. That’s because Apptricity supports the entire spectrum of IoT-connected tags.

Pricing

Determining which IoT asset tracking solution will save you the most money, remember that the type of tag and data plan will impact the price the most. If you’re tracking smaller items that need to be returned to the same small storage area, like hand-held power tools, RFID tags and an RFID scanner are closer to what you’ll need. If, on the other hand, you’re tracking yellow iron across a large site in a rural area with poor internet, you might need to invest in a satellite-, or LTE-connected RTLS tag.

Summing It All Up

Based on the data provided, having an accurate, real-time picture of the status of your machine assets can prevent huge losses. Specifically, this is by making sure that every project is completed under budget by not deceiving yourself about the real costs of reactive maintenance. This means that the right asset management solution can pay for itself.

The Apptricity Difference

Apptricity brings your organization secure, universal platform solutions.

  • We can use all tag types (most companies only support one).
  • We offer cloud-hosted software solutions, with web and mobile applications.
  • We provide operational intelligence which can feed ERP solutions with better data.
  • We build our own hardware, so you have a complete, all-in-one solution instead of relying on multiple providers.

With Apptricity’s real-time visibility in asset management and a focus on automating supply chain execution logistics and spend processes, your assets are protected and visible.

Apptricity’s mission is to continue to be the leading global provider of innovative industrial IoT, logistics automation, and industrial technology. We combine a state-of-the-art user experience with forward-thinking designs. Our innovative technologies can be quickly deployed across multiple platforms. Above all, we ensure our customers are at the forefront of all we do.

Your ERP may do asset management, but not like we do. Offering unparalleled real-time visibility unlocks new insight into areas where efficiency can be increased, and waste can be eliminated. Contact us or visit our website at www.apptricity.com to learn more. 

Learn More

For more details about Apptricity’s Enterprise Asset Management software with real-time capabilities — and why you need them — schedule a demo or request more information!

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