March 6, 2019
The construction machinery industry focuses on digital solutions
- Numerous machine management and telematics solutions
- Apps, programs and sensors facilitate processes in the construction industry
- Intelligent assistance systems are improving safety
The comparatively high number of new products from this segment at the fair demonstrates: Digitalization is the main topic for bauma 2019. The construction machinery industry has set its sights on unlocking the possibilities of digitalization and standardizing digital solutions. Visitors can learn how far along the industry is at bauma, the world’s leading trade fair for construction machinery, building material and mining machines, construction vehicles and equipment, from April 8 to 14, 2019, at the Munich trade fair site.
Digital machine management and telematics solutions are clearly on the way to becoming the new standard in the construction industry. At bauma, numerous manufacturers from a wide range of product segments are presenting sensors and programs that provide answers to questions such as: Where is the machine located? How many operating hours has it performed? Is it displaying any error codes? When will service or maintenance measures be necessary?
Sensors make existing machines smart
The Waiblingen-based company Stihl shows how analog devices can become smart for less than 20 Euros. The key element here is the Stihl Smart Connector—a sensor with a nearly 5 cm diameter that is mounted to the machines. It records operating hours and transmits them via the user’s smartphone or tablet to a cloud with central data storage. The geo position can also be transmitted if necessary. The information is then made available for users to analyze. They can thereby precisely coordinate their machine park, optimize their daily work processes and minimize downtimes. The system also notifies users of upcoming machine maintenance.
Smartphone app explains diagnostic codes from cranes
Sometimes even a smartphone app can make day-to-day work easier for its users. This is the case at Manitowoc. The crane manufacturer from Milwaukee, USA, developed a free app that helps the crane operator interpret the diagnostic codes generated by the on-board control system and displayed in the operator's cabin. Instead of waiting for specially trained technical personnel with specialized equipment, the crane owner can use the information to begin resolving the problem immediately, which improves operating time.
Speed and structure for rental machine checks
The app klickcheck from Zeppelin Lab GmbH in Berlin, Germany, is aimed at leasing companies in the building industry. It provides an easy way to collect all documents that are needed for equipment handover and store them in the cloud. The machines are identified through a QR code and examined using individual checklists on the smartphone. Users and lessors can digitally document damage and defects in pictures and texts. In addition, an overview of the fleet lets lessors immediately see which machines are available, leased or undergoing maintenance.
Digital assistant for formwork
Digital planning aids have long been part of the repertoire for formwork specialists. But there is always room for improvement. For instance, Planitec, part of the Paschal Group of companies (Steinach, Germany), is presenting the next version—its twelfth—of its fully automatic planning software Paschal-Plan light. The tool also provides materials scheduling. A new interface enables all relevant geometric and formwork information to be exchanged with BIM-capable programs.
Competitor Doka from Amstetten, Austria, is presenting a digital system at bauma that helps surveyors and building site teams quickly and precisely set up the wall formwork with self-climbing systems. The DokaXact solution uses measuring sensors that are affixed to defined points on the formwork and communicate wirelessly with a central processing unit. During calculation of the necessary slope of the formwork elements, the current position of the preceding concrete sections is used as a basis. The sensor is accurate to ± 2 mm. Doka has been nominated for the bauma Innovation Award 2019 in the Digital Systems category for this solution.
Sensor-supported person recognition for wheel loaders
Among many other products, Liebherr-International AG is showcasing a complete package of intelligent assistance systems for the XPower large wheel loader at the Munich trade fair site. It features a new active person recognition system in the back. It uses sensors to independently differentiate between people and static objects. When people are detected in the hazard zone, the system alerts at greater distance than with walls or pillars. This helps prevent unnecessary warning signals, which reduces stress for the machine operator.