Construction equipment tracking, what is it?
In the construction sector, the management of equipment represents a major challenge for companies. Indeed, many construction tools and equipment have high replacement costs and bad management can generate non-negligible additional costs for the companies. The equipment is often spread over different sites and used by many people, which can lead to loss, theft and lack of maintenance.
To reinforce the security of goods and people, there are geolocation and automatic inventory solutions that provide real-time visibility on the status of the equipment pool. This type of solution facilitates the search for site tools, thus reducing the time wasted by operators.
This type of connected solution also makes it possible to measure and analyze the rate of use of equipment to trigger maintenance or recalibration operations in time and thus avoid breakdowns and accidents.
How does construction equipment tracking actually work?
For the geolocation of construction equipment, different technologies can be used. The choice of one technology over another will depend on various criteria, such as the type of infrastructure desired, the number and size of the equipment to be geolocated, the environment in which the solution will be installed, the cost of the infrastructure and, finally, the level of accuracy required.
To geolocate worksite tools, ELA Innovation offers location beacons based on 3 different technologies: Bluetooth Low Energy, Wirepas Mesh and Quuppa AOA.
The equipment to be tracked will be equipped with BLE beacons that will emit at regular intervals an unique ID. These numbers will be picked up by nearby BLE receivers (e.g. smartphones, PCs, GPS boxes or even gateways). The information will then be transmitted to the client servers via the cloud or Ethernet network.
The end user will be able to consult the data in real time on a business platform and set alerts if needed.
This location technology is based on a mesh network of fixed and mobile beacons. The tools to be geolocated are equipped with mobile beacons and the fixed beacons are positioned in the buildings at regular intervals creating a mesh. The positioning information is calculated according to the signal strength (RSSI) and is sent back to the gateway via the beacon mesh. The Wirepas Positioning Engine tool will then transform the raw data into GPS coordinates (latitude and longitude) that can be visualized on a business platform.
Depending on the density of fixed beacons in the network, the accuracy of localization can be set from 5 to 10 m, which is sufficient to localize medium-sized machines such as a jackhammer for example.
This indoor localization technique is based on a network infrastructure consisting of mobile beacons and fixed 360° antennas. The antennas are fixed in height in order to cover a maximum of ground surface and the beacons are embedded on the tools and equipments to be located. The AOA (Angle Of Arrival) protocol will allow to detect in a 3D reference frame, the angle formed between the antenna and the beacon, and to get the position of the latter in less than 100ms.
This technology offers an extremely fine geolocalization accuracy down to less than 1m and in 3 dimensions which allows to localize in real time hand tools that can be stored on shelves.
Why integrate ELA Innovation's beacons into your equipment tracking solution?
The location beacons from ELA Innovation are ideal for meeting the need for tool tracking for many reasons:
Their battery operation offers a high autonomy that can reach 20 years depending on the model.
Quick and easy installation
Ultra simple to install thanks to the various means of fixation (high performance double-sided sticker or support that can be screwed), these beacons can be fixed on any type of surface and do not require any wiring.
Robust and compact
The industrial housing of these beacons has been designed to be used in extreme conditions. It is resistant to shocks and vibrations.
High location accuracy
The location technology used offers a location accuracy of up to less than 1m depending on the technology chosen and the needs. Perfect for locating large construction equipment as well as small hand tools.
Which ELA Innovation location beacons to use?
If you are an IoT solution provider and you want to integrate construction equipment tracking into your offer, here are the products
ELA Innovation that we recommend: