Manufacturing Sector: Construction
Keywords: Collaborative workspace, Construction industry, IoT, concrete process,
The main problem this trial is solving is the need of fast and efficient flow of information in a collaborative working environment involving multiple stakeholders. The trial addressed the necessity of workflow automation with a well-defined information management system to allow users of different roles to perform designated tasks. The trial solution thus also allows quick dissemination of information to stakeholders thus helping supervising entity to have quick access to data and make decisions where necessary.
The main challenges that the trial has addressed integration of heterogeneous data collected from different tasks and different working environment into a centralized information management system and dissemination of data to supervising authority. It was also necessary to address the challenges of tracking and tracing of physical entities during the project work cycles; support for handheld and mobile devices; quick and almost real-time collection and dissemination of data; and generation of user specific workspaces to allow automated flow and control of project activities.
Within the scope of FITMAN, the trial solution is tested and validated in “Control of concrete” process which is an important part of the overall construction supervision task. While making use of the trial solution the information generated at various phases remains the same (i.e. trial solution is automation of an existing process following standards of construction industry ), but there is a significant change in the way the generated information is stored, retrieved, processed and distributed. Trial solution provides collaborative web platform for all the stakeholders to store and retrieve information and documents generated at different stages of the work flow. At the same time the physical objects which are an important part of the overall work flow are identified and connected to the information system and accessed/tracked using IoT technologies.
Innovative Services and Functionalities
A proven and advanced functionality for reliable and automated concrete control process.
The application provides the users with a consistent data entry interface, ensuring reliable data entry for recording concrete control information for every project.. The intuitive layout of the data-entry form allows for quick and efficient recording/retrieving information about concrete characteristics, concreting plan, samples collection, test results and test evaluation.
- Faster decision making,
- Availability and faster access to information for our stakeholders,
- Real-time event notifications,
- A single point of contact for all the stakeholders,
- Cost savings due to paper reduction and time optimization.
More flexibility in the process and the ability to do data mining.
Impact and Benefits
CONSULGAL was able to reduce paper workload by 60%, to reduce the cost to perform/record/analyse the concrete test results by 70% and to improve stakeholders access to information by 99%, by using FITMAN technology for digital information management.
To assure our objectives we systematically measured the impact of FITMAN technology through Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) specific to this purpose. Constant monitoring of the KPI data allows us to ensure we are achieving the high impact we have set for ourselves.
An efficient platform who allows data exchange between stakeholders and time/cost reduction in the process are our priority. With this in mind we create a set of KPIs that allow us to measure the real impact of the FITMAN solution focused on organizational needs. The KPIs and the results that we obtained are as follows:
- Average lead time to access the information relating to concrete characteristics and concreting plan. Reduced by 99%.
- Average number of pages used in the test results recording/archival. Reduced by 60%.
- Average lead time needed to perform and record the test results. Reduced by 75%.
- Average lead time needed to analyse the test results. Reduced by 99%
- Time for data exchange between stakeholders. Reduced by 99%.
- Average cost needed to perform and record the test result. Reduced by 75%
- Average cost needed to analyse the test result. Reduced by 66%
Despite the good results, we maintain our commitment to continue looking for improvements.
In the construction industry, the Concrete Control Process is used to measure and monitor the properties of concrete from the point of production to the point of delivery to ensure they are compliant with design specifications. Concrete handling and testing is an essential part of any construction project, as concrete is one of the components that ensures resistance and durability of any constructed item. The Concrete Control Process is applicable not only to the Consulgal trial but to the construction industry in general.
CONSULGAL current process is slow, time consuming, involves a lot of paperwork and the circulation of information is very slow or delayed, meaning the information is made available much after the events that generated it.
The solution has been implemented with focus on the organizational value. The Consulgal Trial has subdivided the concrete control process into three business scenarios: Identification of concrete characteristics and Concreting Plan (Business Scenario 1), Samples collection and testing (Business Scenario 2) and Test results treatment and evaluation (Business Scenario 3). For each Business Scenario, Consulgal has identified Business Processes.
The major business objectives expected are:
- Access to information: quicker access to more detailed information and improvement on information processing;
- More efficient decision process: a quicker access to information and an improved information handling versatility, will allow decisions to be taken quicker and in a way that is known to all interested parties.
Have a closer relationship with all the stakeholders through enabling active, real-time participation.
Technical Challenges & Trial Platform
CONSULGAL Trial platform is an implementation of a Digital factory platform for supporting the supervision of the concreting operations that occur in the construction sector and is being tested and validated in different construction projects of CONSULGAL e.g. BAIXO SABOR DAM.
The trial platform makes use of various Fi-Ware GEs and Fitman SEs to achieve the necessary functionalities defined within the scope of business scenarios defined by CONSULGAL. GEs Application Mashup – Wirecloud is an important component of the platform which is used for generation of flexible workspaces for different users by making use of widgets providing different independent functionalities. Thus the trial platform supports access by users with different roles and customized workspace to have access to the designated tasks and/or information:
- Contractor, that is responsible for inputting information concerning the concreting operations
- Supervisor that will approve / disapprove and keep track of all the processes that occur inside the work.
- Designer, that also provides information about the way the work was designed
- Laboratory that can provide information about the tests made to the concrete.
Also the Publish / Subscribe Context Broker FI-WARE Generic Enabler is used to provide publication and subscription of information generated at various stages in almost real-time fashion. The generated information is provided as notification that will alert the responsible end user about the operations being performed and necessary details based on the context of the generated notification. It plays an important role to keep supervisor updated about the operations taken by all the other roles so that he is able to validate and make quick decisions where necessary.
Fitman SE Shopfloor Data Collection is also being integrated in the trial platform for tracking and tracking of physical entities (i.e. concrete cubes) that go through a series of testing operations. This SE provides a quick identification and access to information related to samples being tested and the corresponding details of the concreting zone where the sample has been used. This improves efficiency in testing procedures and also provides quicker comparative view of both testing and concreting operations to the supervising entity.
Fitman Open Call SE Semantic Mediator is also being integrated into the trial platform to provide additional value over the existing functionalities mainly data interoperability between independent platforms. While PC iLike provided added value by allowing better view and filtering functionalities over aggregated data regarding concreting operations.
The platform is hosted at UNINOVA premises, at proprietary servers and it concerns the virtual machines associated with the Application Mashup, Pub/sub context broker, SemMed and iLike. Trial specific components and MySql database are deployed in separate independent virtual machines. All the functionalities of the trial platform are provided as integrated deployment of components in independent virtual machines. The data being generated and processed by the trial platform are not huge in volume but complex due to the heterogeneity of data source.
CONSULGAL – CONSULTORES DE ENGENHARIA E GESTAO SA.
Contact person: Paulo Rodrigues
CONSULGAL is a Portuguese market-leading provider of engineering project management and environmental consultancy services with a strong international presence.
CONSULGAL is the parent company of a group of companies with permanent links to international firms of great prestige, specialized in several areas and covering a wide range of complementary activities, namely, SISAQUA, MOTTCONSULT, MARMA and CARGOGAL. CONSULGAL has subsidiaries in Brazil, Macau, Romania, Hungary, Bulgaria, Angola, Mozambique and Libya, and has carried out projects in other markets such as Poland, FYROM, Turkey, Cape Verde, São Tomé e Principe, among others.
In its activity, CONSULGAL covers a wide range of services in several areas, focusing particularly in multidisciplinary project teams coordination, providing a set of consultancy and management services to several entities, comprising economical and technical studies, consultancy, architecture and engineering design, project management, planning and works coordination and supervision, covering the whole range of Engineering fields and related subjects.
The trial is focused on the management aspect of construction industry. In FITMAN it is a part of the Digital factory domain.
Contact Person: Ricardo Jardim Goncalves
The Instituto de Desenvolvimento de Novas Tecnologias (UNINOVA) Research Institute is a multidisciplinary, independent, and non-profit research institute employing around 180 persons, located in the metropolitan area of Lisbon. It was formed in 1986 by the Faculty of S&T of the University Nova de Lisboa (FCT-UNL – www.fct.unl.pt), a group of industrial associations, a financial holding, and up to 30 companies. It is an active partner of Madan Parque (www.madanparque.pt), a business facilitator and accelerator, incubating Micro and SME’s through several layers of support to entrepreneurial activity. The main aim of UNINOVA is to pursue excellence in scientific research, technical development, advanced training and education. By working closely with industry and universities, technological innovations are transferred into profitable business concepts and, existing products further developed to match new industrial requirements. Due to its tight connection with the University and Madan Parque, UNINOVA has, since its foundation, hosted and supported the development several PhD thesis, as well as the creation of several successful spin-offs.