Bouygues Construction Matériel, offshoot of global construction group Bouygues Construction, is implementing an asset tracking solution for smart construction, offered by Omniscient, a startup incubated by Bouygues SA.
This solution is connecting 20,000 pieces of equipment for remote real-time management and optimization, through a partnership between the internet of things (IoT) network from Bouygues Telecom, Objenious and intelligent sensors from Actility.
In charge of managing the group's entire fleet of equipment, Bouygues Construction Matériel must ensure that each site is equipped with compliant equipment, in good working order and that this is made available on time, as there are dozens of thousands of pieces of equipment to maintain and distribute every day on all construction sites in France.
To solve this problem, Omniscient has designed a turnkey solution for Bouygues Construction Matériel, using the multi-technology trackers from Abeeway, a subsidiary of the French company Actility, specializing in ultra-low power geolocation solutions, using the expertise of Objenious by Bouygues Telecom for connectivity and using Omniscient’s site operations platform for data collection and analysis.
IoT at the service of equipment fleet monitoring
Bouygues Construction Matériel is embarking on the deployment of a major IoT project supported by the operations and formwork departments. Omniscient's solution is being deployed on its entire French fleet of bungalows and consoles, on the main components of the tower cranes and on the new B20 formwork.
This project involves around 100 employees, assigned to monitoring the equipment on more than a thousand sites, spread over five technical bases. This represents the installation of Abeeway sensors on more than 20,000 pieces of equipment and millions of GPS data to be processed by Omniscient.
In order to adapt to the constraints of volume, geographical perimeter and indoor or outdoor location, Omniscient has turned to a trusted partner:
- Actility & Abeeway, in charge of providing flexible geolocation sensors, optimized for LoRaWAN. Abeeway devices work perfectly outdoors as well as indoors due to their multi-technology geolocation system, integrating GPS, Low-power GPS (patented), WiFi Sniffing and Bluetooth Low Energy. These sensors are offering years of battery life, intelligently configured multimodal behavior and advanced location resolution algorithms. Abeeway trackers provide geolocation intelligence for a wide range of use cases, in construction, industry or the supply chain.
- Objenious, for the support and IoT expertise. Thanks to LoRa technology, it enables to connect equipment even in isolated and difficult environments. This technology offers many advantages : several years energy autonomy, bidirectional communications and a strong capacity of penetration inside buildings and deep basements.
Omniscient has developed its platform to help the entire construction site ecosystem gain in productivity. Open to many technologies, Omniscient's platform allows the digital management of an entire fleet, from electro-portable to multi-ton cranes. With one click, the fleet manager can navigate on a virtual map and view, in real time, the location and tracking sheet of each piece of equipment, including, among other things, the site configuration of the equipment, as well as links to the quality control sheets. The in-house algorithms designed by this start-up take the analysis one step further. The information sent by Abeeway's sensors allows Omniscient to calculate performance indicators, dedicated to fleet management, equipment turnover and utilization rates, inventory by technical base, inventory by worksite and number of billable days.
One of the unique major innovations of the solution is that, combining various geolocation technologies, it allows to use the same devices for big and small objects and in all kind of construction environments, instead of investing in different devices for each use case.
“Abeeway technology is adaptive as it can use wifi in dense urban environment, GPS in the countryside and BLE indoors, to scan the environment and detect other BLE devices on some small equipment, for example with a tracker placed in a toolbox and BLE tags on each tool” says Stephane Sisse, sales director at Abeeway.
Leveraging geolocation data to optimize the management of millions of euros of equipment
Bouygues Construction Matériel's commitment to more digitalized operations is bringing significant benefits. By adopting this new data-based approach, the equipment division of the construction company is projecting direct annual savings of 5% to 10% on maintenance and fleet management and a return on investment of this technological solution over three years. These results come from savings generated by the following items:
- Easier billing process: all information related to the entry/exit of equipment or the utilization rate is historically recorded on all worksites, which makes it possible to bill quicker and more easily.
- Better allocation of resources: the identification of unused equipment on worksites makes it possible to mobilize it, avoiding external rentals.
- Precise and reliable monitoring of equipment life cycle: prioritization of equipment reaching end of life cycle, to avoid upgrade costs and to guarantee regular maintenance of equipment for a better life cycle.
- Reduction of inventory costs: a better view of the global inventory allows to minimize inventory per depot.
- Data-driven real-time management: decisions are made quickly, information is at hand and up to date, freeing up time for operational staff to perform value-added tasks.
Construction and IoT: a huge potential for innovation
The partnership between the three companies is not limited to fleet management, with very good prospects in construction: measuring machine productivity, optimizing travel, worker safety, etc. IoT technologies are at the heart of the connected worksite and offer unprecedented prospects for efficiency gains.
In particular, Abeeway sensors in badge format can accelerate the adoption of social distancing through alerting, creating specific work zones or areas of limited density monitored in real time by the downstream system, warning workers when they enter forbidden areas or when occupancy density is too high.
"Through this collaboration, I wanted the managers of Bouygues Construction Matériel to focus on their added value without spreading themselves too thin, i.e. to build the best operational specifications and determine the expected return on investment to make the approach profitable, while leaving the choice and the upgrading of the technological solutions best suited to the target to the Omniscient teams, whose recognized expertise and daily mastery of this ecosystem are key. The 'IoTization' of our equipment enables us to achieve two types of gains in parallel, the first in the optimization of intrinsic management performance within the Matériel structure with traceability and visual indicators in real time, the second by providing the Travaux with additional levers for action on their use on site thanks to configurable alerts. It is therefore a win-win situation in terms of productivity," says Patrick N'Kodia, Director of Bouygues Construction Matériel.