For those unfamiliar with the term, telemetry involves using sensors to capture physical or electrical data, before transmitting it to a different location for monitoring and analysis.
Telemetry can offer considerable insight into the way things work, and allows the performance of equipment and other work environments to be monitored, whilst also keeping our workforce physically removed from these environments.
There are many ways that telemetry can inform the way we deliver projects and manage equipment in the construction industry, and telemetry sensors are now being applied to a range of devices, tools, and equipment across a range of industries. An abundance of sensors can now manage data ranging from tool utilisation, location tracking and heavy equipment maintenance, through to gauging flow rates during dewatering.
Recognising the potential that this technology has to support its customers, Coates Hire is already leveraging telemetry opportunities across many of its products and services, and embedding telemetry in its overall approach to digital transformation.
Here we explore some examples of how a data driven approach like telemetry can deliver value to the construction industry.
Telemetry data offers considerable value to Coates Hire’s industrial services clients during major events like shutdowns and turnarounds. Online equipment inventories can use telemetry data to track the location, status and condition of the equipment and resources our customers need to efficiently complete maintenance work and to get sites operational again.
At BP’s Kwinana refinery in Western Australia, Coates Hire supported one of Australia’s biggest shut down events with seven mobile tool stores and approximately 12,000 pieces of hire equipment. Using the proprietary CHASE system to track tools and equipment, Coates Hire improved efficiency by performing daily reporting on lost, damaged and overdue equipment, as well as cost and equipment utilisation reports.
Similarly, at the Lytton Oil Refinery in South Australia Coates Hire supported a 42-day shutdown event by providing a full on site tool store with servicing and digital tracking, to support the 450-strong workforce brought on site for this event.
Telemetry also allows us to analyse utilisation rates for equipment, improving efficiency and reducing unnecessary hire equipment for our customers. This approach also provides valuable intelligence for refining and improving the delivery of future industrial events.
The use of telemetry for remotely monitoring engineering works can reduce exposure to hazards and help to keep construction industry workers safe.
In the delivery of temporary works solutions, Coates Hire’s engineering team often uses telemetry sensors on struts to remotely monitor ground forces during excavation. This technology can also be set up to provide alerts if load limits are reached – allowing the integrity of shoring solutions to be maintained without putting project delivery teams in harm’s way.
During the site excavation for a luxury residential development at Dolls Point in Sydney, telemetry sensors embedded in hydraulic struts safely enabled real-time, 24x7 monitoring of the entire retention system, with great precision achieved during installation.
At Freshwater Bay in Western Australia, telemetry sensors further enhanced the robust and flexible shoring solution Coates Hire devised to support excavation at this riverside address. Telemetry sensors embedded in this hydraulic shoring system allowed the project team to periodically monitor the compressive force being applied to each steel strut, allowing change to be detected and offering the customer assurance around the integrity of the design.
Telemetry can also help us to be smarter and more in the way that we work and support our customers. At Osborne Shipyards in South Australia, Coates Hire recently provided a comprehensive dewatering solution to create a safe and dry environment for excavation work. Telemetry sensors were used as part of this groundwater solution to monitor the water table and gauge the flow of water, with SMS alerts sent out if flow rates were exceeded.
As well as improving site safety, a remotely monitored telemetry-enabled approach like this also provides a smarter and more efficient way of monitoring groundwater, reducing the cost of onsite monitoring.
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