Technology keeps manufacturing and industry on track

Leveling the playing field

Technology is a critical component for growth and innovation in any business.

For construction and industrial maintenance projects, it can help inform hiring decisions, reduce costs and help businesses do more with less, which is especially important when equipment, materials and labor are in short supply.

Technology, therefore, needs to be a key component of any construction site. Innovations, such as enabling a smart and connected fleet of devices, can harness the power of data for customer efficiency and insight, and help keep people safe.

Understand the power of telemetry

While data has always existed, its potential has not always been fully realized. But as more cost-effective telemetry devices have come to market and the IoT has evolved, these developments have allowed data to be harnessed and put to good use across a wide range of industries and customer applications.

In the Coates fleet, telemetry sensors now capture real-time flow rates for safer water management. They measure the loads placed on structural materials for safe excavation.

They also inform proactive asset maintenance and help industrial businesses track and understand the use of equipment, tools and consumables. The opportunities for telemetry to inform and enhance customer activities are limitless.

Unlock the value of data

The real value of telemetry, however, is not in the raw data it provides, but in the analysis and interpretation of this data to uncover business insights.

Along with telemetry sensors, we use asset management technologies such as SiteIQ (replacing CHASE) and productivity tools to help clients reduce costs, increase business efficiency and guide the delivery of customer and market-focused solutions.

For example, late last year Coates supplied, tracked and monitored equipment and tools for a major upgrade at Mount Piper Power Station in NSW.

The data-enabled approach helped this customer achieve an 80 percent improvement in equipment uptime efficiency, eliminating unnecessary rentals and helping return equipment sitting idle on site.

And while helping customers reduce their rent may seem counterintuitive, it’s important to remember that efficiency is a two-way street, with benefits on both sides.

From a market perspective, once efficiency gains allow equipment to be rented for one customer, it can also be used to support other businesses facing similar challenges around equipment demand and supply.

Put technology in harm’s way

Replacing people to perform high-risk, and high-cost tasks is another high-value application for technology in the manufacturing and industrial sectors.

Custom drones are used to perform pre-commencement safety inspections on construction sites, and remote asset inspections during industrial maintenance.

Sending drones into these environments instead of humans eliminates the need for access equipment like scaffolding, ropes and booms, and helps businesses protect their most important assets.

For the inspection of industrial assets such as cooling towers, drones also allow the creation of highly accurate 3D models and digital twins to guide current and future maintenance.

No matter what your technology strategy is, there will always be opportunities for technology to level the playing field and mitigate industry challenges. And there will always be productivity, efficiency and safety gains.

Murray is the CEO of Wittlich Coates.

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