A shortage of skilled labor in a fast-growing city forces ready-mix producer to search for innovative methods of increasing efficiency during large interstate project.
Established in 1952, Concrete Materials is the largest ready-mix supplier in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. As a company that’s always striving to provide the highest-quality materials and service to construction companies, Concrete Materials needed to find outside-the-box solutions for its customers during a challenging employment climate coupled with demanding schedules of large-scale construction projects.
Photo Credit: Concrete Materials
Smart Concrete™ value-added solution for ready-mix suppliers
Increasing efficiency was a key factor in Concrete Materials’ decision to test Giatec’s Smart Concrete™ technology on a major highway project with T&R Contracting. The test also needed the direct involvement of South Dakota’s Department of Transportation (DOT) because the wireless sensor technology had never been used in the state before.
By integrating wireless, mobile-based maturity sensors into their ready-mix operation, Concrete Materials gave T&R contractors the tools they needed to reduce costs and speed up project timelines.
The only thing that the contractors had to do was to install Smart Concrete™ sensors on the concrete formwork before pouring. They could then monitor concrete temperature and maturity it real time from their smartphones using the free app provided by Concrete Materials.
For contractors, the primary appeal is the opportunity to reduce or eliminate field cure cylinders, which lowers their labor costs and accelerates their pour schedule in order to achieve important schedule efficiencies.
For ready-mix producers, the clear benefit is the ability to add value to their concrete mixes and increase profit margins significantly. Smart Concrete™ also provides suppliers a way of differentiating their business with innovative mobile technologies.
Reduced cylinder break tests
Following the success of the Smart Concrete™ highway test project, the South Dakota DOT decided to reduce cylinder testing to once per month instead of four times per month—a decision that freed up inspectors for other tasks.
Saved time and labor
T&R Contracting appreciated the fact that their contractors did not need to wait for a DOT inspector to come to the jobsite to check concrete strength. Instead, Project Manager Ryan Gulbrandson was able to see concrete strength data directly on his phone and share it instantly with the field team, optimizing project scheduling, saving time, and reducing labor costs. “Depending on how many phases, and the number of pours, you may be able to save days on some jobs and weeks on others,” Ryan Gulbrandson, Project Manager, T&R Contracting.
According to Jim Simunek, Ready Mix Sales at Concrete Materials, the Smart Concrete™ solution gave the company a significant advantage over their competitors by giving their customers firsthand, real-time information that allowed them to optimize project schedules and increase profitability.