The Evolution of an Industry

While many pundits have called construction a laggard, one of the things I love about this industry is its ability to adapt to the changing times—and that is certainly the case today. Let me explain.

Back in the day, backoffice software was considered cutting-edge—and today it has become the lifeblood of projects, helping to keep them humming along. Now, the industry has evolved. Equipment manufacturers are no longer just equipment manufacturers. They are now technology providers. The same can be said for tool companies, material suppliers; the list goes on and on. Everyone that touches a construction projects today is in the business of technology.

That’s why I was excited to hear about GCP Applied Technologies launching a business intelligence platform to benefit cement producers, which will in turn benefit the industry as a whole.

The technology will give field staff the information needed to provide more accurate product recommendations to cement products and predict the benefits they will gain from each product. Even more, using a proprietary algorithm, it can help identify the right cement additives to meet specific client needs in realtime.

The benefits of the platform include reduced time, resources, and operating costs invested in the process. It also helps increase fuel and energy savings, as well as allows for an improved cement sustainability footprint and increased project ROI (return on investment).

The company as a whole is proving it is innovative when it comes to optimizing internal capabilities with data, analytics, and automation. This is a trend we are continuing to see time and time again.

At World of Concrete earlier this month, several companies demonstrated they are also looking to help the construction industry move forward. For example, Coretex announced CoreHub, which connects an in-vehicle IoT (Internet of Things) hub with wireless sensors throughout a vehicle to collect and present information about the driver, asset, and load. This provides a full digital view of supply chain operations—or as the company likes to say a complete “birth certificate” of concrete, which includes data about the mix, water added, and time to pour. As another example, Giatec completely redesigned its concrete sensor, SmartRock, which is a wireless sensor for accurate monitoring of concrete curing and hardening.

All this to basically say: When you walked the show floor at World of Concrete 10 years ago, what did you see in terms of technology? Mostly software. Today, there is a collection of software, sensors, equipment, tools, materials, and more that are all connected with the latest and greatest technology. Welcome to 2020, where we are just beginning to live out the promise of innovation.

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