Drones are in the spotlight
Originating within military operations, drones have now hit the mainstream market, transforming industries such as construction and making working sites safer, providing accurate data and world class results. However, drones are also becoming a large part of the advertising sector, with companies such as Amazon experimenting with the technology, enabling drones to deliver orders and reduce delays. The UK has seen the beginning of drone delivery via Amazon’s ‘Air’ service, but it is yet to hit the US as a permanent feature.
Nonetheless, the subject of drone delivery was bought back into the spotlight at the US Superbowl through the Amazon Air advert, highlighting a couple sitting on a sofa together with a bowl of Doritos between them. Whilst the man is licking his fingers, then dives his fingers back into the bowl for more, his other half does not look impressed, and calls for Alexa to “reorder Doritos from Prime Air”, of which Alexa responds and the drone appears.
Amazon’s drone delivery has been in the pipeline for a while, yet other companies are filling the void by launching their own drone services for customers who want quick delivery of products, with a first-class service. However, Amazon has claimed that once drone deliveries are embedded within their core operations, the technology will enable the drones to fly for approximately 10 miles.
The use of drones was also evident with the US Superbowl halftime show, enhancing Lady Gaga’s performance and creating a spectacular show. It has recently been revealed by TechCrunch that the shooting stars were part of Intel’s Shooting Star Programme, where all 300 drones were controlled via one source, are easily assembled and are constructed in Germany to create a lightshow, controlled by two people.
Intel have stated that the next step is creating a fleet of drones, which Intel’s Light Show Business Lead Natalie Cheung states is part of a new drone, which is “lightweight, with a propeller cage, to ensure that everything is done safely and securely”. The company are communicating regularly with the FAA with any new developments to develop it further and create further technological innovations and business opportunities worldwide.
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Intelliwave SiteSense boosts APTIM material tracking
“We’ve been engaged with the APTIM team since early 2019 providing SiteSense, our mobile construction SaaS solution, for their maintenance and construction projects, allowing them to track materials and equipment, and manage inventory.
We have been working with the APTIM team to standardize material tracking processes and procedures, ultimately with the goal of reducing the amount of time spent looking for materials. Industry studies show that better management of materials can lead to a 16% increase in craft labour productivity.
Everyone knows construction is one of the oldest industries but it’s one of the least tech driven comparatively. About 95% of Engineering and Construction data captured goes unused, 13% of working hours are spent looking for data and around 30% of companies have applications that don’t integrate.
With APTIM, we’re looking at early risk detection, through predictive analysis and forecasting of material constraints, integrating with the ecosystem of software platforms and reporting on real-time data with a ‘field-first’ focus – through initiatives like the Digital Foreman. The APTIM team has seen great wins in the field, utilising bar-code technology, to check in thousands of material items quickly compared to manual methods.
There are three key areas when it comes to successful Materials Management in the software sector – culture, technology, and vendor engagement.
Given the state of world affairs, access to data needs to be off site via the cloud to support remote working conditions, providing a ‘single source of truth’ accessed by many parties; the tech sector is always growing, so companies need faster and more reliable access to this cloud data; digital supply chain initiatives engage vendors a lot earlier in the process to drive collaboration and to engage with their clients, which gives more assurance as there is more emphasis on automating data capture.
It’s been a challenging period with the pandemic, particularly for the supply chain. Look what happened in the Suez Canal – things can suddenly impact material costs and availability, and you really have to be more efficient to survive and succeed. Virtual system access can solve some issues and you need to look at data access in a wider net.
Solving problems comes down to better visibility, and proactively solving issues with vendors and enabling construction teams to execute their work. The biggest cause of delays is not being able to provide teams with what they need.
On average 2% of materials are lost or re-ordered, which only factors in the material cost, what is not captured is the duplicated effort of procurement, vendor and shipping costs, all of which have an environmental impact.
As things start to stabilise, APTIM continues to utilize SiteSense to boost efficiencies and solve productivity issues proactively. Integrating with 3D/4D modelling is just the precipice of what we can do. Access to data can help you firm up bids to win work, to make better cost estimates, and AI and ML are the next phase, providing an eco-system of tools.
A key focus for Intelliwave and APTIM is to increase the availability of data, whether it’s creating a data warehouse for visualisations or increasing integrations to provide additional value. We want to move to a more of an enterprise usage phase – up to now it’s been project based – so more people can access data in real time.