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Bluetooth Beacon Technology is Shaping the Smart Construction Site

  • Akansha Sharma
  • Feb 23, 2024
  • RFID
BLE beacons and smart construction with beacon technology

" BLE beacons in the construction industry offer great visibility into asset utilization, workers’ attendance and unlock high productivity while saving costs."

With the growth of smart cities in full swing, the BLE and  Internet of Things have entered all aspects of life, pushing the technological transformation of conventional industries like construction and manufacturing. Innovation continues to drive the construction industry forward, and one of the latest trends making waves in construction is the use of Bluetooth Low Energy beacons. The construction industry can benefit greatly with integration of IoT & BLE sensors, helping builders improve construction processes, minimize waste, and save money.

Let’s see in detail how BLE beacons and gateways can transform the construction and unlock higher degree of productivity and process optimization in the construction industry.

Role of BLE Technology in Smart Construction 

Imagine a construction site where all tools, machinery, supplies, equipment, and staff are linked to a single server, allowing for real-time monitoring of their movement and utilization. The idea of smart construction sites is similar to smart healthcare and smarthomes and smart cities. It simply means higher degree of visibility, better insights and better utilization of assets for enhanced efficiency. 

With BLE beacons, one can periodically capture and share all kinds of data related to construction, connect and report to the central server automatically, giving managers unprecedented visibility and control over the project's status on the construction site.

Smart construction site is a broad term that refers to the use of high-tech information technologies such as the Internet of Things, cloud computing, big data, and artificial intelligence to transform traditional construction site management's interaction, work, and management modes, as well as to realize project management visualization and intelligence.

Given the complexities in the current construction industry and lack of visibility on construction sites, it is better to integrate the management of staff, safety, machinery, timetable, equipment, etc. with IoT devices and sensors, connected to a centralized database.

Why Implement BLE Beacons on Smart Construction Sites?

There are various reasons why using beacons on construction sites is a good idea:

1. Low power consumption for long service life: Bluetooth beacons are extremely energy efficient, with battery life often lasting up to two years.
2. BLE as Wearables: Workers can wear beacons or attach them to their smart helmets and other mechanical devices.
3. Scalability: Beacon hardware can be coupled with sensors to provide additional functionality. Temperature and humidity sensors, accelerometers, and light or movement sensors may all be present.
4. Indoor Navigation: Beacons can provide accurate location information and navigation services for construction sites that are out of range of GPS signals, such as inside buildings, underground, and even underwater.
5. Low Cost: Beacon prices are generally modest, making them economical for a wide range of applications on building sites with long term benefits. Since BLE beacons offer long range data sensing and communication, you don’t need to deploy lots of BLE Beacons in the first place.
6. Reusability: When a certain operation is accomplished, the workers can reuse the beacon for another purpose or job site.

Applications of Beacon Technology in Construction

The construction industry has been committed to providing better services to customers. Here are some uses for BLE beacon technology in smart construction systems.
Access control with BLE beacons

The Bluetooth access control system employs Bluetooth low-energy technology. When a Bluetooth-enabled mobile phone approaches the Bluetooth access reader, the smartphone will automatically connect to the access control system and begin exchanging data to complete the authentication process. Since the construction site environment is relatively complex and dangerous, implementing Bluetooth access control solutions can help manage visitors and workers more effectively.

Beacon-based personnel and equipment tracking

Bluetooth beacons are useful for tracking and locating workers and equipment. The tracked staff or equipment wears or installs beacons, and the gateway determines the position of the monitored objects based on the RSSI signal intensity of the beacon or Bluetooth AoA technology, allowing for in-place control or tracking.

BLE beacons in fleet management

Fleet managers are most concerned with unexpected weather and road conditions. Project managers can use the Bluetooth-enabled connected fleet management tracking solution to track the state of construction materials and vehicle locations during transportation, allowing them to better plan and coordinate onsite activities. This not only aids in optimizing transportation routes but can also help avoid project delays.

Construction machinery and onsite environmental monitoring

With the advancement of science and technology, construction machinery is becoming increasingly intelligent, with the most notable performance in construction being that beacon hardware can be connected with sensors to collect vital machine operation parameters. Beacon sensors can use Bluetooth signals to broadcast sensed information, which is then transmitted to the application server via the gateway.

The pollution created by the building site has a direct impact on the health of field workers and the lives of those living nearby. To create a green and environmentally friendly building site, beacon sensors are commonly used to monitor ambient temperature, humidity, air quality, noise, etc.

Bluetooth Beacon Technology is Shaping the Smart Construction Site

BLE as Smart Wearables

BLE Wearables are increasingly being used in the construction sector for a variety of reasons, with the most significant gains coming from worker tracking and safety. Wearables can automatically count the number of workers, display their precise location, indicate risky zones, and deliver safety alerts to specific construction sites.

In conclusion, Bluetooth beacon technology in smart construction sites is transforming the industry. From accurate equipment tracking and worker safety to enhanced communication and collaboration, choosing the right Bluetooth beacon provides numerous benefits that drive efficiency, productivity, and project success. As construction companies continue to embrace digitization and connectivity, Bluetooth beacon technology will become increasingly prevalent.

Frequently Asked Questions on BLE Uses in Construction Industry

Q1) What are the main benefits of implementing Bluetooth beacons on construction sites?

The benefits include improved worker safety through proximity alerts, enhanced asset tracking to prevent loss or theft, increased productivity through optimized workflows and real-time monitoring, and better project management with access to location-based data and analytics.

Q2) How do Bluetooth beacons integrate with other construction technologies, such as IoT and Building Information Modeling (BIM)?

Bluetooth beacons can integrate with IoT sensors, wearables, and BIM software to provide a comprehensive view of the construction site. This integration allows for better coordination between different teams, more accurate resource allocation, and enhanced decision-making based on real-time data.

Q3) How are Bluetooth beacons addressing safety concerns on construction sites?

Bluetooth beacons can help improve safety by providing real-time location tracking of workers and equipment, issuing proximity alerts to prevent accidents, and facilitating rapid response in case of emergencies.

Disclaimer: The information presented here is for general information purposes only and true to best of our understanding. Users are requested to use any information as per their own understanding and knowledge. Before using any of the information, please refer to our Privacy Policy and Terms and Conditions.

  • Created on Feb 22, 2024

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