With 20,000 Asset Trackers, Bouygues Construction Steps Up Smart Construction Leveraging Industrial IoT


"Smart construction" is becoming increasingly popular as the industry adopts new technologies and techniques to maximize efficiency, reduce costs, and improve business outcomes. Implementing asset management solutions makes it easier for on-site and remote workers to collect and access critical asset performance data in real-time. By collecting and storing this data, assets that are crucial for operations can be optimized across multiple sites, which can lead to dramatic expense reduction and protection against shortage and loss.

One of the largest global construction groups, Bouygues Construction, has begun the implementation of Omniscient's innovative asset tracking solution. As a startup incubated by Bouygues SA, Omniscient's new technology immediately connects twenty thousand devices that allow remote real-time management and optimization, combined with IoT networks provided by Bouygues Telecom LoRaWAN expertise from Objenious and intelligent sensors from Actility.

Patrick N'Kodia, Director of Bouygues Construction Matériel, stated, "Through this collaboration, I wanted the managers of Bouygues Construction Matériel to focus on their added value without spreading themselves too thin" said N'Kodia. "The "IoTization" of our equipment enables us to achieve two types of gains in parallel, the first in the optimization of intrinsic management performance within the Matériel structure with traceability and visual indicators in real-time, the second by providing the Travaux with additional levers for action on their use on site thanks to configurable alerts. It is, therefore, a win-win situation in terms of productivity," N'Kodia continued.

Leading the entire fleet of equipment, Bouygues Construction Matériel needs to ensure that each of the numerous construction sites in France are correctly equipped to provide a constantly effective workforce. To guarantee the heightened productivity necessary to meet demand, the turnkey solution from Omniscient is being deployed on its entire French fleet of bungalows and consoles on the tower cranes' main components and on the new B20 formwork.

This large-scale project involves around a hundred employees assigned to monitoring the equipment on more than a thousand sites, spread over five technical bases. This represents the installation of Abeeway sensors on more than 20,000 pieces of equipment and millions of GPS data to be processed by Omniscient.

The Omniscient solution uses the expertise of Objenious by Bouygues Telecom for connectivity while adapting multi-technology trackers from Abeeway, a subsidiary of the French company Actility global providers of IoT connectivity solutions, as well as Omniscient's own site operations optimization platform for data collection and analysis.

As a trusted partner Actility & Abeeway, in charge of providing flexible geolocation sensors optimized for LoRaWAN.  Abeeway devices work perfectly outdoors as well as indoors due to their multi-technology geolocation system, integrating GPS, Low-power GPS (patented), WiFi Sniffing, and Bluetooth Low Energy. Offering years of battery life, these sensors are intelligently configured multimodal behavior and advanced location resolution algorithms. Abeeway trackers provide geolocation intelligence for a wide range of use cases in construction, industry, or the supply chain.

"Abeeway technology is adaptive as it can use WiFi in dense urban environments, GPS in the countryside, and BLE indoors, to scan the environment and detect other BLE devices on some small equipment, for example with a tracker placed in a toolbox and BLE tags on each tool" added Stéphane Sisse, Global Geolocation Services Manager at Abeeway.

With expertise in the construction industry, Omniscient has developed its platform with extensive knowledge of the entire construction site ecosystem so that the gain in productivity is extensive. Omniscient's platform is open to various technologies, allowing a whole fleet's digital management, from electro-portable to multi-ton cranes.

With one click, the fleet manager can navigate on a virtual map and view, in real-time, the location and tracking sheet of each piece of equipment, including, among other things, the site configuration of the equipment, as well as links to the quality control sheets.

The in-house algorithms designed by this ConstrucTech startup take the analysis one step further. The information sent by Abeeway's sensors allows Omniscient to calculate performance indicators dedicated to fleet management, equipment turnover and utilization rates, inventory by technical base, inventory by worksite, and number of billable days.

By leveraging geolocation data to optimize the management of millions of euros of equipment, Bouygues Construction Matériel's commitment to increasingly digitized operations is bringing significant benefits. Through the adoption of this new data-based approach, the equipment division of the construction giant is projecting direct annual savings of 5 to 10% on maintenance and fleet management and an ROI of this technological solution over three years.

Arti Loftus is an experienced Information Technology specialist with a demonstrated history of working in the research, writing, and editing industry with many published articles under her belt.

Edited by Maurice Nagle

Special Correspondent

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