Tracking Infrastructure

The Potential of a Customer Platform

Posted by Jeff Pollock

Oct 10, 2019 8:34:00 AM

Advances in information technology over the past 30 years have created a foundation for improved manufacturing productivity that is often dubbed the Second Industrial Revolution. In the first revolution electricity was the underlying technology. But it was the application of this technology to a new manufacturing model... the assembly line... that created the productivity break-through. Today, information technology is serving as the foundation for another new model... the industry platform.

This is the second in a series of posts drawing from our vision statement for the future of infrastructure manufacturing. Today we discuss how manufacturers can provide a quantum leap in the value that they offer by using a customer-facing platform to provide seamless data sharing.

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Topics: Smart Infrastructure, Connected Concrete, Productivity

The Value of Systems Integration

Posted by Jeff Pollock

Oct 5, 2019 12:23:29 PM

 

There is a lot written about technology and the role it will play in improving the productivity of the construction process. But how will technology improve the efficiency of the construction product supply chain?

This is the first in a series of posts dedicated to this topic and it draws from our recently published vision statement entitled: "The Infrastructure Supply Chain Platform". We start with a dive into how systems integration will help manufacturers realize improved productivity from systems they already have in place.

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Topics: Connected Concrete, Productivity

Why Should Precast Pay Attention?

Posted by Jeff Pollock

Jun 28, 2019 5:36:40 PM

 

In our newsletter published this week, the article that received the most attention was titled 'Why Precast Should Pay Attention'. This was our title applied to an article that we circulated about a Cleveland, OH contractor's decision to offer integrated construction services. It obviously struck a chord, so we thought we would re-frame it as a question and respond with a deeper dive into how integrated construction is a threat to the precast industry.

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Topics: Idencia Use Cases, Connected Concrete, Productivity

The Smart Infrastructure Opportunity

Posted by Jeff Pollock

May 14, 2019 4:17:40 PM

 

The globe faces three major problems that impede the construction of adequate infrastructure over the next 20 years:

  1. $94 trillion of investment is needed.
  2. The construction industry is not presently equipped to address the need.
  3. Government budgets are constricting investment and maintenance funding.

The construction of smart infrastructure will address these problems head on. It will also provide public benefit that will make 'dumb' infrastructure obsolete in the not-so-distant future.

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Topics: Smart Infrastructure, Connected Concrete

What is Smart Infrastructure?

Posted by Jeff Pollock

Apr 29, 2019 3:01:18 PM

There is a lot of talk about "smart" things, infrastructure included. But what does that really mean? We have recently released a new web report entitled The Promise of Smart InfrastructureIn it we answer this question and present the opportunity that smart infrastructure provides for addressing the investment gap that exists between current spending on global infrastructure and the (much greater) need for new investment over the next 20+ years. During the next few weeks we will offer a series of blog posts presenting sections of the report.

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Topics: Smart Infrastructure, Connected Concrete, Productivity

Connected Concrete: A Data Sharing Platform

Posted by Jeff Pollock

Apr 13, 2019 1:35:46 PM

At the Smart Cities Connect conference in Denver last week there was discussion about how to make the most productive use of the enormous amounts of data that will be connected as cities implement smart city initiatives. Dell EMC's Chief Technology Officer, Rob Silverberg, said that cities should consider creating a singular data platform for collecting all data rather than  creating information silos that will ultimately need to share data. He suggested a "system of systems" strategy for creating a holistic smart transportation system rather than a series of individual initiatives... such as smart parking, smart lighting, etc.

This strategy is not unique to smart cities. With data collection and analysis becoming central to improved productivity, data centralization is critical to most industries these days. This includes the manufacturers that provide cities with their infrastructure.

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Topics: Smart Infrastructure, Connected Concrete, Productivity

Why Tunnel Projects Require Digital Records

Posted by Jeff Pollock

Mar 30, 2019 5:11:07 PM

Seattle just completed its SR 99 tunnel, a project that replaced the aging Alaskan Way Viaduct with a tunnel that runs under the city and offers substantially more protection to motorists against the effects of an earthquake. The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) bills the tunnel as "one of the smartest tunnels ever built".  It's no surprise, therefore, that WSDOT required that product data for the segments manufactured for each ring of the tunnel be captured and transmitted to the DOT in digital form. 

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Topics: Infrastructure News, Idencia Use Cases, Connected Concrete

The Reinvention of Construction Manufacturing

Posted by Jeff Pollock

Feb 22, 2019 12:37:14 PM

 

In its 2017 report, Reinventing Construction: A Route to Higher Productivity, the McKinsey Global Institute estimates that inefficiency costs the global construction industry over $1.6 trillion per year, primarily as a result of industry fragmentation. Diving a bit deeper, MGI further estimates that collaboration issues, supply chain management inefficiencies and lack of technology adoption combine to create about one-third of this inefficiency... about $500 billion dollars annually. These factors suggest that a reinvention of the construction supply chain will make a large impact on improving productivity.

This is the third post of a 3-part series that discusses how technology will affect the infrastructure product manufacturing industry. In the first we discussed why the construction industry will embrace the Internet-of-Things. In the second we presented the role that smart infrastructure products will play in the future of civil projects. In this we provide our vision for how technology will enable the industry to reinvent itself as new, more efficient competitors enter the market.

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Topics: Smart Infrastructure, Market Insights, Connected Concrete

Delivering Smart Infrastructure

Posted by Jeff Pollock

Feb 16, 2019 5:32:16 PM

 

The movement toward 'smart cities' has developed momentum in the past few years as forward-looking city planners recognize that connected devices can provide value and create efficiency that was not possible previously. This will quickly become a driver for the construction of 'smart infrastructure' that collects the data. Of course, it will not only be cities that become 'smart'; states, regions and nations will all need smart infrastructure in order to take full advantage of the potential of connected devices... the Internet of Things (IoT).

This is the second of a 3-part series that discusses how the evolution of technology will affect the infrastructure product manufacturing industry. In the first post we discussed why the construction industry will embrace IoT. In this we discuss the role that smart infrastructure products will play in the future of infrastructure. In the third, we provide our vision for how technology will enable the reinvention of construction manufacturing in response to new, vertically integrated mega-firms.

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Topics: Smart Infrastructure, Market Insights, Connected Concrete

What IoT Means for Construction

Posted by Jeff Pollock

Feb 9, 2019 4:26:51 PM

 

IoT (the Internet-of-Things) has become a buzz-phrase that is thrown around a lot. It seems to be one of those phrases that is easy to shake off as a pipe dream offered by 20-something techies that will likely take decades to reach the floor of an infrastructure product manufacturing plant. (Perhaps, but don't get complacent.)

This is the first of a 3-part series that will show how the evolution of technology will affect the infrastructure product manufacturing industry. In this post we discuss why the construction industry will embrace IoT... and soon. In the second, we will discuss how smart infrastructure products will be demanded for projects. In the third, we will provide our vision for how technology will enable the reinvention of construction manufacturing in response to new, vertically integrated mega-firms.

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Topics: Smart Infrastructure, Market Insights, Connected Concrete

About this blog

Tracking Infrastructure is a blog about innovation in the manufacture, construction and management of infrastructure.

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