If you have been following what we write about here or over on Connected World, you know connected devices are proliferating industries—with growth predictions in the billions.

For instance, Gartner forecasts that 14.2 billion connected things will be in use in 2019, and that the total will reach a whopping 25 billion by 2021. If you think this won’t influence construction the way it has impacted other industries, you’d be wrong.

bauma 2019 is showing that connected equipment is already here—and it is impacting global markets. In fact, bauma recognizes that the digital construction site is shaping our everyday lives—and our construction machines.

Let me share with you a few examples that I believe will have a positive disruption for the construction jobsite—and these are just a handful of what was announced at the show this week.

Smart Machines Getting Smarter
Trimble, for instance, has made a number of announcements—but let’s narrow in on one example specifically and dissect it a bit.

In partnership with Doosan Infracore North America, the companies announced the availability of Trimble LOADRITE L3180 SmartScale as an option on Doosan Wheel Loaders.

Check out the connectivity on this: It uses weighing intelligence and solid state sensors for more accurate, precise, and faster loading. It also connects machines and devices to collect data via the built-in Wi-Fi and syncs with the reporting portal, which consolidates live, operational information from loaders, excavators, and conveyors across the site. Just imagine the information on this one.

If you get the data side of this, the benefits here are pretty clear. As construction companies this will give you access to information and proficiency reports in realtime. This can improve site production and operator performance. The list really does go on and on. Construction is truly getting the data it needs, faster at the worksite, and in realtime. It doesn’t get better than that.

Connectivity is front and center at bauma 2019. Manufacturers are illustrating how it can provide access to data to increase productivity, maximize uptime, enhance efficiency, and reduce the costs of using equipment—and this is something we are seeing on a global scale.

Here’s one example, Hitachi Construction Machinery has teamed up with European telematics company ABAX. The platform will enable Hitachi mini excavators to talk with Global e-Service. It’s available for all Hitachi mini and compact machinery and it can also be retrofitted to previous generation models.

This builds on Hitachi’s theme at bauma—Connect with Hitachi—and the theme of the entire show, connectivity is here, and it will change how you interact with your equipment.

More Durable, Sustainable Materials
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention another big trend that is truly evolving in the materials and components for equipment. Think tires and steel.

For instance, Alliance Tire Group, which is a part of Yokohama Group, unveiled Galaxy LHD 500 SDS, which is a severe duty solid tire designed for wheel loaders to cope with extreme working environments. This makes a big difference in waste management, metal recycling, construction and demolition, and mining where punctures in tires are causing a big impact on downtime.

Steel is also becoming stronger and more sustainable. ArcelorMittal unveiled a new line of flat steel grades made for cranes. It has improved properties for bending, cutting, and welding. The company is also showing product improvements for sheet piles and more.

One other example comes from thyssenkrupp, which provides special structural steel for the masts of the drilling rigs and booms of the cranes. Here’s why this is so important. Machines in construction need to work in challenging conditions—and the tech companies and manufacturers recognize this and are delivering.

Rebuilding our Infrastructure
Let me leave you with one last big takeaway from bauma this year. Technology can be central to help rebuild our infrastructure. I have been saying this time and time again. Our roads and bridges are crumbling and we are in desperate need for an advancement—both here in the states and abroad.

To help, Topcon Positioning Systems announced Pavelink, a SaaS (software-as-a-service) application that links with existing planning and management tools.

Here’s how it work: The mobile application provides a connected ecosystem workflow between the asphalt plants, delivery trucks, company office, and paving site. It is a logistics tool that gives workers access to the information they need in the paving process, which includes quantities, temperatures, number of trucks loaded, current truck locations, jobsite arrival estimations, number of trucks returning or queuing for more loads, amount of roadway that has been laid, and so much more.

This is what we need in construction—technology—to connect our equipment and to rebuild our infrastructure of tomorrow. The more data we have the better decisions we can make from the office to the jobsite.

Peggy Smedley
Peggy Smedleyeditorial director