Wireless Trends to Watch

For the construction industry, wireless sensor networks (WSN) could have a big impact on how structures are built and how work is done at the construction jobsite. This technology is set to skyrocket, as the Internet of Things (IoT) gains traction.

ON World says WSN technologies and associated cloud technologies are accelerating adoption for the industrial IoT. Further, it predicts that in 2025, connected wireless sensing, tracking and control devices for a number of industries including construction will reach 480 million, which is up from 35 million this year.

Construction companies and equipment operators can benefit from understanding how the technology works and impacts business. ON World suggests that there are a few emerging trends to watch.

Wireless Mesh Sensor Networking

There has been steady growth for wireless mesh standards and growing adoption of low power wide area (LPWA) networking solutions. Deployment sizes are also growing with one in three with more than 1,000 WSN nodes installed and 12 percent have deployed single site deployments with 1,000 or more.

While satisfaction with WSN solutions has increased overall among users, improvements are still needed for battery life, costs, system integration and network range in order to enable the technology to continue to provide value.

Low Power Wide Area Technologies

LPWA (low power wide area) technologies are disrupting construction with cloud connected, 10-year battery-powered wireless sensors and asset trackers that can communicate up to 20 miles. These technologies reduce network management complexity.

According to ON World, roughly two in five are researching or developing these types of solutions, and three-quarters are targeting new applications that cannot be met with other technologies.

Connecting Stranded Assets

Remote monitoring has become a common option for equipment maintenance, as well as safety, health and environmental monitoring.

One key area where this is being used is in oil and gas applications, as the oil downturn has given wireless adoption a boost due to its lower total costs and advantages for remote monitoring in harsh environments.

This will also continue to benefit other areas of construction. In order to connect, sense, track and control all assets on a jobsite, construction operators will need to leverage wireless sensor networks. Understanding the technology is the first step.

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