CMCC 5G Corner

2023-03-13 |

Smart technologies enhance safety and efficiency of construction operations

Latest 5G, IoT and AI technologies not only enable a new generation of digital applications for consumers but also greatly improve the safety and operational efficiency of construction site.

Identify safety violations through “seeing”

In the management office of China Construction Third Engineering Bureau in Wuhan, China, engineers are monitoring construction sites in real time through a smart system which can identify a wide range of safety violation situations, such as workers not wearing helmets, unusual movements near warehouse areas and acts of workers violating safety guidance. This system can alert managers instantly to investigate and improve the situation.

The smart construction site monitoring system was deployed by China Mobile as a pilot project to demonstrate how 5G+AI technology can assist to improve efficiency and safety of construction operations. Utilizing China Mobile’s 5G smart construction site platform, China Construction Third Engineering Bureau has increased its operational efficiency by improving the safety of construction operations and material management.

In fact, the construction site, where the pilot system was deployed, is in Quzhou city of Zhejiang province that is hundreds of kilometres away from the management office in Wuhan. How can the system monitor such a remote site in real-time? China Mobile leveraged 5G+IoT technology and developed a smart monitoring system for a special aircraft manufacturing company. Through high-speed, low latency 5G mobile networks and drones powered by latest IoT technology, managers now can access situations when they occur at construction sites remotely and ensure safety measures are implemented properly.

Protect the environment through “hearing” and “smelling”

Environment protection is another key application area of smart monitoring systems powered by 5G. Construction sites often cause noise and air pollution. To protect city environments and people’s lives, China Mobile collaborated with a local Construction Engineering Management Bureau in Anhui to develop a 5G environment monitoring platform.

With the high-speed private 5G network, the system can monitor the level of particles (PM10 and PM2.5) and noise pollution around the construction site all day and transmit data to the monitoring platform for record and analysis in real-time. Timely warning will be issued to managers at construction sites when noise and dust exceed the standard level. The system can help regulators supervise construction sites in an efficient and cost-effective way and minimize the environmental impact on citizens.

Prevent accidents through “touching”

Operation quality and safety are crucial to construction projects. That is also key to “smart infrastructure”. At the construction site of the phase two of China Mobile (Yunnan) Data Centre, the smart infrastructure information platform monitors the operations of tower cranes, unloading platforms and scaffolding. The system automatically issues warnings when abnormal operations and conditions are detected. That greatly supports operators in identifying issues and solving problems in a timely manner.

For example, when monitoring the operation of tower cranes, the smart platform connects to cameras and sensors to monitor the real-time situation inside the cranes, on-the-ground and from remote observatory points. The system analyzes information gathered from all sources and evaluates potential collision and tilting risks. High-definition cameras and laser guidance systems are also installed to support lifting hooks operations and prevent blind spots, especially when operating at night.

When monitoring the installation of high formwork, the intelligent system connects to a series of wireless sensors measuring tilt angles, horizontal displacements and vertical positions. Weight sensors are deployed to detect if the installation is overloaded. The system analyzes information and issues warnings when safety issues are found.

With the implementation of smart safety monitoring systems powered by 5G, the safety management approach has been transformed. Safety managers now embrace a data-driven and preventive approach, actively reducing risks and fixing problems through real-time monitoring.

China Mobile continuously utilizes the latest technologies to digitalize operations at construction sites, making operations smarter to improve efficiency and safety.