According to research carried out by construction experts - GIRI - building errors cost approximately seven times the total annual profit of the UK construction industry, listing latent errors, delays and design changes as the main perpetrators.
Putting systems in place to plug the gaps has become a new strategic goal for many in the industry. In 2020, Razor worked with Mabey Hire and their revolutionary Insite system to help construction firms do just that.
Mabey Hire is a construction hire company. They deploy highly experienced teams and equipment. They were the people who propped up the Spaghetti Junction, supported and monitored the load while the piers of the Mersey Gateway were being built, and shored up the giant basement for the Battersea Power Station as it was turned into accommodation and leisure facilities. Still, one of the jewels in Mabey Hire’s crown is Insite, their construction monitoring system, part of the Mabey Hire Instrumentation division.
With Insite, Mabey got into the construction monitoring market early and made a significant impact.
In a nutshell, Insite works with their environmental monitoring systems that are placed on the construction site. The systems collect data in real time and send it to Insite for customers to act upon, enabling projects to stay within permitted noise, dust, and vibration limits in line with regulations, and for the safety of site workers.
In addition, the system can be used as part of a structural monitoring solution. By teaming it with site-based sensors, Insite can give Mabey Hire’s customers real-time data about any structural changes, making sure they can react immediately.
Thanks to customer demand, Mabey Hire needed to scale up the platform. Since initial rollout, better digital technology had become available, meaning the reporting dashboard would be easier to manage for both Mabey Hire engineers and their customers, and the security would be enhanced using best-in-class cloud technology.
It was time to update.
After reviewing the system and its mighty cause, the Razor team knew we could make Insite even more efficient and widely scalable. With our virtual hard hats on, we got work!
We started by analysing and rebuilding the architecture behind the current solution. Our team looked at faster and smarter ways we could aggregate data from active sensors to display it to users. Functionally, we also made sure users could create projects, explore associated sensors, set up sensors and set thresholds for events and breaches.
The complete solution used Azure IoT, Microsoft Azure Functions and Stream Analytics.
When it came to making the data visible to users, we overhauled the current reporting tool and designed a new interface that was slick, easy to navigate, and intuitive to use making the information valuable and actionable.
Perhaps even more innovative, we used pre and post engineering techniques to process the data. This meant the interface could still highlight the minor anomalies that might be lurking despite the constant stream of data, which could identify problems on-site early.
The Razor team also improved the breach activation. We made sure these notifications were as real-time as real-time can be, alerting users via the appropriate channels enabling them to keep the site compliant and safe.
The new and improved Insite system has now been in operation to a small pool of users for a few months - undergoing its user acceptance testing in January. Mabey Hire plans to use the new Insite system with new clients and on new infrastructure projects from Spring 2021.
Our project with Mabey Hire reveals an essential lesson to industry. The cutting-edge is constantly shifting, Insite was a brilliant system but it is essential to stay up to date with what’s possible. There is always an opportunity to make your product or system even stronger and new technology is the way to make that happen.