CONSTRUCTION

Assignar Drives Construction Productivity with New Innovations

Assignar | April 12, 2022

Assignar
Assignar, the leading cloud-based construction operations platform provider, announced the launch of its latest product advancements to help self-perform general and subcontractors increase efficiency, profitability, and innovation. The company developed these platform enhancements in response to the industry's evolving needs and requests.

“At Assignar, we’re constantly gathering feedback and ideas from our internal team, customers and the industry to ensure our product roadmap is aligned with the needs and objectives of today’s contractors – this is reflected in our latest product enhancements, We invested in these four innovations to drive the construction industry forward into a new age of digital transformation that helps teams adapt to changing needs and align resources across projects in real time.”

Marcel Broekmaat, Chief Product Officer at Assignar

Assignar's latest upgrades complement an already robust array of products. They simplify platform use from the start and enable teams to more closely monitor ongoing work and progress through improved data collecting from the field.

Progress Tracking
This new tool enables contractors to have a better understanding of site development and facilitates productivity analysis, which assists in optimizing resource utilization and adjusting resource allocation depending on progress and budget. It allows users to submit a budgeted amount for a work order and monitor progress against that amount from the field.

Daily Log
Contractors can now access their allocations, submit numerous timesheets for the day, and track time spent on multiple breaks and assets using the new Daily Log. All of this from a single, easily-understandable interface on their phones. It enables reliable data collection from the field, allowing workers to be paid correctly and subcontractors to bill their clients accurately. This will simplify the process of locating job information and entering time, allowing contractors to concentrate on their jobs.

Mobile Scheduling
Contractors can effortlessly schedule personnel and equipment from their phone while on the jobsite with Mobile Scheduling. This enables contractors to remain mobile while monitoring task progress and working from numerous locations. They can add and remove resources without contacting the office. Assignar now supports the dynamic work environment in which contractors operate.

New Navigation
The platform's redesigned navigation structure adheres to Assignar's recommended process, from managing equipment and workers to allocating these resources to work orders and tracking time, quantities, and compliance. It is a significant step forward in the company's transition to a revamped user experience.
Assignar's platform and capabilities will continue to expand, helping contractors to increase their efficiency and profitability in an ever-changing sector. Visit www.assignar.com to learn more about these technologies and how Assignar is elevating construction processes.

Spotlight

Over the past few years, drones have outgrown their wider perception as a hobbyist’s pastime to become an exciting new solution within construction. Drones are providing a level of project monitoring and on-site safety that previously wasn’t possible in the infrastructure and construction markets. Could these flying cameras be revolutionising everything from workflow to land surveys?


Other News
EDUCATION

New Bootcamp aimed at anyone interested in a career in the engineering construction industry.

Modern Building Services | December 15, 2021

A new Skills Bootcamp, part of the Government’s Lifetime Skills Guarantee and Plan for Jobs, is being launched at South Devon College next month. Following on from the popular Skills Bootcamp in Digital, this new Bootcamp is aimed at anyone interested in a career in the engineering construction industry. The flexible course of up to four weeks gives people the opportunity to build up sector specific skills and fast track them to an interview with a local employer. The programme at South Devon College has been developed in partnership with Willmott Dixon, Midas, BAM Nutall and Keir Construction. Key elements of the course include renewable energy technology, water treatment, digital construction and commercial management. Participants on the course will benefit from continuous formative assessment for two weeks with one of the four employers through employer hubs.

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MATERIALS

Aerospace and defense materials continue to challenge toolholding

cutting tool engineering | December 14, 2021

From Rene 41, 718 stainless steel and 625 Inconel to titanium and carbon fiber, the materials used in the aerospace and defense industry sector as well as space exploration continue to present significant toolholding challenges. Magnifying these challenges are complex workpiece geometries with deep cavities, features that require long tool overhangs, and jobs requiring small-diameter cutters. Toolholding is just as important as the machine that runs it, and sub-par tooling can keep a machine from running at its full potential. For these reasons, shops turn to high-quality, precise toolholding. Because many of these materials are hard on cutting tools, shops constantly strive for the longest possible tool life. For one shop, the simple switch to a high-precision mechanical-type toolholding system skyrocketed its tool life from machining 100 steel parts per cutter up to 700.Toolholder reduces TIR When it comes to toolholding, one key to increased cutter life is a holder that provides ultra-low Total Indicated Runout (TIR). The goal is to get as close to zero TIR as possible. With every 0.0001" of TIR reduction, the company says that tool life can increase by upwards of 50%. Another example when reduced cutter TIR is required are long tool overhangs to reach complex part features in parts that do not provide much clearance. Shops within the Aerospace, Defense and Space Exploration sectors often run cutters as small as 0.128" diameter in a CAT 40 machine tool spindles with the tools hanging out up to 8" from the spindle nose. To achieve TIR of 0.0002" and under in such overhang applications depends almost entirely on the precision of the toolholder. Part characteristics and features that involve 5-axis machining, such as those typically associated with 3D metal printed parts, compound the risk of cutter runout and breakage. In the Aerospace, Defense and Space Exploration sectors, 3D metal printed parts made from materials such as 718 Inconel and titanium are commonplace, and some of these parts can take as long as 40 hours to produce. Shops have one chance to machine them correctly, and must use toolholders that not only provide low TIR, but also offer the necessary strength and stability. Cutters create dillemma In addition to challenging parts, solid ceramic cutters for machining nickel-based and other heat-resistant alloys present a dilemma for shops in the aerospace, defense and space sectors.. Solid ceramic cutters generate significant amounts of heat that can affect the holding integrity of certain types of toolholders. For instance, toolholders that use heat or hydraulics for clamping would be at risk from the higher-than-normal levels of heat generated during machining with ceramic tools. Mechanical-based systems, however, are unaffected by extreme heat. Beyond the challenges of metal workpieces, those produced from carbon fiber composites also cause issues with tool life and for toolholding. Shops must use tools designed specifically for the materials, which are extremely abrasive. While cutting, these tools force the part material downward and upward simultaneously to prevent delamination of layers. When holding these tools, maintaining low TIR is once again critical to achieving part quality and the longest-possible tool life, but tool pullout is also a major concern, especially when shops want to run cutters at maximum rpm. To combat this, toolholders need tremendous gripping strength paired with some type of locking tool-retention mechanism. CO2-based cooling Because shops cannot use conventional coolant when machining carbon fiber composites, many have incorporated the use of CO2-based cooling systems. These systems use supercritical CO2 not only to cool, but also to lubricate and to evacuate chips. Not all toolholders are suited for CO2 coolant delivery, and with some, tool changeovers can be time consuming as well. Combined with the latest cutting tool technology and the right toolholders, CO2 cooling systems can provide productivity increases in the 70% range. Compared to shrink-fit toolholding systems, mechanical-based systems offer optimum CO2 delivery and the fastest, easiest tool changeovers. For heat shrink, the delicate ruby nozzles used to deliver the CO2 to cutters would need to be removed prior to heating the holder to change out a tool – a task that can require hours. Conversely, some mechanical toolholding systems incorporate modified collets specifically for either through-tool or external CO2 cooling that have no effect on tool changeout time. CO2 coolant also can be supplied through modified toolholding collets with 150µm slots that direct coolant around the shank and along the exterior sides of a composite tool. CO2 cooling offers especially beneficial performance when profiling and drilling carbon fiber composites. Those benefits include dramatic cooling of the cutting tool tip, which reduces wear and extends tool life. Most importantly, however, the tool will cut through the carbon fiber layers much better with fewer, if any, ragged edges. For drilling, instead of the large through holes used with flood coolant, the holes for CO2 are much smaller, in the 150 to 300 µm range. These tiny holes not only cool the drill but also the material, so the drill makes clean entries and exits. Both internal and external type CO2 toolholders ensure drills cut through the last layer, as opposed to punching through it and leaving ragged edges. High tool usage rates provide the first indication that a shop may not be using the right toolholding. Regardless of workpiece material or geometry, a shop that runs through many instances of the same tool for one part needs a better toolholder, especially one that is high precision, makes for fast and easy tool changeovers, provides extreme gripping force and, most importantly, delivers near-zero TIR.powRgrip achieves near-zero TIR toolholding Out-of-balance, poorly manufactured toolholders generate vibration that increases exponentially from the toolholder to the cutting tool tip. So, the longer the cutting tool, the higher the levels of runout. While the complete elimination of TIR and vibration is impossible, the REGO-FIX powRgrip toolholding system reduces both to near-zero levels. The powRgrip system consists of three basic components – holders, collets and press-fit assembly mounting units. In manual or automatic configurations, the hydraulic press-fit assembly units quickly press collets into holders with up to nine tons of force. The collets have high-precision tapers that match with equally high-precision internal tapers in the holders, all of which creates the system’s extreme levels of transferable torque. Unlike other clamping systems where heat or hydraulics are used, the powRgrip system uses the mechanical properties of the holder material to generate its tremendous gripping force. Such taper-to-taper collet-holding systems deliver extremely high levels of precision, and as a whole their TIR is typically less than 3µm, which ensures accurate finished parts. Such precision optimizes the machining of complex, critical Aerospace and Defense industry components through the use of high speed cutting (HSC) or high performance cutting (HPC) strategies. The lower the TIR, the less tool vibration, and the less vibration, the longer cutting tools last, which in turn reduces overall tooling costs.

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ENGINEERING TECH

ECOX Spruce Construction Secures License to Launch Green Infrastructure Operations

Eco Innovation Group | May 12, 2022

Eco Innovation Group, Inc. an innovative company developing green energy solutions, announces that ECOX Spruce Construction, Eco Innovation Group's California-based green construction subsidiary, has been issued an official General Contractor's License by the State of California (License no. 1091210). According to the California Department of Consumer Affairs Contractors State License Board (CSLB) page, businesses and individuals who construct or alter any building, highway, road, parking facility, railroad, excavation, or other structure in California must be licensed to perform work. The license was issued on Friday, May 6, 2022. As previously communicated, ECOX Spruce Construction plans to focus primarily on Green Infrastructure projects. "Obtaining a GC License is the initial step for our ECOX Spruce Construction subsidiary formed early this year, and it will allow us to expand operations in the rapidly growing Green Infrastructure space, Our focus on ecologically sustainable infrastructure is core to the ECOX business. Large chains such as Starbucks, for example, are actively building out locations in California to be resource positive, using solar infrastructure, additional efficiencies, and reclaimed wood construction. A growing number of major organizations are moving in the same direction." Julia Otey-Raudes, CEO of Eco Innovation Group The Company expects the trend toward ecologically sustainable construction to accelerate as fossil fuel prices soar and the ESG movement continues to put pressure from a financial direction on companies to transition to more sustainable infrastructure models. The RE100 is a group of more than 360 companies worth more than $2.75 trillion in revenues that have pledged to fully transition to renewable energy. Starbucks is one of many participants in the group that has already achieved this milestone, along with Microsoft, Clif Bar & Company, and SAP. Otey-Raudes continued, "We believe the trend toward green construction is only in its very early innings and has the potential to become one of the most powerful growth opportunities over coming years for the application of new capital and resources. Now that we have our GC License in California, we can aggressively attack this market opportunity with the objective of becoming one of its true leaders in the decade ahead." ECOX Spruce Construction, Inc., was founded as a California corporation in January 2022. It is ECOX's second green construction subsidiary, following the 2021 establishment of the Company's Canadian construction company, Spruce Engineering and Construction of Alberta. About Eco Innovation Group Eco Innovation Group was founded by Inventors and Business Professionals to help nurture and catalyze the most innovative and impactful products and services, and to deliver those innovations to the world, improving the quality of life in our communities and the world around us, while delivering value to our shareholders. At ECOX, we are dedicated to developing and commercializing successful products. But we will never lose sight of the fact that we exist, first and foremost, to help people and improve life on the planet we all share. We take our Social Responsibility Contract seriously in all our endeavors. It is not only what we do. It is who we are.

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ENGINEERING TECH

Tianyuan Construction Group to Complete China's Longest Bridge Jacking Reconstruction Project

Tianyuan Construction Group | March 26, 2022

Tianyuan Construction Group, one of China's top 500 construction companies, will complete the renovation of Yihe Bridge, located on Beijing Road in Linyi city, Shandong province, in early April, concluding China's largest and longest bridge jacking reconstruction project by area and length respectively. Located on Beijing Road in the south of the city, Yihe Bridge was 1,210.72m-by-23m with a jacking height of 1,050m. After renovation, it will be 1,792m-by-52m. "The successful completion of the Beijing Road Yihe Bridge jacking project will greatly ease the traffic situation between Beicheng New District and Hedong District" Li Baoqiang, charge of the reconstruction project from Tianyuan Construction Group Reconstruction involves the simultaneous lifting of two new 15m-wide bridges on the north and south sides of Yihe Bridge. The entire upper structure of the old bridge will be lifted by 2.57m. The lifting of the northern and southern sections was completed in November 2021 and February 2022 respectively. Currently, the cover beam of the southern section is being heightened and is on track for completion in early April. The entire project is planned to complete before October 1, 2022, which will ensure that traffic on both sides of the Yi River is smooth, spurring the regional economy. Main challenges faced In order to ensure safety during the bridge jacking process and ensure that equipment is stable, 19 sets of limiters were installed on the bridge deck, preventing vertical and horizontal displacement of the beam body during the jacking process. Beijing Road Yihe Bridge was lifted via an alternate lifting process. This process involves two sets of jacks being lifted synchronously underpinned by support. This method allows for continuous lifting of the entire jacking process, ensuring efficiency and control. Furthermore, a PLC hydraulic synchronous control system was incorporated to ensure synchronization and structural safety. Reasons for bridge jacking As Beijing Road Yihe Bridge is a transportation hub connecting New Beicheng and Hedong districts, it is important that it functions well and safely. Bridge jacking is essential for the repair and maintenance of bridges. In November 2019, dynamic and static load tests were carried out on Beijing Road Yihe Bridge. The tests showed that the bridge met bearing capacity requirements and had sufficient safety reserves. Therefore, there was no need to demolish the old bridge. To meet flood control requirements, in which the minimum elevation of the bottom beam has to be 0.8m higher than the 100-year flood level of 72.36m, the superstructure of the old bridge also had to be raised by 2.57m. Furthermore, the current bridge is supported by a 30m-wide simple support box girder. However, as there are many piers and columns under the bridge, a 60m-wide girder was recommended instead for a better bridge view.

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Spotlight

Over the past few years, drones have outgrown their wider perception as a hobbyist’s pastime to become an exciting new solution within construction. Drones are providing a level of project monitoring and on-site safety that previously wasn’t possible in the infrastructure and construction markets. Could these flying cameras be revolutionising everything from workflow to land surveys?

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