Digital sustainability

Rhomberg Sersa: sustainable track construction thanks to IoT

Construction is known to have a large ecological footprint for various reasons. Simple measures can reduce the overall ecological footprint. One company demonstrating that modern technologies such as IoT and 5G can help make construction significantly more sustainable is Rhomberg Sersa.

Worker with laptop

The globally active track construction company is one of the most innovative in its sector. Looking for ways to make track construction more efficient, the company began taking the first steps towards a digitalised construction site together with Swisscom.

What is a digital construction site?

The way the construction industry is organised is often fragmented. Many steps are done manually, but there are also a lot of interfaces between the individual disciplines. There is generally little transparency about the various processes on a construction site. On a digitalised construction site, it is possible to document the construction process and each individual machine digitally. The data obtained then forms the basis for further steps: you can make forecasts and plan better or create a digital image of the construction site. Once they have a clear overall picture, the construction experts can proceed: ordering materials, assigning shifts and avoiding mistakes – before they’ve even arrived at the construction site.

How does this contribute to sustainability?

A construction site is a very resource-intensive place. Every step needs to be properly planned in track construction, because entire sections of track often have to be repaired within a few hours. There’s a big difference between having the right quantities of material on site thanks to the help of digital solutions, or transporting tonnes of gravel to the construction site as a reserve, only to have to transport it away again. The digitalised construction site gives an overview of resources, materials, energy and travel, which forms the basis for acting in a resource-conserving manner. In addition, there are fewer human errors made in calculations or during workflow planning. Occupational safety is also improved because the networked construction site is able to tell, for example, if construction workers get too close to a large machine in a hazard zone.

According to Rhomberg Sersa, the digitalisation of construction sites allows around 11% of fuel, 9% of carbon emissions and 6% of energy consumption to be saved compared to the previous non-digital construction process.

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