Intelligent Construction Equipment

Cloud computing, tags, beacons, IoT-trackers, etc. offer many opportunities to increase the efficiency of using construction equipment on the job sites. However, they are not commonly in use within the construction companies.

We at eRENT Solutions are developing our own platform for equipment management. Currently we are piloting a new version of our solution and launching it commercially next autumn. We call it Track & Rent Platform due to its capability to manage all assets which are used in companies. With our service construction companies can track and manage their owned, leased and rented fleet of equipment.

Construction equipment has a critical role, since almost always you need some tools to get the job done. For smooth processes you should have the right tool at the right time at the right place. This is not always an easy task since you can´t have all the tools in the world stored on your site. Usually companies own a lot of equipment and also rent often. The penetration of rental is increasing, which is a very positive trend. But using equipment from many sources creates a complex puzzle of equipment on a site level, which is not easy to control.

We have been participating in the iCons-project from the very start and are soon seeing extremely interesting results regarding on-site-tracking. Our current system tracks assets everywhere and integrates a portal for easy management of rental equipment. This combined with a cost efficient on-site-tracking would be a killer solution to the complex equipment puzzle mentioned earlier. Users would find their tools easily on site and could also manage all external equipment processes with the same system.

Combined with a BIM-model the production system would get a true boost in productivity. No searching for tools, no calling to rental companies, no need to own machinery, sub-contractors could share equipment, etc. This way we would have a very resource efficient and lean-oriented culture of using all equipment. In case your construction company is interested in this kind of concept, please give me a call and let´s digitalize the world of construction equipment.

Olli Aaltonen, Founder/CEO, eRENT Solutions Oy,, + 358 50 3798654


Digitalization of construction sites benefits all stakeholders


In 2005 Movenium started to digitalize construction companies hourly slips because our founder while building his house were asked from our first customer: “As you are a geek, could you help us to move this paper to mobile phone?”.

Since that time we have been creating cloud services for construction industry to collect data of hours, presence, orientation of new workers, safety and journal events.

Unlike with pen and paper,  you can  phone take photos and fetch weather information based on your location with your mobile. We have also been mounting physical boxes to construction sites where people can “check-in and check-out” with RFID technology.
Safer and all the way better construction projects happen, when technology is present on the worksite and information is available for all stakeholders based on their needs.

Together with Aalto University we are creating the next generation’s workforce presence tracking and aim to start pilots when summer finally starts. Aalto together with international group of universities have investigated how to track flow of people, material and tools on the construction sites – automatically.

Automation is key for increasing not just mandatory presence reporting for regulatory perspective as it also increases the safety on the worksite; when closing up the worksite everybody can be sure that there is no man left behind. With automated presence tracking such events that someone has fallen to elevator shaft and he perishes there while nobody knows where he is could be prevented.
Together with leading names in construction and marine industry, YIT, Fira, Skanska and CarinaFour we can together increase the safety of constructions sites independent if they are new buildings or ships.

We believe that tomorrow’s construction sites are not just digital but also safer and more productive as information about what materials are where and who is using what machines is available. Safer and all the way better construction projects happen, when technology is present on the worksite and information is available for all stakeholders based on their needs. People do not even need to register information as it is automatically collected.

Otto Laurila & Pekka Kinnunen / Movenium

Subcontractors’ business model in the age of digitalisation?

Otto Alhava, CTO

As I tried to explain our business model in a subcontractor meeting on site, the CEO of a small-sized subcontractor said to me: “Otto, our business model is based on over-booking our resources due to the fact that you can only promise that the site is ready for our workers on Monday, but you cannot tell on which week in the next quarter.” Some of the participants sneered a bit, but I didn’t stop at that remark, instead I moved on with the discussion and agenda.

This remark started to haunt me later. What is the prevailing subcontractors’ business model? What are their value propositions, key activities, customer relationships, or revenue streams? As main contractors, and their main customers, do we know how our most important partners run their businesses? We create the demand in construction business and the market for subcontractors. We create the rules and interfaces for subcontractors and their business models must adapt to the terms we set.

The other day, I had a discussion with the site manager of a relatively large residential project of ours, and I asked him what is currently causing the worst troubles in the project. The answer was not unexpected: “Bad subcontractors: they don’t show up when they promise, and if they show up, they leave without notice and just try to find an excuse to be paid for waiting afterwards.” I continued by asking what is causing this behaviour, and our site manager replied that the cause is mistrust. He continued that most of the subcontractors are not trustworthy.

From my experience, trust is a bidirectional phenomenon and it is based on rules and facts. As they say, what goes around comes around. We, the main contractors, have most of the data and all the possibilities to use IT-solutions for the benefit of our subcontractors and to secure their success. The problem which we have to overcome is the prevailing revenue sharing model: I earn more if someone else in the project earns less. The solution is not as complicated as we think. We don’t have to change the commercial model or contracts between the main contractor and the subs. All we must do is share information among the project participants, including scheduling, design, and construction process information, for example by using a real-time tracking system being developed in the iCONS project. By being transparent, the faults and incomplete issues will be detected and solved together. But first we must start trusting and respecting each other. It is also true that one must give away something before one can expect to receive something back in this world. In the age of digitalisation, we – the main contractors -should guarantee access to correct information to our subcontractors. Not as plans, paper, or any analogous format, but the relevant information, in practical format, in real-time, location-based and to the relevant person. Real-time and location-based information requires technology such as iCONS. Common information is the first step towards common understanding. If we understand our project together and our roles in it, we are able to deliver what is needed and what everyone expects to deliver to the project. Simultaneously, we start building trust.



Fira Group Oy

Teknobulevardi 3‒5, 01530 Vantaa

Intelligent Construction Site – Revolution in Construction Management

Technology has been developed to the point where it is possible to configure a system for a truly intelligent construction site: all resources: labor, materials and equipment can be tagged and located in real time. Mobile technology enables real time communication with workers and building information modeling provides context for decision making.

Aalto University has started a new research project on this theme funded by the Finnish Technology Agency Tekes and a consortium of eight Finnish companies, including end-users from construction and ship building sectors, software companies and a large teleoperator. In this research project, we intend to revolutionize construction management through intelligent data-driven systems. Our objective is to develop the concept of an intelligent construction site which utilizes and combines data of all production system entities. We will investigate what kind of data can be collected in real time from construction sites and what kind of IT systems are required to fully utilize the potential of real time production control. The Figure below illustrates the scope of the project.

The project is supported by a network of international collaborators from four countries: The United States, China, Brazil and Israel. Construction companies from the United States, China and Brazil will evaluate the international business potential of the iCONS –solution and pilot the system in their countries. Leading universities from each country coordinate local case studies and support the project with access to previous research and technology, as well as starting their own parallel research projects.

The research project started in October 2016 and the first steps were to investigate company requirements in all participating countries. Based on those requirements, the system to be developed has been designed and implementation has started on the labor tracking component. Laboratory tests are currently ongoing related to labor tracking and will be tested in real projects starting May 2017. Material tracking, equipment tracking and tracking of completed work will be next. In parallel, we are developing a prototype of a new real-time production control system! The goal is to analyze the tracking information and serve relevant, real-time, location-based information to foremen and superintendents.


For more information, please contact:


Olli Seppänen

Professor of Practive

Aalto University

(principal investigator of the research project)

olli.seppanen (at)