A Look at Mobile Apps With Equipment and Technology in Mind.
By Josephine Smith
As smartphone and mobile-device apps continue to evolve, the construction industry keeps benefitting from this technology innovation. Manufacturers, software suppliers and associations are launching apps that make obtaining information and trouble-shooting easier for aggregate producers. Rock Products takes a look at some of the latest mobile apps designed for the industry in this follow-up to a feature that appeared in our February 2012 issue.
American Road & Transportation Builders Association
Developed as part of ARTBA’s award-winning “Transportation Makes America Work” (TMAW) public affairs campaign focused on boosting federal highway and transit investment, the Transportation Construction Advocate App (TransCon App) gives public and private-sector workers in the transportation design and construction industry a powerful, new tool to communicate with their elected officials about the importance of transportation investment to the U.S. economy and the need to fix the Highway Trust Fund. The application enables members to take action from a smartphone, giving them timely talking points, built-in Take Action Center, access to advocacy videos, an interactive Congressional Directory, a map of Capitol Hill, transportation facts for all 50 states and the District of Columbia, and access to Infostructure. It’s available for both Android and Apple devices and can be downloaded through Google Play or the App Store.
BUILD is Atlas Copco’s customer magazine that provides content related to innovation and sustainable productivity in infrastructure, civil works and road construction projects. The BUILD magazine app is free and available worldwide for Apple and Android platforms. Additional content to the print edition includes: videos, useful links, campaigns, product information, push notifications, request information form and more. The BUILD app can be downloaded from the App Store or Google Play Store or through links found on the company’s website: www.atlascopco.com/us/news/multimedia/apps.
This app is an all-in-one tool for professional explosives engineers. Calculators include: ground vibration prediction, airblast prediction, powder factor, explosives per borehole, rock per borehole, scaled distance and borehole angle drift. Each calculator uses the app’s custom keypad to make data entry quick and easy. The tools available through the app are GPS, borehole layout, links to online blasting resources, compass, level, and float level. The Borehole Layout system allows blasters to lay out their hole design and timing in seconds rather than hours. Holes within 7 ms are instantly shown in red. The Heat Map gives a visual representation of the shots timing sequence. With a simple tap, the user can toggle their view between sequence timing and per hole delay. Furthermore, the app contains a project system that allows for the storage of all calculations and layouts associated to any job. Engineers can set GPS coordinates for their projects and the app will automatically look them up when they arrive on site and use that location’s project by default. Available for iPhone, iPad and Android users for $129.99.
The Pathway mobile app gives users the power of the NTEP 825 Spectrum indicator’s weight display in a mobile device which allows truck drivers the efficiency and safety of remaining in their truck while weighing. Using Cardinal Scale’s S2WIFI or the customer’s wireless network, Pathway provides truck scale operation with unattended weighing for $49.99. All transactions are recorded automatically on the legal-for-trade 825 indicator’s onboard memory and may be retrieved later with USB memory stick or by Ethernet. Pathway places the 825 indicator’s remote keyboard and display in the cab of the truck to operate standard ID storage via Wi-Fi. Once the truck driver pulls onto the scale, the Pathway mobile app self-prompts through four different customizable IDs such as truck number, product type, customer, job number, etc. These IDs are easily set up through the 825 indicator’s QWERTY keyboard during configuration. Pathway prompts for in-and-out, two-pass weighing with transaction tickets generated for Gross, Tare and Net which may be printed and/or e-mailed through Android or Apple mobile devices.
CASE Construction Equipment
The CASE Experience AR App brings the company’s products and solutions to life on mobile smartphones or tablets through Augmented Reality (AR) technology. The free app lets customers engage with CASE products through interactive and 3D features, videos, animations and voice-supported text. The application can be downloaded from Google Play for Android devices and the App Store for iPhone and iPad devices. The augmented reality print ads for Case’s selective catalytic reduction (SCR) technology can be viewed on the CASE Construction website and in several construction industry magazines. Pointing the tablet or phone camera at one of the two AR ads with the black and white QR code at the bottom brings up a 3D, interactive view of how SCR technology works. Touching the separate markers or images on the device screen launches several voiceovers that explain why SCR is better for customers’ operations and the environment. Users also can touch the CASE logo at the bottom of the screen to sign up for more information or to request a product demonstration.
Dexter + Chaney
The provider of Spectrum Construction Software has released two mobile apps: Project Plan Room and Payroll Time Entry. Project Plan Room provides a powerful vehicle to distribute construction documents, communicate critical data and relay vital project information in real time to employees’ and subcontractors’ mobile devices on the jobsite. It was designed to increase efficiency and collaboration between field staff and the office. The app allows contractors and subcontractors to remotely access the latest versions of plans, specifications, drawings and other documents. It synchronizes with Spectrum’s Plan Room application, ensuring that users have the most up-to-date project information at their fingertips. Users are able to quickly zoom in on documents for more details or a closer look at drawings and sketches. The app works online or offline, with no dependency on an Internet connection in order to operate or view documents. Once an Internet connection is established, synchronizing with Spectrum for updates or new document versions is a simple, one-tap function.
The Payroll Time Entry app lets supervisors and project managers quickly and easily enter labor and equipment hours directly from the job site. Users simply select the appropriate job then enter time for all employees and equipment assigned to that job. The app lets users assign and reassign people and equipment as needed, and provides tracking for supervisors to employ when monitoring the labor and equipment costs associated with their jobs. Similar to the Project Plan Room app, Payroll Time Entry can be used online or offline. Data is synchronized automatically with Spectrum, Dexter + Chaney’s cloud-based construction software. Both the Project Plan Room app and the Payroll Time Entry app are available for Android and Apple devices. Project Plan Room is also available for Windows Surface tablets.
Dyno Nobel’s Explosives Engineers’ Guide app equips explosives engineers with the full range of blasting tools on mobile devices. Users can access key blasting calculators, product information, unit conversions and more. Key features include: complete Dyno Nobel product info; seven custom blasting calculators, including Powder Factor, Airblast Prediction and Ground Vibration; real-time Dyno Nobel updates; worldwide remote accessibility to app; and unit conversions and blast design terminology. The GPS-enabled app is designed for both iPhone and iPad devices as well as Android devices. It can be downloaded for free from the App Store and Google Play Store.
Engineering & Mining Journal
Engineering & Mining Journal (E&MJ) – the voice of the international mining community providing in-depth editorial to mining companies and the mining industry – launched a mobile app earlier this year. Unlike the page-flip versions of digital magazines that many apps feature, it offers text in a readable format that scrolls with images anchored in the articles. Future plans include offering features such as embedded videos, dynamic graphics and scrolling photography. Aside from being available on both Apple and Android devices, the articles repaginate when the tablet (or smart phone) rotates from vertical to horizontal. The Apple version is available from the App Store and the Android version is available from Google Play. Once readers have downloaded the E&MJ app, they will be alerted automatically when the next issue is available.
Great Lakes Aggregates
The aggregate producer’s Material Calculator Estimator app is available for free download from both the Google Play Store and App Store. The simple-to-use calculator quickly estimates the material weight for more than 20 limestone, recycled aggregate, rock recyclers and Sylvania minerals. South Rockwood, Mich.-based Great Lakes Aggregates said it developed the calculator to address the growing need to a portable estimate of material quantity.
Construction software developer HCSS has introduced a suite of mobile apps for collecting and reviewing data on construction field operations. For use on iPhones, iPads and Android-based phones and tablets, the apps allow contractors to record an entire time card including diaries, photographs and cost-coded employee and equipment hours, as well as production quantities. Due to many contractors’ concerns about mobile technology, HCSS designed the apps to be standalone rather than web-based, so constant internet connection is not required. Furthermore, by combining the field apps with HeavyJob Field Management software from HCSS, a contractor can mix and match devices in connected and disconnected modes, and handle jobs in the most remote places. Apps are available for purchase directly through HCSS.
With the JDLink app, available for all Android and iOS mobile devices and tablets, users are able to make informed management decisions, increasing performance of the machines, uptime and cost of ownership. Users are able to access directions to machines from any location, receive and acknowledge machine alerts, ping machines for notifications, access Remote Display and Ultimate Data, and much more. Furthermore, Android users have access to a feature that allows a graph to be generated of the set of data being viewed. If the user is not a JDLink user, there is also a demo feature that allows users to explore the app and all its features. The JDLink app is available for download from the App store and Google Play.
Komatsu America Corp.
Komatsu introduced a feature-rich mobile app that allows owners to see critical machine information from the KOMTRAX fleet-monitoring system on their Apple or Android smart phones or tablet devices. Building on the past decade of Komatsu’s KOMTRAX technology, the new KOMTRAX app gives owners access to this critical information anytime and anywhere in daily, weekly or monthly time increments. The app lets owners: locate an asset and obtain driving directions to it; identify hours worked, idle time and fuel consumption; identify caution codes with descriptions and time stamps; understand machine movements; and analyze machine utilization. Additionally, the app gives owners the opportunity to directly contact their distributor, product support sales representative, salesperson, service provider, parts counter or KOMTRAX Coordinator by simply emailing, calling or texting. The KOMTRAX App can be downloaded for free at either the App Store or the Google Play Store: search for KOMTRAX, download and register.
Mack Trucks has an app for its popular Bulldog magazine. Available through the Apple App Store and Android Google Play Store, the app can be downloaded free of charge. The Bulldog app provides access to both current and past issues of Bulldog magazine, a 45,000-circulation quarterly publication published by Mack and enjoyed by customers, employees, retirees, dealers, collectors and fans. Published since February 1920, Bulldog magazine is among the oldest corporate publications in the U.S. Users will be notified automatically when subsequent issues are published.
First released in 2012, Metso MAP is the global standard in delivering information to mining and construction professionals, according to the company. The application has grown since its initial release and is now available for both Apple and Android devices. In addition to English, the iOS version can be downloaded in Spanish and Portuguese. Metso MAP provides information on all Metso equipment and services. With 24/7 mobile access, users can view and share documents, presentations and photos from anywhere in the world. Additionally, the app delivers Metso’s quarterly magazine, Results, and alerts users of important industry news.
With contact details for nearly 700 sales personnel, Metso MAP is a vital communication tool that brings Metso experts and customers closer together than ever before. And with much more planned for the future, this is only the beginning. Download Metso MAP for free on the App Store or on Google Play.
Navman Wireless’ expanded mobile app for its OnlineAVL2 fleet tracking system enables dispatchers, fleet managers and executives to monitor and manage fleet activities from their iPhones, iPads or Android devices.
Launched as a free companion application to OnlineAVL2, the app provides in-depth insights into real-time fleet operations as well as the ability to send and receive messages through Navman Wireless in-vehicle terminals for fast and easy communication with drivers. OnlineAVL2 users can use the mobile app to determine the real-time location of any vehicle or asset; view the entire fleet, vehicle groups or individual assets in real time on Google Maps; spot out-of-bounds vehicles or construction equipment; “Replay a Day” to see any vehicle’s current-day activity plotted on a map; route drivers to a specific address with turn-by-turn directions; and send messages to one or multiple Navman Wireless in-vehicle terminals with just a tap.
The Oldcastle Product and Location Guide app allows users to search for construction products from North America’s largest manufacturer of building products and materials, and to find Oldcastle locations and contact information. App users can search products by name, brand, CSI code or category; browse for products by CSI Divisions; and find Oldcastle locations across North America. The Oldcastle Product and Location Guide app is available for free from Apple’s App Store and Android’s Google Play Store.
SEE Forge’s mobile platform is customized to each company’s current processes, replacing all paper-based forms. By using the platform, issues are captured and sent in real-time to the company’s back-end system, where they are easily reviewed, tracked and resolved. SEE Forge’s efficient and simple reporting process allows organizations to manage more issues at a time, therefore significantly improving site safety. Data is also analyzed to discover trends and problem areas. Other features include: a GPS system that pinpoints the exact location of the issue; the ability to upload images and video; and notifications to different levels of staff within the company. Apps are available for IOS-, Android- and Windows-based devices.
SKF USA Inc.
The expanding portfolio of SKF Mobile Apps equips users with useful technology information, software to make critical calculations and the capability to conduct product and application searches. The apps include the popular SKF Shelf available for download to Apple devices and offering a vast library of SKF product and technology literature presented in various languages and then sorted by product, industry, and other categories.
Other mobile apps include the SKF Bearing Calculator, enabling proper bearing selection based on key parameters and offering several calculation programs; SKF Belt Calculator, providing a simple way to check the quality of an existing belt drive design and identifying more than 100 proposed solutions to problems within seconds; SKF Seals, profiling industrial sealing solutions and application recommendations; and SKF DialSet, software for accurate assistance in setting up SKF automatic lubricators, establishing correct settings based on application criteria and the appropriate grease, and confirming re-lubrication intervals and calculating lubricant quantities. SKF Mobile Apps are free and available for Android (except SKF Shelf) and Apple devices.
ConveyCalc is a free app available for download for Apple and Android devices. Notable features include an operating cost calculator, stockpile volume calculator, belt capacity calculator, horsepower calculator and conveyor lift calculator. With the operating cost calculator, the user inputs variables like operator salary, fuel costs, conveyor horsepower and annual repair expenses to compare costs of operating a conveyor versus a loader. The belt capacity calculator helps bulk material handlers maintain accurate levels of material on belts. Inputting a few common variables will return a conveyor’s maximum capacity, notes the company. Users can input conveyor length and radial arc travel angle into the stockpile volume calculator to determine stockpile volume in cubic tons, short tons and metric tons.
Tekk Innovations LLC
The complete text of Title 30 CFR, Mineral Resources is available for iPhone or iPad devices. It has been optimized for fast browsing and search.
The 30 CFR - Mineral Resources app features complete offline access; tables and images; custom bookmarks, highlighting and notes; full-text search and other advanced search options; and the ability to email and share sections or selected content with colleagues. It is currently available for $29.99 from the App Store but users can download CFR Titles 1 and 3 at no cost.
Accessing information about Terex machines is easier with the company’s app, Terex eLiterature (eLit). Available for free download from the Apple App Store, Terex eLit allows users to effortlessly view up-to-date specification sheets and brochures for every Terex product at the touch of a button. The convenient app has been developed as part of a wider Terex commitment to extend customer support beyond its products. By performing simple one-touch gestures, Terex eLit users are able to download and browse multiple product brochures and specification sheets, which are then available to access offline. Downloads are available in English, French, German, Russian, Spanish, Italian or Portuguese. This application is currently not available for Android devices.
URC Ventures Inc.
Measuring stockpiles has never been so easy, convenient and affordable, according to URC Ventures. It’s Stockpile Reports app delivers accurate stockpile volume, tonnage and pile locations using an Apple iPhone or iPad device. Collect data for each construction aggregates stockpile in minutes. The convenience of using an iPhone allows your crew on-site to measure stockpiles every month – even every week. The benefits of using the App add up to better decision-making, faster inventory turns and lower operating expenses. Users can increase productivity by collecting data for each construction aggregates stockpile in minutes, eliminating the travel time required by a full-time, survey team. Calculating aggregates stockpile tonnage every day, week or month, instead of every quarter or year will reduce safety stock, notes the developer. Additionally, each stockpile has a visual record and time-stamped report, allowing audit trails to be automatically generated for each stockpile measured. With each report, remote managers can visually inspect the quality and state of each pile to ensure proper site management.
Volvo Construction Equipment
Available for Android and Apple devices, the Volvo CE Insider app offers quick links to product highlights, attachment and aftermarket options, details on special offers, relevant news, videos and Volvo Construction Equipment social media channels. With intuitive navigation, the app makes it possible to quickly access detailed product specifications, related images and videos showcasing the full line of Volvo machines. Detailed product specs allow a user to compare Volvo machines with equivalent competitor models. Each product model listing includes a compare function that offers a side-by-side view of key specs, including driveline, dimensions, performance, capacity and machine weight. The app also guides users through available attachments for each model.
User interaction is a key feature of the Volvo CE Insider app. Options such as dealer locator maps put access to reliable, quality service and genuine Volvo parts at the user’s fingertips. Simple touch-screen calling and driving directions make getting connected trouble-free. When parts or repairs aren’t enough, the app allows users to browse used equipment from Volvo dealers throughout North America. The app also provides access to tradeshow calendars for opportunities to see Volvo machines in action and talk one-on-one with Volvo dealers.
Vulcan Materials’ product calculator is a tool that allows users to estimate construction materials needs for building and paving projects. By entering job parameters such as length, width and thickness, and material properties such as density, the app estimates the amount of aggregate, asphalt or ready mix needed for the project. Also, to assist with the calculations, a list is available of common products and their density values by geology; users can also input density values manually. The product calculator app is available for free from Apple’s App Store and Android’s Google Play Store.
Xylect Mobile is a tool for hand-held devices that offers a convenient access to the wide range of pumps already available in Xylect Professional. It provides a range of features and data to support a quick and easy selection of Lowara, Vogel and Flygt pumps as well as identification of Genuine Flygt Parts. The application offers functions to search products from a defined duty point (flow and head) as well as a quick search from a product denomination. Also duty point search for a parallel pump connection is supported. Detailed graphs of the product performance, zoomable dimensional drawings as well as basic product data, like motor rating, impeller material and outlet sizes can be retrieved for all products. Units and frequency can be set in order to customize the usage according to each user's individual preferences. The application supports all major languages: English, Spanish, French as well as Russian and Chinese. The Xylect app is available for free for Apple and Android devices.