Overview:

• Heavy equipment manufacturing giant Komatsu and positioning software maker Trimble are teaming up to enable the sharing of 3-D construction job site data, according to Equipment World.

• The resulting API will bridge Komatsu’s KomConnect and Trimble’s Connect software, giving mixed earthmoving fleet operators a more detailed, digital overview of the job site.

• One driver of the partnership is Japan’s i-Construction initiative, which Komatsu is serving with its Smart Construction platform. The initiative intends to expedite innovation in construction technology to address the lack of skilled labor in that country due to its aging workforce.

Insight:

Komatsu continues to expand its use of telematics. Last year, the company debuted its Smart Construction platform in the U.S., enabling users to view data and reports and to troubleshoot problems remotely on its smart machines.

The Smart Construction launch preceeded the ISO’s July 2016 approval of a mixed-fleet telematics standard from the Association of Equipment Manufacturers and Association of Equipment Management Professionals. Since its adoption, more telemetry solutions providers are coming forward with opportunities to bridge data streams into common platforms for access and analysis.

Earlier this year, equipment rental platform EquipmentShare raised $26 million to produce its own mixed-fleet telematics solution. That solution, ES Track, would be make-, model- and use-case agnostic, using real-time data to provide equipment data reporting, education and use recommendations across fleets.

John Deere is also looking to grow its stake in telematics. The heavy equipment manufacturer teamed up with Indiana-based LHP Telematics earlier this year to create a telemetry solution that would pool mixed-fleet data in a single platform. The joint venture will enhance John Deere’s WorkSight telematics solution by integrating data across fleets. The result, according to the company, is greater fleet-management efficiency and a reduction in the manual labor needed to enter data by hand. Reducing the potential for error and eliminating time spent switching between separate OEM telematics portals are also potential benefits.

Construction sites and the equipment on — and above — them are getting smarter. In 2015, Komatsu partnered with drone company Skycatch to automate and streamline data transfer on the job site. Such partnerships are expected to grow in number as construction companies look to use new tech to improve productivity and efficiency in the field.

(Originally published by Mary Tyler March for ConstructionDive.com)