AIRTRAC™ Control system for GCP Applied Technologies
"We need a way to control and document air introduction in concrete manufacturing to improve quality and reduce cost."
Composed of coarse aggregates, cement, and water, concrete is popular for its strength and durability. In order for those attributes to hold true, however, the introduction of air needs to be carefully controlled during the concrete mixing process. Trapped air bubbles create surface voids, which weaken the overall strength and effectiveness of the substance. To prevent surface voids, the process of introducing air into the concrete mixture is monitored by a special computer on a concrete mixing machine.
GCP Applied Technologies, a company that specializes in additives for concrete, saw a need to capture the data from their mixing machines and analyze it on a larger scale, but with the data restricted to the mixing machine itself, extracting and analyzing this data on a large scale was not possible.
To gather and view data on a larger scale, GCP teamed up with AndPlus to create a cloud-based software called AIRTRAC™ Control System. The AIRTRAC™ Control system is a cloud-based SaaS platform compatible with AIRtrac concrete mixing devices which allows users to gather and view data remotely on a global scale. These insights give manufacturing managers full access to their plant’s productivity and quality, a deeper understanding of recurring problems, and help inform preventative planning to reduce costs and increase productivity on construction sites.
To build the AIRTRAC™ Control System, AndPlus created a custom software that connects to the AIRTRAC™ concrete mixer, reads the information, then wirelessly exports the data from the concrete mixer to a designated cloud. This raw data is first extracted and uploaded as a .txt file, then AndPlus’s custom designed software parses out the data and generates a user-friendly set of insights. With mixing devices on many different construction sites and running at different times throughout the day, enabling wireless extraction means insights can be pulled multiple times per day to generate larger and more reliable data sets, offering more accurate information as to when a wasteful action occurred and how to prevent it.
A user-friendly dashboard was designed to display comprehensive and actionable information such as mix quality percentage, standard deviations, yield variance, temperatures, and times. Using their custom dashboard, users can manipulate and display in different ranges to show variance over time. This allows users to control how they view their data in a way that best yields a usable data story.
The introduction of the AIRTRAC™ Control System not only provided GCP with data on their concrete products, it also created an entire new revenue stream, as their clients also needed to monitor their cement mixing machine data on a large scale. By offering a subscription service to their newly designed custom platform, GCP is able to provide valuable insight for their customers and increase customer retention by providing this unique and critical service.
About GCP Applied Technologies
GCP Applied Technologies is a public corporation based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. It sells chemicals and materials used in construction as well as sealants and coatings used in packaging. In a growing construction industry, GCP creates products and technology that improve quality and accuracy for manufacturers and builders.