Realizing the safe, highly productive and clean worksite of the future: Launch of “SMARTCONSTRUCTION Digital Transformation”

Mar. 10, 2020

Komatsu Ltd. (President and CEO: Hiroyuki Ogawa) (hereafter “Komatsu”) is excited to announce the phased launch of four new IoT devices and eight new applications* within its existing SMARTCONSTRUCTION offerings to accelerate digital transformation efforts, as well as the formal introduction of SMARTCONSTRUCTION in the United States and in Europe (Germany, United Kingdom, France and Denmark).

Since its introduction in February 2015, SMARTCONSTRUCTION has addressed the labor shortages facing the Japanese construction industry by realizing improved productivity and safety at customer worksites. This has been made possible by employing digital technologies both Japan and overseas; domestically, these technologies have been introduced to more than 10,000 customer worksites.

The development of the new IoT devices and applications was started in April 2019 as a global open innovation R&D project with development partners comprising mainly start-ups (12 in Japan and 8 overseas) as well as “proof-of-concept” partners from the United States, Europe and Japan. The project has employed an agile development approach.

Komatsu began implementation of its Mid-Term Management Plan “DANTOTSU Value – FORWARD Together for Sustainable Growth” in April 2019 with the aim of realizing “a safe, highly productive, smart and clean workplaces of the future” by digitally transforming both products (automation and autonomation operation) and processes (optimization).

While the previous version of SMARTCONSTRUCTION only digitized part of the construction process (“vertical digitization”), these new IoT devices and applications will allow for digitization of the entire process (“horizontal digitization”). This will enable worksite operations to be optimized by synchronizing the real worksite with its digital twin, and thereby realizing drastic improvement in the safety, productivity and environmental performance of the entire worksite. And as individual worksites are digitized, we aim to provide further optimized control over multiple worksites by connecting them remotely (“in-depth digitization”).


Content of new IoT device and application launch


1.SMARTCONSTRUCTION Drone (IoT device, previously named “Everyday Drone”)    update
This device can be utilized to create the digital twin of the worksite. This easy-to-fly drone measures the initial worksite terrain for 3D modelling as well as daily earth-volume progress tracking without requiring ground control points.

2.SMARTCONSTRUCTION Edge (IoT device, previously named “Edge Box”)    update
This device conducts ultra-high-speed processing (edge computing) of image data taken by the SMARTCONSTRUCTION Drone to generate orthorectified images and 3D point cloud data that are cleaned by removal of unnecessary objects. SMARTCONSTRUCTION Edge makes it possible to understand daily work progress more quickly than the survey time reduction realized by the SMARTCONSTRUCTION Drone (which already is much faster than conventional methods).

3.SMARTCONSTRUCTION Dashboard (Application)    update
This core application connects the digital worksite from the planning phase through to completion by using the 3D data generated by the SMARTCONSTRUCTION Drone and SMARTCONSTRUCTION Edge. In addition to basic functions such as a 3D topography/surveying viewer, current-status-and-target comparison tool and earth volume calculation, it also links with other applications.

4.SMARTCONSTRUCTION Simulation (Application)    new
This simulation tool calculates various worksite components, such as optimized earthmoving method, direction, transportation routes and equipment assignments. This application leverages Komatsu’s know-how from the industrial domain in simulation as well as algorithm development, and will be further enhanced using artificial intelligence learning in the future.

5.SMARTCONSTRUCTION Design (Application and service)    new
SMARTCONSTRUCTION Design generates 3D data tailored to earthmoving operations by considering simulation results and potential worksite constraints. This builds on existing 3D data services provided by Komatsu by widening its coverage to, for example, temporary worksite road data.

6.SMARTCONSTRUCTION AR (Application)    new
This application overlays “To-Be” terrain data to the “As-Is” data for visualization of worksite operation progress and confirmation of remaining earth volume via a tablet or smartphone (using electronic worksite stakes).

7.ICT Construction Equipment already

8.SMARTCONSTRUCTION Retrofit (IoT device)    new
The aim of this device is to make all construction equipment on the worksite digitally compatible so as to effectively execute the aforementioned optimized operation plan and digital task lists generated by the other IoT devices and applications. Details are included in a separate news release (2020/3/10: “Accelerating the digital transformation of construction worksites: Launch of SMARTCONSTRUCTION Retrofit kit”).

9.SMARTCONSTRUCTION Fleet (Application, previously named “Tracking Management System”)    update Operation management via use of a digital twin allows for rapid progress gap quantification and operation plan adjustment (in high-speed PDCA style). SMARTCONSTRUCTION Fleet enables the monitoring of machines (construction equipment and dump trucks), workers and materials on the worksite to analyze potential progress gaps and determine optimal countermeasures.

10.SMARTCONSTRUCTION Fleet (IoT device, previously named “Tracking Management System”)    new SMARTCONSTRUCTION Fleet will now be deployable on newly dedicated devices offered at a reasonable price, in addition to smartphones.

11.SMARTCONSTRUCTION Field (Application)    new
This application enables digital task assignment and progress reporting for worksite workers via a smartphone. It has the functionality to quantify worksite cost in view of manpower and materials.

12.SMARTCONSTRUCTION Remote (Application/already included in services provided by the support center in Japan)    update
This application offers remote 3D data input to ICT construction equipment and remote troubleshooting services for customers requiring support (e.g., operator error). 

13.SMARTCONSTRUCTION Insight (Application)    new
This application is for managers overseeing multiple worksites; digital worksites can be monitored and controlled via a PC, tablet or smartphone from anywhere (worksite, office, during business trip).

The first group of solutions, which will be launched in April 2020, include: 1. SMARTCONSTRUCTION Drone, 2. SMARTCONSTRUCTION Edge, 3. SMARTCONSTRUCTION Dashboard, 8. SMARTCONSTRUCTION Retrofit, 9. SMARTCONSTRUCTION Fleet, and 12. SMARTCONSTRUCTION Remote. Komatsu plans to release all of the solutions within the first half of fiscal year 2020 in Japanese market.

The business model will vary from existing sales/rental options or subscriptions depending on the characteristic of each solution, which will be available for single use. However, Komatsu plans to additionally offer a “digital transformation gateway” that will be a customer-centric approach to providing solutions matching the needs and pain points of each customer.

*Including updated of existing solutions and launched new

No : 0087(2924)
Corporate Communications Department
Sustainability Promotion Division
Komatsu Ltd.
tel: +81-(0)3-5561-2616

*The information described is at the time of presentation and may be subject to advance notice.