APM Automation Solutions: The Need for Accurate Measurement in the Construction Industry


Like most industries where there are quite a few raw materials used, construction stands out as one of those where the continuous and accurate measurement of materials is paramount to the success of a project. For this example, we will take a look at the challenges in measuring limestone and the various impacts the realization of accurate measurement of this material has on this area.

There are three forms used in the preparation of Limestone. It is ground, carved and shredded. These various forms are heated in a kiln and the two byproducts created are Calcium Oxide Products and CO2

The Calcium Oxide is sorted in three gravel sizes. Each size is stored in different silos. The inventory level of each silo is measured daily, typically using a rope. The inventory policy of a quarry in general is keeping equivalent to one month of finished product, since the Kiln repair takes about one month, in case of breakdown.

Additionally, different raw materials such as sand and gravel are kept in open piles that are unmeasurable. The measurement is taken once a year and is only an estimate.

By utilizing advanced 3D level measurement instruments the main impacts are as follows:

  • Prevention of material overflowing when put into the silos. Overflow leads to excess material needed to be collected.
  • Production efficiency is tracked on a continuous basis, so a quick reaction can be made to low production situations.
  • The elimination of producing too much high quality products.
  • Crisis situations such as kiln breakdown are helped when there is better preparation. Because it takes up to a month to fix a kiln, one month of produced stock must be kept in stock. In this situation sales are potentially harmed, as customer demand cannot be fulfilled.
  • Manager time is not wasted by daily production meetings as accurate inventories are available whereby all the project team is aware of inventory levels and other measurements.
  • Reduced uncertainty makes it easier to prepare production plans more accurately
  • Financial reports require accurate inventory calculations each quarter
  • Small quantity productions and additional setups require more working shifts. By maintaining accurate continuous inventory these situations are eliminated.
  • Successfully meeting all customer demands by eliminating deficiencies in the final products.
  • Simplification of monthly financial accounting is realized via the automatic calculation of monthly inventory volumes, ensuring simple calculation of inventory valuation and end of month accounting.

In summary, the ability to realize accurate inventory levels and continuous measurement via the use of advanced 3D level measurement technology provides high cost benefits in a number of different areas such as operations, marketing and finance.

APM Solutions have been successfully integrated into various industries around the world. Their technology has proven so effective, that they were recently acquired by global technology and manufacturing conglomerate, Emerson.

Alex_GutmanAuthor Bio: Alex Gutman is a writer and evangelist specializing in technology that makes people’s lives easier and minimizes the hassle of performing critical tasks that millions do at one point or another.


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