German Construction Industry Embraces Eliminate Downtime Movement

Various organizations recently came together to address ways to minimize and eliminate downtime in the construction industry.

Downtime in the construction Industry is a major problem even in Europe’s largest economy–Germanywhere construction is maintaining strong growth (reference: Ifo – UPDATE1, June 2019).

Industry innovators came together with attendees from across the ecosystem during the one-day event ‘Eliminate Downtime Berlin x Event’ Conference. The goal was to investigate problems and solutions to the industry’s key productivity barrier – downtime.

Invited speakers included construction companies, machine rental organizations and digital transformation businesses:

  • Riccardo Viaggi, Secretary General of CECE (Committee for European Construction Equipment)
  • Thomas Bülow, VP of Sales, Trackunit
  • John Smeets, Technical Manager, Boels Rental
  • Laura Tönnies, CEO, corrux
  • Vincent Koch, Co-founder, klarx 

The event in the heart of Berlin’s start-up community, concentrated on businesses’ real-life problems with continued low productivity and developments toward digital transition. Key themes being taken back to the industry include:

  • ‘Brussels is listening’ to the call for more data sharing with a construction digitization project and digitization taskforce gaining funding from the EU.
  • Openness to sharing and monitoring work processes to highlight new efficiencies, such as the Aviation Industry have in place, where it has increased productivity and greatly reduced operational mistakes.
  • Process Innovation in respect of maintenance, to ensure all necessary literature, part books, graphics and schematics are available in digital format. This commitment can reduce maintenance times by up to 48%. Similar reviews in Parts Ordering can generate higher productivity, save duplication and eliminate paper trails, reducing costs.
  • The need for data standards and data sharing from the OEMs to be able to provide better insights to end customers  

Collaboration and the need for open data sharing will allow for the generation, storage and analysis of data from across the industry supply-chain to build digital environments that represent any construction site.  In this process any contingency can be planned for, and solution found before a shovel is raised on an actual site. Digital transformation will provide the tools to constantly update the plans and schedules, to have suppliers automatically contacted and machines off-rented, which will drive up efficiency and productivity.

Until then, equipment downtime is a key factor in construction project overruns. It is now time for equipment manufacturers, technology developers, rental companies, construction companies and site operators to come together to effectively collaborate across the construction value-chain, develop common processes that can be shared openly, so businesses and the industry benefits.

Summaries of the Eliminate Downtime Berlin x Event can be found on the event's website.

Companies interested in joining the construction industry's effort to eliminate downtime can sign up at Trackunit's website.