Taking ‘concrete’ steps to implement safe construction site practices

Singapore-based cement and ready-mix concrete supplier, Pan-United Corporation Ltd, has introduced several initiatives to minimise physical interactions and improve productivity at construction worksites. The company emphasised that “as Singapore enters Phase 2 of its reopening, concrete innovations and digitalisation can play a major role in enhancing safe distancing at worksites.”

One of these initiatives is the PanU New Generation Self-Compacting Concrete (PanU NewGen SCC). The company has enhanced its product mix design of a specialised rheologic concrete that flows easily to reach hard-to-fill corners. Unlike regular concrete, which requires several concreting workers to manually vibrate and compact the material into place, the PanU NewGen SCC only needs a single worker to guide the concrete pumping pipe. It allows workers to better keep a safe distance from each other during concreting work.

Besides reducing the manual labour required, the PanU NewGen SCC can also improve productivity by 75% and reduce casting time by 40%, according to Pan-United, resulting in faster construction completion. Previous generations of SCC have been used to build skyscrapers in densely populated areas, including Tanjong Pagar Centre - Singapore’s tallest building - and HDB projects (Singapore’s public housing).

Another initiative from Pan-United is AiM (Artificial Intelligence Mixing) in-transit concrete management system. The company’s concrete mixer trucks have been equipped with this system, which calibrates each truck’s concrete consistency during the journey from the batching plant to the project site. If changes in concrete consistency are detected, the system will remotely adjust the concrete mix, maintaining the specified concrete properties by the time the mixer truck reaches its destination.

The AiM system eradicates the need for quality assessors and product technicians to be physically present at the worksite to test and approve the concrete quality from each mixer truck. Apart from minimising the number of workers and employees on-site, the system also increases product quality consistency and minimises the risks of project delays.

Finally, Pan-United has developed AiR (Artificial Intelligence for Ready-Mix Concrete) optimisation platform, which allows the digitalisation of concrete operations across the entire supply chain. It enables the automation of back-end processes such as delivery orders and invoices.

Pan-United issues electronic delivery orders (eDOs) and electronic customer invoices (e-invoices) that make it far easier for the customers’ employees to work from home, and save them time and costs from not having to logistically collate and despatch physical documents around everyday. This minimises physical contact among employees at its premises, and between employees and customers or workers at construction sites.

May Ng, CEO of Pan-United said, “As the leader in concrete and logistics technologies, we have always looked for new and effective ways to address our customers’ pain-points and improve project efficiency. Amid the Covid-19 outbreak, we recognise that additional measures are necessary for the safe restart of construction projects. By enhancing our products and using IoT (Internet of Things) to improve service delivery, Pan-United hopes to play our part in ensuring that construction work can be carried out safely and seamlessly, mitigating risks of construction delays.”

She concluded, “There is a heightened need to be innovative and accelerate digitalisation. We are excited about other new solutions we intend to introduce to support safe distancing requirements at construction sites and enhance operational efficiency for our customers.”

Images: Pan-United Corporation