Industrial contractors are increasingly using technology to improve their operations. In most cases, these technologies not only improve the contractor’s bottom line (by improving operational efficiency), but they also lead to improved customer relationships. Contractors who implement new technologies have an increased competitive advantage over rivals, which can become clear in a competitive market with little differentiation.
Some of the examples we’ve seen for how industrial contractors are leveraging technology include:
- Building Information Modeling (BIM): BIM is a 3D modeling technology that is used to create digital representations of buildings and structures. Industrial contractors are using BIM to plan and design projects more effectively, identify potential issues before construction begins, and collaborate with clients and stakeholders.
- Drones: Drones are being used to survey construction sites and collect data that can be used to create detailed maps and models of the area. They can also be used to inspect structures and equipment that are difficult or dangerous to access.
- Virtual and Augmented Reality: Virtual and augmented reality technologies are being used to create immersive training experiences for contractors, operators, and mechanics. These technologies can also be used to visualize construction projects and identify potential issues before construction begins. For example, in larger capital projects, operators are able to virtually walk through the areas of the plant before the project is finalized — identifying issues such as restricted access, poor ergonomics, or unsafe obstructions.
- 3D Printing: 3D printing is being used to create prototypes and parts for machinery and equipment. This technology can save time and reduce costs by eliminating the need for traditional manufacturing processes. Many new 3D printing technologies such as Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) and 3D metal printing are pushing the boundaries of what was traditionally thought of just a prototyping tool — many 3D printed parts can now be used in production.
- IoT and Sensors: The Internet of Things (IoT) and sensor technologies are being used to monitor equipment and machinery in real-time. This allows industrial contractors to identify potential issues before they become major problems, and optimize maintenance schedules to reduce downtime.
- Mobile Apps and Cloud Computing: Mobile apps and cloud computing technologies are being used to streamline communication and collaboration between teams. These technologies allow contractors to access project information and collaborate with colleagues from anywhere, at any time.
At Stilt, we are experts in industrial facility technologies, with team members who have spent years in various industries including fertilizer, mining, pulp & paper, and more. Stilt was built to be a real-time communication tool between industrial contractors and their customers, alleviating the struggles many facilities face when it comes to communicating work requests across diverse work groups.
Contractors and facilities who have adopted Stilt have seen significant savings and efficiency improvements. Additionally, the Stilt app can be white-labeled with a contractors logo and branding, giving that contractor a competitive edge over other contractors.