The Maturation of Crane Cameras in Construction

You’re probably hearing about “crane cameras” more and more these days. As GC’s are leveraging this tech in several different ways, let’s take a look at what these cameras are exactly and how they’re being used in construction.

Crane Cab Video

One of the earliest use cases for crane cameras was the mounting of cameras on the jib or trolley aimed straight down focused on the load. Real-time video is then displayed in the crane cab providing situational awareness to the operator. HoistCam is one of the leaders in this area.

We are now seeing other use-cases and approaches being taken. Versatile Natures is using a camera (and other sensors) mounted on the hook-block, to provide a more dynamic view of the load/actions. Their system also uses sensors to provide various productivity statistics to the team such as number of picks over time.

Another use case that has become very popular is to use the height and viewpoint that the crane provides as an additional way to capture real-time imagery of the complete jobsite. This imagery supports project teams with a variety of use cases in productivity, safety, quality assurance and coordination.

Crane cameras can be mounted on the tower, jib, or trolley, provided they are solar/battery powered and wireless so that no complex wiring is required. Sensera Systems’ construction cameras are very well suited for this use case. Compact and weighing less than 10 lbs, they can be easily mounted on about any crane location to provide a birds-eye view of the complete job site. High resolution images and real-time streaming video are provided to the entire project team simultaneously.  

When deploying crane cameras it’s important that the system be rugged, lightweight, completely solar/battery powered and reliable. You don’t want to be making too many trips up the crane!

When crane cameras are mounted on the moving part of the crane (jib, trolley) they can capture images from multiple viewpoints and support advanced applications such as Reconstruct’s 2D3D RMap™ & Visual Command Center™ which brings together reality capture, drawings and models and schedule.

To learn more about crane cameras or other construction related solutions Contact Us today.

Can Construction Solutions Provide Progress and Security Monitoring?

There are absolutely construction solutions that can do both; however, progress and security considerations are usually quite different. With productivity monitoring, you want to see the entire site and each elevation of the build with a focus on progress, accuracy and avoidance of rework. In this case, you would not focus coverage on entry/exit points or materials and equipment. For security, the focus would be reversed with optimal coverage on entry/exit, materials and equipment, and other areas of interest around the site perimeter.

That being said, there are 5 key areas that contractors can achieve additional simultaneous value from the better construction solutions available today:

1. Productivity – Busy Project Managers can access cameras from any location, on any Internet-enabled device, reducing travel costs and time driving from site to site. This real-time, multi-site remote access allows for progress and compliance monitoring, helps avoid costly rework and delays with as-built documentation and collaboration, and simplifies workflow with integrations with today’s most popular construction applications such as Procore®, AutoDesk® BIM360, PlanGrid and more.

2. Collaboration – Site cameras allow project managers, trade partners, owners and other stakeholders to communicate and collaborate with ease. Remote viewing, live video streaming, image compare and markup, automated as-built documentation and even public URL’s can be used to promote transparency and build trust.

3. Security – Construction sites are often the target of theft and vandalism. As discussed above, security cameras can be used to receive critical real-time intelligence 24/7. Motion detected event notification alerts are pushed to an email or mobile device (via SMS/text) including a video clip or images of the triggering event for rapid review and response. 

4. Risk & Safety – Capturing visual documentation of day-to-day site activity, incidents and near misses, as well as conducting real-time site monitoring enables managers to quickly assess compliance with safety requirements and monitor where workers, equipment and materials are in transit to identify potential safety issues. Alerts can easily be setup for entry of restricted access zones.

5. Marketing – Savvy GC’s and developers utilize automated 4K time-lapse video and public URL’s to market and promote their work quality, integrity, environmental responsibility and completed projects. 

To learn more about the construction solutions that are providing these valuable benefits on job sites every day, click here.

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What Security and Safety Alerting Tech is right for You?

There are two main use cases for ‘alerting’ technology on today’s jobsite: Security and Safety.

Security: Security specific cameras should have a richer set of capabilities that include motion detection, low-light video and image capture, continuous video recording, and alerting. The most reliable solutions will also include battery backup and cellular service. 

  • With these advanced cameras, detected motion will trigger the camera to record, capture images (or both) and send an email or text/SMS alert to specified users. 
  • The best solutions will include a video clip or image with the alert to better inform the appropriate response. In addition, cameras equipped with battery backup can continue to record video in the rare case the system is taken down or stolen. If it also has cellular service, the video can continue to be viewed and the camera located for recovery and evidence.   

Risk & Safety: The same technology that is used to secure your jobsite can also be used to achieve safety compliance. For example, you have heavy equipment or crane work taking place in a particular area and you’ve restricted cross-traffic and worker movement in that particular zone. Using area “masks”, you can setup motion-based alerts on entry of the restricted zone so safety managers or supervisors are alerted when a worker is in an area they shouldn’t be.

It’s important to note that camera type and placement are very important to achieving security and safety objectives. Using solar/wireless cameras allows you to place cameras where they are best suited for your use case, not where power or network may be convenient.  Furthermore, construction sites are dynamic, and so you may need to move cameras as the project progresses. Solar/wireless models greatly simplify these moves.

Click here to learn more about Sensera’s SiteWatch PRO2 alerting technology. To learn about additional areas our real-time site intelligence solutions can bring value to your next project visit our Construction Solutions page.