A paving team used WITOS Paving Plus for the first time at Jade-Weser Airport: the team from Georg Koch GmbH used the construction project in Wilhelmshaven as an intensive opportunity to get to know VÖGELE’s networked system solution for process optimization and documentation. The asphalt work consisted of paving the runway, approximately 1,500 m long.
With some 60 flights a day, Jade-Weser Airport is of great significance in the Friesland/Wilhelmshaven area, so it was important to deliver high quality for the asphalt pavement. A SUPER 1900-3i – equipped with WITOS Paving Plus – was used as the primary paver to pave two asphalt base courses (pre-profile and base course). For the final paving operation, namely the surface course, three SUPER pavers worked “hot to hot”.
The highlight of the construction project for all those involved was the premiere of WITOS Paving Plus – and above all, the productivity progress associated with it – because the innovative VÖGELE solution enabled the pavers to operate continuously. The experienced paving team was delighted to find that fewer mix trucks than planned were actually required. WITOS Paving thus very quickly demonstrated the scale of the optimization potential it opens up for customers and users. “When you see how you can get a little bit better every day, it’s incredibly motivating,” said Senior Site Manager, Tim Gassmann.
WITOS Paving Plus networks all those involved in the process in real time
This positive impression is not surprising. WITOS Paving networks the supervisors at the asphalt mixing plant, the truck drivers from the transport company and the whole paving team on site. The system gives planning engineers and site managers a full overview of the current project. Potential disruptions and obstacles to the construction process are picked up more quickly, which gives those involved more options for dealing with them. They can immediately instigate measures to optimize the job site and correct deviations from the plan in real time.
Precise planning in advance
Process optimization with WITOS Paving Plus starts with WITOS Paving Control. This is what VÖGELE calls the planning and control module, and it allows convenient wizard-based project planning, systematically leading users through the planning process and helping cover everything. In concrete terms, this is effected on the site manager’s or job site planner’s PC; in the case of Georg Koch GmbH, the PC is in the office of Senior Site Manager Tim Gassmann in Westerstede.
”The system impressed us a lot right back at the planning stage, because it simply calculated a lot of the values itself – for example, the quantity of asphalt required. If the capacity of the planned mixing plant is too low, the system issues a warning.” This was the case with some of the planned strips in Wilhelmshaven, which was why, at an early stage, Gassmann arranged a second mixing plant to cover those spikes.
Digital integration of the mixing plant
The WITOS Paving Materials module integrates the mixing plant in the system. One of the benefits is that mix can be ordered dynamically. This means that WITOS Paving Plus reports to the mixing plant via a server-to-server interface when a mix truck is to set off for the job site. “As the mixing supervisor, this is a great thing for me. The system already knows what tonnage of which mix is required, so I can get the next truck ready to go in a flash,” says Manuel Weyerts from the Wilhelmshaven asphalt mixing plant of Ems-Jade-Mischwerke. “The delivery note is digital too, and is sent straight to the site manager”. A paper delivery note is produced as well, if this is a legal requirement.
Truck app reports estimated time of arrival
As soon as a mix truck departs for the job site, the WITOS Paving Transport module reports it to the site manager via server in the form of an estimated time of arrival (ETA for short) on the job site. This information means that at all times, the site manager is aware of how many tonnes of mix are en route. As a consequence, he can react quickly and easily to the current logistics situation – by requesting extra or fewer trucks. The consequence: greater paving quality, as continuous paving is guaranteed, with increased cost-effectiveness as a result of reduced downtime.
This is another benefit of WITOS Paving Plus: the system records waiting time automatically and digitally by means of geofencing. The paver automatically detects incoming trucks in this process. The only prerequisite for integrating trucks in the system as a whole is to install the WITOS Paving Transport Android app and to activate it prior to starting work.
Reliable realtime data on the job site
WITOS Paving Plus also found favour with mix truck drivers within a very short space of time. “Waiting times on the job site occasionally lead to discussions with contractors. WITOS Paving Plus cleanly and fairly documents for both partners when I actually arrived with my truck and how long I was on the job site” says one driver.
Works Supervisor Theo Hülsmayer recorded incoming mix trucks on the job site. To do this, he used the WITOS Paving JobSite module on his tablet. He also used to measure the distance paved with a hodometer. WITOS Paving meant that he was soon able to dispense with this manual work because WITOS Paving Plus records the distance using its own hodometer. This data is then compared to the GPS values. The result: a paved distance recorded accurate to the metre. “The data from WITOS Paving Plus is extremely accurate. You can rely on the system,” says Hülsmayer. The reason for this is explained by Jürgen Brenzinger from VÖGELE: “Compared to third-party suppliers, we have the key advantage that we can access the machine data directly.”
Valuable support, simple to operate
Ease of operation is at least as important as accurate function. “WITOS Paving is extremely practical. It can simply be used, whatever the weather. The software functions are easy to understand. As a result I was quickly able to see what key added value the system offers. I wouldn’t want to be without it now”, insists Hülsmayer.
On the job site, it is then the JobSite module of WITOS Paving Plus which comes into play. This visualizes for the site manager on a tablet or outdoor PC all the key paving parameters and in particular, information about the ETA of mix trucks. Key details about the current paving situation are provided to the paver operator, as well as to the site manager. Important information, including construction progress and paving temperature, is provided directly on the colour display of the paver operator’s ErgoPlus 3 console. The number of mix trucks and the quantity of mix currently en route are also displayed to the paver operator.
Added value with a cash value
A particularly clear example of the value WITOS Paving Plus adds for users and clients is improved planning of the trucks required: according to the system, 13 mix trucks were needed on the first paving day to supply the three VÖGELE pavers with mix. The Koch team initially trusted in its own experience and used 15 trucks.
The evaluation then followed. On WITOS Paving Plus, this is carried out in the Analysis module, the statistics and documentation tool. It allows construction projects to be assessed objectively and also sends daily job site reports to a defined list of recipients. This enables contractors to learn from each day’s paving operations and gain information for the next day. Site managers obtain plenty of information from clear graphs and charts – for example about paving status, paving temperature and truck waiting times. Valuable extra information acquired from the statistics by the Georg Koch GmbH team was that 13 trucks really would have been enough, two fewer than were actually used.
For the next day’s paving operations, therefore, site management ordered only the number of mix trucks calculated by WITOS Paving Plus – saving cash every day as a result of this step alone. Despite the reduced number of trucks, there were no interruptions.
Over and above this, the job site reports from the job site at Jade-Weser Airport demonstrate what a significant contribution the VÖGELE solution makes to process optimization in terms of quality and efficiency. “We were really impressed by how much we learned and what simple tools enabled us to get more out of our technology and the processes,” said Tim Gassmann.