Case Study: Finding A Command Unit That Can Tackle Any Project
Jun 10, 2014
TDIndustries Experiences Versatility and Durability of KNAACK® DataVault™
Mobile technology is having an immensely positive effect on the construction industry. TDIndustries, an American construction and facilities service provider has adopted mobile technology to provide greater efficiency on the jobsite. TDIndustries provides construction services for HVAC, plumbing and control systems primarily through general contractors. In 2014, they began construction on a brand new stadium in Atlanta, Georgia. This 2,000,000 square foot multipurpose venue is 30 stories high and seats 71,000 attendees. The stadium will be home to sports, entertainment and convention events and it is expected to be completed by 2017.
The magnitude of the project as well as the strict timeline presented TDIndustries with several challenges that needed to be overcome in order to complete the project on time and on budget. With a time frame of only 37 months to completion, efficiency was a critical objective. “Going out to the trailer just to go over blueprints or plans was at least a 20 minute walk each way,” said Chris Ralston, Logistics Manager for TDIndustries. TD needed a single mobile command solution that would eliminate unproductive time. They also needed a way to lead all of their subcontractors through the various phases of the project. At times, the jobsite would have more than 1,300 workers in the stadium at the same time. A command unit needed to be capable of hosting meetings, drawing reviews and leading safety courses. However, finding a product to fit all of these needs wasn’t their only challenge. Moreover, the harsh environment onsite was also a significant issue. “It gets very hot in Atlanta, especially being on the cement all day. My biggest concern was the heat inside a job box with the electronics.” said Ralston.
TDIndustries had multiple obstacles they needed to overcome to reach their goals. They required a solution that was not only onsite and mobile, but it had to be versatile enough to meet all of their needs and be able to handle the environmental factors.
TDIndustries decided to invest in two different KNAACK® DataVault™ units. They were introduced to DataVault™ as a viable solution because other contractors on site were already using them. “We first purchased the DataVault™ for senior superintendents to have meetings on different floors, to go over drawings and to view the model on the jobsite in larger format than what could be seen on our current digital tablets,” said Ralston. The two DataVault™ models purchased included:
- KNAACK® DataVault™ 118-01: A complete storage solution that safely hosts the hardware and software all in one place, conveniently on the jobsite, providing easy accessibility and greater productivity. It is custom designed for onsite BIM and includes a 40” monitor, a color-laser printer, retractable keyboard,whiteboards, back-up battery power and the technology components necessary to run any project.
- KNAACK® DataVault™ Mobile 118-M: Includes the same rugged durability as the larger DataVault™ 118-01 but at a fraction of the size. It is ideal for sub or trade contractors who need multiple mobile personal kiosks throughout a construction site. The customized interior arrives on the jobsite, ready for use. It includes a 32” touchscreen monitor to view plans and specifications, a large storage locker to fit a five gallon bucket of tools, heavy duty independent locking drawers for quick access to high demand tools and accessories as well as additional technology components necessary to run any project.
The inclusion of the DataVault™ products provided numerous advantages to the project. Although both products have similar capabilities and services, TDIndustries was able to see first-hand unique tangible benefits from each.
The KNAACK® DataVault™ 118-01 was able to maximize its versatility on this assignment. The design of the larger DataVault™ creates the perfect layout for modifications depending on the requirements of the project. TDIndustries purchased it because it was the perfect starting point for their specific needs. Two additional screens were installed on the inside of the top doors to support viewing for a larger audience. Each screen was able to be utilized independently or all three simultaneously depending on the application. The screens were also covered in Plexiglas which created a functional writing surface as well as protection for the televisions. Two speakers were mounted on each side of the main display to amplify the audio during safety videos and live training. A volume control was installed to provide convenient adjustments while keeping hands away from equipment mounted in the cabinets below. Surface mounted USB ports were added to limit interaction with the main computer unit. The final modification was adding equipment to provide internet service to any connected devices while allowing tablets and phones to be displayed on the monitors.
The KNAACK® DataVault™ Mobile 118-M was used throughout the jobsite but really exhibited its durability on this project. When the construction site experienced extremely strong winds, the DataVault™ Mobile did not have the casters locked on a concourse and was blown down the stairs. “Imagine you are at a professional football game and you just went to pick up a beer for you and a friend at the closest concession stand. Upon re-entering your section, you trip on the top step and roll all the way down to row one of that section; in that story, you were our DataVault™ Mobile,” said Ralston. Even after a tremendous fall, the DataVault™ experienced only minimal damage. It had some twisted sheet metal and a missing ball bearing, but that was the worst of it. Aside from the TV having two minor dings on it, the computer and the rest of the electronics inside were completely unharmed. The DataVault™ needed minimal repairs before it was ready to be back on the field again.
Both DataVault™ units had no issues with the extreme temperature and humidity. Even during the harsh Atlanta summer months reaching extremely high temperatures, the electronics inside operated with no problems, including the TV and computer.
TDIndustries experienced multiple examples of the valuable benefits gained from investing in each of the KNAACK® DataVault™ products, including versatility, customization and durability. Furthermore, they saw a collective benefit to the productivity on the jobsite. The full size and mobile DataVault™ units were used as the onsite conference room. Whether it was morning planning meetings, impromptu safety trainings, drawing review, 3D model access or problem solving, workers were able to meet at the DataVault™ instead of going back to the trailer, which saved a significant amount of time. They have also created better working relationships between the different trades. The DataVault™ was used as an area where plans could be discussed resulting in fewer disagreements and quicker resolutions so everyone could get back to work. TDIndustries is now using five DataVault™ products onsite for this project. “Results were seen instantly,” said Chris Ralston. “I don’t think people can appreciate the value proposition from the KNAACK® DataVault™ until they use it.”