Time is money when it comes to resurfacing a runway at Amsterdam’s busy Schiphol airport. Project leader Heijmans, a nearly century-old Dutchbased construction company, went looking for a state-of-the-art resource management system, and it found one that works perfectly with Atlas Copco equipment. The system results in more efficient logistics, less waste and a smaller environmental impact.
Since 2010 we have constantly been upgrading aspects of our business. In 2014 we finalized a navigation system for road rollers. Next we turned our attention to the logistics chain.”
A damp and foggy morning at Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport in the Netherlands. Some of the five runways are in normal use, but one of them shows a different kind of activity. At a slow but steady pace, a small army of bright yellow machines is repaving the surface. The project is being carried out by Heijmans, one of the largest road-building contractors in the Netherlands.
The job of refurbishing the runway is scheduled to take seven weeks. It includes stripping the top layer, resurfacing the entire length with asphalt and reinstalling gutters and runway lighting. Time is money, in this industry as in others, so road builders are constantly seeking to streamline and modernize their operations.
Peter van Hinthem is Innovation Manager Roads at Heijmans. “Since 2010 we have constantly been upgrading aspects of our business,” he says. “In 2014 we finalized a navigation system for road rollers. Next we turned our attention to the logistics chain.” He and his team went searching for any available resource management systems, and they found three candidates. One of those was BPO ASPHALT, a software solution developed by the German company Volz Consulting (BPO stands for Building Process Optimization). Heijmans decided to initiate a test run of the software.
BPO ASPHALT delivers a comprehensive solution for planning projects, allocating resources, calculating material requirements, following up on projects in real time, monitoring truck locations, communicating and handling and change management. It also generates reports for later reference. The system is web-based, meaning it can be run on tablet PCs, iPads and smartphones. BPO ASPHALT creates a totally transparent platform by which supervisors on site, drivers of asphalt delivery trucks and staff at the asphalt plant are constantly kept informed about the progress of the work. They can communicate with one another and make last-minute adjustments.
BPO ASPHALT takes its cues from sensors on the road-paving equipment and from GPS receivers on the delivery trucks. This enables close monitoring of logistics and of quantities used, which in turn facilitates just-in-time delivery of asphalt on site. As van Hinthem explains, this is a crucial advantage of the program. “The asphalt leaves the mill at a temperature of over 150 degrees Celsius [300 degrees Fahrenheit]. For a smooth operation, it is essential to process it as hot as possible. If the asphalt cools down to below 80 degrees Celsius [175 degrees Fahrenheit], it becomes useless. So waiting time on site should be kept to a minimum. And since the sensors tell you exactly in real time how much asphalt is being used, you can make on-the-spot adjustments of the amounts ordered, so the delivery of expensive surplus quantities can be avoided.”
Atlas Copco has established a cooperation with Volz Consulting, the company behind BPO ASPHALT. “We decided early on to leave the development of software to specialists and work with them,” says Kristof Gijbels, Product Manager Large Pavers at Atlas Copco CR. “This has resulted in a very user-friendly, flexible and versatile system.” Atlas Copco road construction equipment works perfectly well with BPO ASPHALT, and if required it can be delivered with all the necessary sensors, including a server-to-server connection from Atlas Copco’s FleetLink fleet management system.
Heijmans has been testing BPO ASPHALT for several weeks now, and van Hinthem is pleased with the initial results. “Since 20 years’ warranty on pavement is not uncommon any more, it is getting essential to be able to trace the origins of any given patch of asphalt,” he says. “Moreover, quality is more important than ever, since construction contractors will nowadays be fined for any traffic jam caused by extra repair work made necessary because of a flawed job.” Quicker turnover, lower costs Obviously it was time for the industry to beef up its logistics management with a modern solution, and some major players have successfully worked together to deliver one. “The new BPO ASPHALT software reflects our ambition to provide the best possible product for demanding end customers,” Gijbels says. “With BPO ASPHALT, Volz Consulting has created a software tool that ensures more efficient logistics, less waste and therefore less environmental impact, a better and more
consistent quality and a better traceability, which all translate into quicker turnover times and lower costs.”
Project: Buitenveldertbaan Location: Schiphol International Airport, Amsterdam Job: Total runway makeover Contractor: Heijmans Duration: Seven weeks, working 24/7 Dynapac equipment used: Two SD2500CS pavers with a V5100TVE screed, Moba sensors and FleetLink fleet management system for use with BPO ASPHALT software.