Wake, Inc. is a leading worldwide supplier of wireless concrete-maturity and temperature-monitoring and reporting solutions. Using the most advanced and durable IoT temperature-sensing and communications technology, Wake offers both handheld and remote wireless solutions to simplify concrete temperature monitoring in the field or while working from your office or home.
From parking garages and highway pavement to cooling towers and dams, critical infrastructure projects require close monitoring and reporting on the integrity of curing concrete. Wake supports construction project managers in keeping tabs on the concrete curing process, with remote access to real-time temperature logging information, eliminating the need to visit the job site and either directly connect a device to each temperature logger to download temperature logs or download temperature logs wirelessly.
Concrete Monitoring Business Challenge
Concrete plays a pivotal role in all major construction initiatives, including critical infrastructure, and department of transportation and hydro projects such as suspension bridges, dams and power plants, and commercial and industrial projects such as tanks, pipelines and business complexes. With concrete, the stakes are high, and there is almost no margin of error, making the close monitoring of concrete curing and maturity vitally important.
Temperature variations can compromise the strength and integrity of concrete, raising the risk of failures and fractures. For these reasons, concrete must cure at carefully controlled rates and in specific temperature ranges. Project owners give highly detailed project specifications to the construction contractor, who must provide carefully logged documentation that the curing concrete is remaining within spec ranges at all times.
Wake, Inc.’s concrete maturity and temperature-sensing solutions, called HardTrack, are a critical link in ensuring the strength of concrete to meet the specifications of construction managers and government regulators. The challenge lies in reliably and consistently capturing those measurements at construction sites.
According to John Manilla, President of Wake, Inc., that is a difficult process that introduces added costs and risks that firms are eager to avoid. “Traditionally, contractors embedded a sensor probe with a temperature logger in the concrete and then later they would return to the logger to connect a cable to each of them to capture the necessary readings,” he said. “But this was a time-consuming and expensive process – and a significant safety risk. You could be climbing a dam, dodging rebar, crawling on scaffolding, or walking near active highways. It’s a messy job that firms are looking to eliminate. Complicating the matter further, engineers might spend hours aggregating and analyzing the readings to create Excel reports and graphs that need to be submitted to the project owner by a set deadline.”
Concrete Monitoring and Management Solution
In response, Wake created “HardTrack,” a complete solution to monitor and manage the curing of concrete using IoT devices that communicate directly to the cloud. HardTrack is built using the Digi Connect® Sensor+, a fully integrated, battery-powered cellular gateway with I/O for connecting to a wide range of external sensors. Designed to work in rugged industrial environments, the Digi Connect Sensor+ is ideal for companies like Wake looking to add remote monitoring and diagnostics in places where power is not easily available, or sending personnel is expensive and risky.
Instead of manual monitoring, the Connect Sensor+ enables technicians to gather data wirelessly in real-time. Connect Sensor+ communicates with HardTrack’s concrete temperature sensors and also monitors the health of those sensors themselves. HardTrack also leverages cloud-based Digi Remote Manager® which provides data to HardTrack so that notifications can be sent in near real time, enabling Wake customers to remotely and centrally monitor large numbers of sensors from a glance at their cell phone or PC.
“Our tagline is ‘HardTrack makes your concrete talk,’ and it’s really true, Manilla said. “Our technology lets your concrete tell you how it’s doing, so you can take action if needed – either applying thermal blankets to warm the material or water to cool it.” HardTrack eliminates the need to visit the job site several times per day. Instead, managers can activate the cloud sensor and receive automatic, cloud-based sensor data updates, whether they are out on the job site or out for dinner.
Easy Installation, Insights Anywhere
The easy installation, reliability, and low data usage of Connect Sensor+ make remote monitoring possible in areas where it was previously cost-prohibitive.
“With Digi Connect Sensor+, we can offer our clients a complete cloud-based solution to monitor concrete maturity,” Manilla said. “Even if the construction site is miles away, the inspector or manager can just look at their phone, tablet, or computer and check the sensor readings. If the readings exceed specifications, the system issues an automated text or email alert so the site manager can take appropriate measures.”
Manilla added, “Digi’s technology has worked flawlessly for us. And we’re getting excellent support from the Digi team, too. Digi helped develop the electronic specifications and connectivity to ensure it all works properly. That was really helpful to us.”
According to Manilla, the positive impact for customers is significant. “Now, our customers no longer need to be on site all the time,” he said. “They don’t have to pay a person to sit there and watch concrete cure. Instead, they can monitor dozens or hundreds of locations at once. And in fact, they get to relax knowing they will get alerts if there are issues at any location at any time. We’re helping them meet required specifications while making their lives a little easier. And by taking the inspection teams out of dangerous sites, we’re improving safety as well.”