Why use concrete sensors as a concrete
Table of Contents
Using concrete sensors as a concrete
Harder to retain clients and differentiate
Nowadays, many ready-mix suppliers struggle to differentiate themselves in the market. Many experience that their clients start buying from another supplier from one day to the other. Even if the concrete product is of excellent quality and you deliver the concrete on time, this might not be enough to retain a customer in the long term.
Concrete sensors offer a competitive edge
Providing wireless concrete sensors like Maturix enables you to offer additional technical services on top of your concrete supplies. This offering can add additional revenue for you or act as a market differentiation, where you can become the technical leader in your market.
Using wireless sensors in the concrete enables real-time data monitoring of concrete temperature, maturity, and strength. All data is sent directly from the device to the cloud, available online for the client (often the contractor) and your internal concrete managers if relevant.
The Maturix System
The Maturix system is a solution for intelligent temperature and strength monitoring in concrete. The system lets you see the real-time temperature and strength development from any device. This allows you to know exactly what is happening inside your concrete and how fast your concrete is curing.
The Maturix system consists of one or multiple transmitters, sensor/s, and an online platform. Sometimes, you can add a Sigfox gateway to the system to improve the network coverage. We offer two online platforms, Maturix In-situ for in-situ castings and Maturix Precast for precast factories. You can see a diagram of the whole system below:
How does it work?
The Maturix system offers a fast and simple installation once you set up the platform and have a maturity calibration (only relevant for strength monitoring).
1. Set up your project in the online platform
Keeping up the speed:
2. Install the thermocouple
3. Connect the transmitter
4. Pour the concrete
5. Get results in real time
Benefits of using concrete sensors
Ready-mix companies using Maturix
Many Ready-mix suppliers are already benefiting from using the Maturix system. One of them is Holcim Mexico. We met them some years ago when they wanted to differentiate themselves from the competition and provide added value to their customers. After considering the best offering for their clients, they combined the Maturix transmitter and sensor with their digital service program, I-concrete. Watch the video below to hear about their experience:
Your customers can benefit from the sensor data
The customers that benefit the most from using the system are general contractors. There are many gains to make, and these can be classified into two broad categories:
1) Process and time benefits (Main gain to site managers)
1. Keeping up to speed
The sensors will provide real-time data of the current state of the curing and help them predict future temperature and strength development. In this way, they can plan ahead of your casting to know exactly where you are in the casting.
2. Automatic reporting
We call it documentation as you build. This means, even on ongoing monitoring, it is possible to download nicely-looking, premade PDF documents containing all information you need. It is even possible to adjust the components they want in the report.
3. Eliminate time and cost of cube testing
Most of the time, the number of samples (also known as specimens) can be reduced to determine the current stage of the concrete casting. The use of a Maturix sensor allows for continuous real-time strength data using a reliable and validated method.
2) Quality and compliance benefits (Main gain to concrete managers)
1. Monitoring of temperature variations in cross sections
Embedding a Maturix sensor in both core and surface enables real-time monitoring and SMS alerts on concrete temperature. In Maturix, you can view as many sensors as you like on the same chart and set alerts across them.
2. Avoid cubes or cylinders with errors
A common challenge is understanding the temperature (and thereby the curing speed) between the casted specimens, stored either on the job site or in a lab and the in-place strength.
But by embedding concrete sensors, clients can easily view and keep control of this. The automatic maturity calculations provide the ability to compare specimens and in-place concrete strength even if they are exposed to different temperatures.
3. Make castings in cold weather easy
Castings in either hot or cold weather will always be a challenge. Cold weather concrete castings mean very slow curing concrete. For example, if the in-place concrete is only 0C, then the maturity gained over 28 calendar days is only 4.2 maturity days (days at 20C).
Managing such temperatures is extremely difficult, but sensors help show reliable data under these conditions.
How can you benefit from reselling the sensors?
Get valuable insights about your concrete
Reselling the Maturix sensors to the job sites is not just a gain to the contractor but could also benefit you. The data could be used for internal learning of how your concrete mixes cure under various conditions.
As mentioned, the Maturix sensors provide data from the in-place concrete casted on job sites. All reports are done automatically and also include a weather data report. Clients also have the opportunity to add our Orbit 3 climate sensor to monitor ambient temperature and humidity.
Gaining concrete curing learnings with sensors enables:
1) Help to improve and develop new concrete mixes
Over time, you will have gained an extensive database on how different concretes in various structures behave.
2) Understanding the impact of concrete admixtures
Adding different admixtures like accelerators or retarders can significantly impact the curing. Sensors will display this impact and enable you to understand the impact.
3) Improved answers to contractors on expected curing and drying time
We are experiencing that many ready-mix suppliers are often getting questions about how the concrete is curing and what the contractor could expect. The sensor is a nice and easy way to explain this.
There are, in other words, plenty of opportunities to keep track of many parameters on the job sites and automatically. Everything is done easily, remotely, and independently of people involved in monitoring and reporting data – how easy is that?
Get the most out of green concretes
One of the new big concrete trends globally is the new green concrete with a low (at least lower) carbon footprint compared to traditionally used concrete. Some of these new concrete mixes substitute part of the limestone or calcium silicate present in normal concrete with clay products.
The new types of concrete often face the challenges of:
- Brownish colouring
- Reduced heat development
The brownish colour is often “just” an architectural/design challenge, while the reduced internal heat development from the hydration will significantly impact the curing process. Reduced heating can be an advantage on big and thick castings, where you often use retarders and cooling to avoid high maximum and high-temperature variations in the cross-section.
But the low heat development can also be a challenge on most castings where you need to achieve a certain early strength fast. Therefore, it is crucial to keep track of the concrete’s temperature (and curing stage) by using sensors when using or developing these new low-carbon concrete types.
Digitize your concrete lab with sensors
The sensors are not just for clients; the concrete lab at your different plants can also use sensors in their daily work.
Here are three examples of how we have seen our sensors in use in a lab:
1) Keep track of maturity on specimens
Adding maturity sensors in the concrete cubes/cylinders enables you to track the age of the concrete.
2) SMS alarms on high water bath temperature
Both concrete labs in ready-mix plants can benefit from a simple installation of a temperature sensor with continuous information placed in the water bath. Then, the temperature can be monitored in a simple way. Temperature alarm limits can be customized (for example lower limit at 18C and the upper limit at 22C) with SMS alerts in case the temperature crosses one of the limits.
3) Compliance for climate monitoring
In some countries, the standards require monitoring the climate inside a concrete lab around the compression test machine. A simple way to fulfill this requirement is to use Orbit 3 to have continuous climate monitoring. All data can be downloaded as a PDF or Excel if needed.
How to resell the concrete sensors as a concrete ready-mix supplier?
When reselling wireless concrete sensors as a ready-mix supplier, we typically see three alternative business models in play. And we’ve noticed that they’re all working well!
1. Renting to the contractor (Most used)
The renting model is the most used model by our partners. A ready-mix partner purchases the hardware from us and pays a low monthly subscription. Then, the hardware is rented out on either a daily or monthly basis. The cost of running the Maturix solution is often around the same price you would pay to perform break tests during 1-3 days.
2. Hardware sale + monthly subscription
A second option is a cost-plus model, extending the same business model with a profit margin toward the contractor.
3. Added price per m3 concrete supplied
A third option is to add the cost to the client as a variable cost, depending on the amount of concrete supplied on the job site. This model nicely adjusts the cost/benefits for the client, as the client who uses the most concrete often obtains the most benefit and thus has the highest cost.
How to become a
We are already working with ready-mix partners globally and have built the platform that will satisfy your needs.
If you are interested in knowing more about this opportunity, fill out the form, and we will share an introduction presentation with you. In the intro email, you will have the chance to book a demo to see the solution in action.