China puts 5G to work in construction

By Mike Hayes21 May 2020

5G smart site in Beijing, China

Surveillance screen displays various sections of the 5G smart construction site in Beijing, China

China Construction Eighth Engineering Division has created what it calls a ‘smart site’, using the latest 5G telecom network to connect people, equipment and processes on the construction project.

The company is developing the site in conjunction with telecoms operator China Unicom, and aims to roll out the engineering applications of 5G on other smart construction sites.

The current operation in Beijing uses advanced technologies including artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain, the Internet of Things (IoT) and robotics, all networked via 5G technology.

Engineers on the project, for example, wear 5G AI glasses which feed them location information and allow the real-time remote inspection of progress.

During the ongoing coronavirus, the 5G technology is also being used to maintain safe site management.

It is reported that regularly updated information on the health of each worker is held and a health analysis system on site can detect more than 10 physiological indicators, including blood pressure and heart activity.

AI on site also identifies whether or not workers are wearing their masks.

The smart site is located at the Beijing Economic-Technological Development Area, where more than 40 companies have upgraded their respective manufacturing facilities, based on the 5G network.

Zhao Canzhen, chief project engineer of the First Company of China Eighth Engineering Division, said, “We will carry out this layout and continuously explore and promote 5G to different scenarios in each of our projects. We are going to combine blockchain, unmanned operation, robot construction and other applications in the field.”

China Construction Eighth Engineering Division is a division of the state-owned CSCEC, the largest construction company in the world.

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