Asphalt Industry is living nowadays its own digital revolution, hand in hand with the latest developments in robotics, machine-to-machine communication, sensors, big data, artificial intelligence and electrification, among others.
By means of these disruptive technologies, the sector is taking a huge step forward to increase and multiply production efficiency, while reducing environmental impact. In addition, they also improve health & safety at the construction site helping the sector to meet all the current strict regulations across Europe. In addition, producers and contractors are able, by the first time, to deliver high-quality customer experience during every stage of the road’s service life, in a smart, connected and synergetic way.
Unlike other materials, hot mix asphalt requires the coordination of all the stakeholders involved in road construction (mixing plant, delivery, paving, compaction, etc.) to reduce the temperature losses during the process. This collaboration facilitated that the mentioned digital technologies penetrated asphalt sector and road construction earlier than other construction sectors. As a result, asphalt industry is leading the way and being taken as a reference in construction when it comes to digitalisation.
Nevertheless, this collaboration between stakeholders is far from optimum. In many cases, some of them are not able to produce, process or transfer high-quality data becoming the weakest link of the production chain. Some stakeholders are also reluctant to share the data produced or to do it according to a common system and language suitable for the other stakeholders.
This section presents some of the main technologies already available in the market, and which are changing the way that asphalt roads are produced, from the quarry and asphalt plant to the jobsite.