The only thing slower than watching paint dry is, well, watching concrete dry. Proper curing of concrete is extremely important, though, for quality and safety reasons. Perhaps equally important is proper testing and documentation of the concrete’s strength over time. In a move to help bolster their digital portfolio, power tool giant Hilti has acquired Concrete Sensors, an internet connected concrete testing startup.
For decades, contractors have filled cylinders on the jobsite with samples of the concrete placed throughout their project and sent those samples to the lab to be tested for quality and strength. In the past few years, several tech companies have emerged in the space to give contractors quicker and more location accurate data through the use of physical sensors embedded into the concrete. Concrete Sensors is one of those companies.
Concrete Sensors, which was founded in 2015, works in 5 basic steps:
Remove the physical sensor from the packaging
Scan the sensor into the Concrete Sensors mobile app
Install the sensors by zip-tying them onto the rebar (as shown in the picture above)
Pour the concrete
Collect the data through the app
The sensors give project managers instantaneous data on the temperature, humidity, and strength of the placed concrete on-site, without waiting for lab results to come back. Theoretically, the process should be more accurate, as well, since the cylinders aren’t always kept in the same environment that the concrete was placed and the sensor locations are tracked, eliminating sample mixups.
The move to acquire Concrete Sensors makes sense for Hilti, as their brand and their tools and existing software are ubiquitous with commercial construction and the concrete industry. The company already has ON!Track, for asset tracking; PROFIS Engineering, for designing baseplates; PLT 300, for bringing BIM designs to the field; and TraceFast, which are their traceable fasteners that were announced earlier this year at the World of Concrete.
“This acquisition directly aligns with our strategic priorities to put a greater focus on IoT,” said Martina McIsaac, President & CEO of Hilti North America, in a press release. “Hilti is committed to supporting our customers’ digital transformations. Beyond the strategic rationale and product offering, this is an ideal cultural fit. Hilti and the Concrete Sensors team share a customer-first approach, which is essential. We are impressed by Concrete Sensors’ commitment to innovation and look forward to its continued growth under Hilti.”
Hilti plans to keep the Concrete Sensors office open in Boston, Massachusetts and does not have any current plans to change pricing, product, or support procedures for the company.
You can check out more on Concrete Sensors in the video below: