Concrete Products covers the issues that attract producers of ready mixed and manufactured concrete focusing on equipment and material technology, market development and management topics.
Issue link: http://concrete.epubxp.com/i/661312
52 • APRIL 2016 www.concreteproducts.com INNOVATIONS REPORT INVENTORY MANAGEMENT The developer of an image-based, stockpile-inventory management platform is extending its capabilities from aggregate to concrete operations. As a first time exhibitor, Stockpile Reports outlined at World of Concrete 2016 a subscription service with which ready mixed and precast concrete producers can readily calculate and log aggre- gate bunker and bin volume with Apple device-captured images. Based in Redmond, Wash., home to Microsoft, Stockpile Reports has established online inventory management programs with aggre- gate, ready mixed and asphalt producers, including Cemex USA, Knife River Corp., Lane Construction and Peter Lien & Sons. In quarries and other large material operations or storage sites, the firm processes aerial images captured on a variety of camera devices from aircraft or drones. At ground level, images from iPhone and companion devices suit tracking of quarry or concrete plant-scale aggregate inventories. Inventory management snapshots—aggregate grade, tonnage and volume in cubic yards—are obtained by relaying image files through a StockpileReports.com portal, which hosts secure subscriber accounts populated with basic site or storage structure parameters. Stockpile Reports technology factors site or structure dimensions, material densities and moisture characteristics, and varying levels within piles or bins to calculate sand, gravel and stone tonnage and volume. The move into concrete plant bunker and bin measurement coincides with "Determining Object Volume from Mobile Device Images," a patent Stockpile Reports proprietor URC Ventures secured in December 2015 from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Outside of concrete aggre- gates, Stockpile Reports technology has been deployed by depart- ments of transportation to track another material common in bunkers and bins: deicing compounds. Bunkered or bin-stored aggregates have typically been measured by using a walking wheel, counting blocks or from estimations of truck load or barge volume. Having the ability to use a mobile device for indoor or outdoor inventory measurements gives subscribers an opportunity to maintain accurate, perpetual aggregate volume fig- ures and make more data-driven business decisions. Users avoid write-offs or financial swings often attending inaccurate monthly or quarterly physical inventory counts. "Stockpile Reports has helped our members recognize the value of the 'cash on the ground' stockpiles represent. It provides the infor- mation necessary for inventory management; production forecasts; confirmation of quantities produced, sold and delivered; and, finan- cial analysis," says Washington Aggregates and Concrete Association Executive Director Bruce Chattin. "[The platform is] a simple and easy tool that creates reports in real time, in real and accurate quantities … Stockpile management can now become a routine task." "For the first time, our supervisors and managers have a tool to quickly, inexpensively and accurately measure stockpile tonnage at the end of the month or even at the end of their shifts," affirms John DeLong, president of Knife River's Hawaiian Cement business. "Gone are the days of costly inventory adjustments or production shortfalls." "We're able to train any employee equipped with an iPhone to take measurements safely, accurately, and in less time," observes Peter Lien & Sons Manager of Environmental & Safety Affairs Danielle Wie- bers, adding that aggregate and concrete plant team members have iPhone image technology driver makes quick work of bunker, bin measurement