"We help good paving teams become even better”

Process optimization solutions have huge potential for road construction companies: Dr. Stephan Weller, head of software products at JOSEPH VÖGELE AG, explains how companies benefit from digital solutions like WITOS Paving Plus, regardless of how many job sites they have and what size they are.

Dr. Weller, do road construction companies who use process optimization solutions always work better than those who use conventional planning and construction methods?

Not necessarily. The benefits of process optimization solutions like WITOS Paving Plus are certainly enormous - just-in-time delivery to the job site facilitates continuous paving without paver stops. On the one hand, this increases paving quality, whilst on the other, processes are naturally much quicker and more cost-effective. For example, truck capacity can be saved and residual quantities avoided, and construction companies can furthermore use the data and analyses simultaneously to monitor themselves and as evidence of quality. But process optimization solutions do not represent a panacea on their own, of course. They also demand a certain will to change: companies have to look actively at the processes they have been using up to now, identify potential for improvement and start right there.

However, it’s also a question of investment. Are process optimization solutions really worth it for every company?

Definitely. Our experience shows that the costs and effort involved in procuring them pay for themselves after just a few days on the job site. Construction companies, but also other agents involved (such as mixing plants) then benefit fairly quickly from the improved quality, increased efficiency and greater transparency. Apart from this, process optimization is often already mandatory: numerous public calls to tender demand process documentation or even dynamic logistics and machine control. Digitalization is also gathering speed in road construction – anyone getting on board at this stage still has the opportunity of taking their time to introduce and adapt new processes.

Great potential for road construction companies: WITOS Paving Plus networks all those involved in the construction process and even in the case of disruptions or deviations from the plan, facilitates accurate real-time coordination.

Yet it is precisely those companies which handle small to medium-sized projects which are often reluctant to use process optimization solutions. Why is that?

Some construction companies believe that the introduction of such solutions involves a great deal of effort or have not yet seen the need for active process optimization on their job sites. This is why we offer our customers three solutions of differing scopes: paving temperature can be comprehensively monitored and documented using the RoadScan system. If, over and above this, you want to record and analyse extra machine and process data, you can use our app-based system WITOS Paving Docu. In this process, data are transmitted online straight to the server. The large-scale WITOS Paving Plus solution, by contrast, allows every process, from mixing plant to paving, to be planned, co-ordinated and actively optimized in real time.

“It’s not necessarily a question of job site size, but more a question of approach and what is required.”

Dr Stephan Weller, head of software products at JOSEPH VÖGELE AG

So WITOS Paving Plus is suitable for large-scale job sites, WITOS Paving Docu for smaller job sites?

No, not necessarily. It depends on what data I want to have in the end and how actively I want to intervene in the construction process. Even on a relatively large job site, I might be happy under certain circumstances with pure documentation. On the other hand, a company which looks after lots of small job sites might want to monitor processes in real time and take remedial action if necessary. So it’s not necessarily a question of size, but more a question of approach and what is required. What data do I want for myself - to improve my processes, for example? What are my client’s expectations? These are the questions companies ask themselves before deciding on one solution or another.

Discover WITOS Paving virtually

The process optimization solution offers construction companies numerous options. Take a look at our web special to get really clear information about how exactly construction manager, mixing plant supervisor, truck driver and paving crew are networked together and which functions are included in WITOS Paving Plus. Just click, scroll and explore!

Go to WITOS Paving web special

And what if the company has job sites with different requirements?

Of course, anyone starting with the large-scale WITOS Paving Plus solution doesn’t have to use the full scope of the application for every job site - but can also just use the WITOS Paving Docu app as required. Conversely, companies which want to make a gradual start with software solutions, using RoadScan or WITOS Paving Docu initially, can perfectly easily upgrade to WITOS Paving Plus. This is completely straightforward because all data, regardless of whether construction companies are using RoadScan, WITOS Paving Docu or WITOS Paving Plus, are organized in one application and database. In other words, if customers switch between the three solutions, no data needs transferring.

Going back to planning: last-minute changes are always coming up in road construction. Isn’t a complex solution like WITOS Paving Plus too inflexible in this situation?

No. Of course precise planning is absolutely recommended on relatively large job sites, in particular. But if for whatever reason a new plan is required shortly before work starts on a job site, WITOS Paving Plus includes the option of so-called ad hoc planning. The site foreman can use this function to plan the whole job site on site - using the job site PC. Although this planning is not quite as detailed, it still gives companies the option of using WITOS Paving Plus quickly and straightforwardly in spontaneous projects too. Among other things, this also allows the mixing plant to be included in short-term projects.

“Our aim is to provide users with information to help them make fact-based decisions.”

Dr Stephan Weller, head of software products at JOSEPH VÖGELE AG.

So how does VÖGELE support its customers in concrete terms during introduction and implementation?

Some companies are already using a variety of digital solutions, whilst for others, software-based process optimization is still completely new territory; this is why we offer the appropriate training sessions for all those involved in the construction process. We also usually accompany customers on their first project involving WITOS Paving. This is the most efficient way of doing things, because a lot of questions only come up during the actual construction process. Of course WITOS Paving cannot replace the experience and skills of the paving crew. Our aim is rather to provide users with information to help them make fact-based decisions. In the end, therefore, our solutions help good paving crews become even better.

You might also be interested in:
WITOS – the telematics solution from WIRTGEN GROUP
Find out more