WITOS fine-tunes and lubricates the production chain
We are one of the first European operators to pilot the WITOS production control system. The system makes production, transport and asphalting work even smoother while improving quality and cost efficiency.
The JOT (Just On Time) principle, functioning like clockwork, and digitalisation are also gaining ground in infrastructure construction. This summer, we had a foretaste of this at our paving sites where we have been piloting the new WITOS system.
Designed in cooperation between Wirtgen and Vögele, the largest component manufacturers in the asphalt industry, the control system enables the asphalt production process to be tracked from the order received at the factory all the way to the finished road surface. The idea is that the entire production chain should be as smooth and consistent as possible from start to finish.
"Above all, this is a quality and data tool. The processes will be improved once we are able to cut down on unnecessary waiting and stoppages. At the same time, the end result will be of more uniform quality and more durable," says Jarmo Rautanen, Director of Business Development at Lemminkäinen.
In addition to Finland, the system has been piloted in, for instance, Denmark and Central Europe this summer.
"The total number of pilot projects is only 15. With one project in Finland and one in Denmark, Lemminkäinen is in the vanguard of the industry and one of the most important development partners," says Rautanen.
Same information throughout the chain
Juha Pohjola, Director of Operative Support at Lemminkäinen, finds that a key factor in the system is the real-time flow of information throughout the production and transport chain.
"For example, the vehicles arrive at asphalt plants at the best possible moment according to the needs and schedules of the work site. In addition, this information is distributed to the drivers and the asphalt plants at the same time," says Pohjola.
WITOS also collects and stores data on all the various stages of the process. It then carries out and suggests necessary corrections on the basis of this data.
"Manual typing is reduced substantially, which also cuts back the possibility of errors," adds Pohjola.
Over the summer, Screed Operator Ari Salonen at Lemminkäinen, gained experience of WITOS on the construction site of main road 26 between Taavetti and Hamina. In his opinion, the system has been a great help in the extensive paving project.
"The system shows in real time where the vehicles are moving, how many of them there are and when to call them to the site. The system also monitors and optimises the quality and laying of the mass. This enables the mass to be laid as fresh as possible without unnecessary stoppages. It's easy to make the necessary changes when you can base them on exact data," explains Salonen.
The system's other benefits, in addition to uniform quality, include more efficient paving work and shorter halts in traffic, which, in the best-case scenario, may not be needed at all.
"In its current form, WITOS is a tool for large paving projects, but, in the future, it will become an everyday tool for smaller projects as well. Digitalisation is also entering the infrastructure sector, which is why we must keep up with developments," summarises Jarmo Rautanen.