Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Axis Capital Group Review: Heavy Equipment Safety on the Road

Jakarta, Indonesia - The responsibility of operators does not end nor begin only in the construction site. Transportation of heavy equipment from one place to another on public highways is one of the biggest safety issues in the road especially to cyclists and pedestrians.

Axis Capital Group, a company which sells and rents capital equipment from Singapore, has reported more 12 injuries and accidents in the last 16 years of operation. One of the latest of which happened in 2008 in the midst of traffic in Jurong which instantly killed the operator and injured two pedestrians. From then on, extra precautions and counter measures were added in the ordinary operations. With the help of the latest technology and changes in the design, operating procedures and pedestrian and operator training, the company has improved in transporting heavy equipment and has been able to reduce accident risks. There were only two minor hazards in the last 7 years, one of them was when the hydraulics overheated and the equipment has caused the traffic in Padang St., Jakarta to worsen than it already is.

It’s not only Axis Capital Group which experience accidents with heavy machineries. Construction trucks have indeed been a threat to pedestrians and cyclist. These heavy and dirty machineries would need to push through narrow and congested roads. Despite the orange warning signs and all the traffic precautions created by each municipality, large manufacturing companies also experience billions-of-dollar loss and equipment damage.

To lessen the risk, large manufacturing companies have created different designs and operating systems. Mercedes-Benz, for example has launched a whole new generation of Econic vehicles capable of higher payloads, which improve the driver’s ability to spot vulnerable road users such as cyclists and pedestrians. Vehicles already in operation include a tipper, mixer, skip loader and curtain-sider (SIG).

The Econic provides the operator a wider range of vision with a deep panoramic widescreen. It may take a lot of training to get used to the odd screen but for safety, operators are trained for a few weeks mastering the dependency on the screen through simulation program before they can fully take over the real thing.

Operators are also equipped with communication devices which could patrol their company of an impending accident which has been developed through the use of telematics. They should also be provided with communication gadgets to be used to immediately warn highway patrols if ever a major or minor emergency occurs. Protocol also requires them to be informed of any road blocks or traffic updates provided for by the local highway unit.

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Online Heavy Equipment Rental Booming

Heavy equipment has literally and figuratively been a big industry in Asia for the last decade. Developing countries have been growing towards urbanization and infrastructures are constantly being built. In the midst of it, investors are creating more projects and needing more construction materials, manual labor and equipment. The construction industry goes in demand until it has become one of the leading markets and has been driving Asia’s economy.

As one of the pioneers in the business, Axis Capital Group, a company which sells and rents heavy equipment in Singapore acknowledges the fact that the sudden boost in business has also been because of the integration of technology to present machines. It made the workload easier and the task more convenient for timely realization of the project. Although the industry has been lagging behind for more advanced technological updates, it has adapted enough modernity to keep up to today’s demands.

One of the leading game changer in the boom of heavy equipment is the renting scheme. Since machines can easily be obsolete with new models and units in the market, heavy equipment rental can be relatively useful for short-time usage. Nowadays, it’s a huge business in Asia and is considered as a billion-dollar industry.

Since rental has started to become popular, other developing cities and countries who are separated by oceans and different regions, those who do not have their own local heavy equipment manufacturer complain of the lack of availability of high-quality equipment. Oceans and the separation of islands became a hurdle in the procurement of equipment.

Online equipment rental has been developed to solve the issue of isolation. Ever since shipment and online shopping has been available, isolated developing cities which are also developing their own urban world. Developing cities like Jakarta, Indonesia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and the Philippines had slowly risen to surprise the world of high city potential. China, Japan and other leading manufacturers also developed connection to other regions to selling and renting used equipment made by the likes of Komatsu or Hitachi to companies in other Asian countries.

However, the industry is not without issues. The most prevailing issue in online heavy equipment sales are fraudulent sales and online scams which have been a part of almost all e-commerce businesses. Clients are being fooled at taking prior payment for equipment which will never come or by delivering rusted and poorly maintained equipment which is not returnable.

The online world of heavy equipment can be unpredictable but the demand continues to grow. Despite this, the industry is promising higher growth and more development.

Thursday, 1 October 2015

Construction Industry Recruits Women

Seldom do we see women in a construction site. Since the industry requires every aspect of manual labor, women, who are always considered physically weaker than men, seemed not fit for the job. Gender diversity is not usual in the workplace with women only occupying 11% of the whole construction employees’ population, most of whom are employed for administrative task, working behind the desk and in-charge of data organization.

Sexism is one of the main reasons for the low number of women hiring in construction industry. Axis Capital Group, a company which sells and rents quality equipment, states that both of their offices in Singapore and Jakarta, Indonesia has high attrition rate of female workers. Aside from family and risk issues that women need to adhere to as the reason for their resignation, some have complaints of worse treatment experience regarding the distribution of work or promotion opportunities.

Today’s bigger challenge is to educate the next generation that the industry is not one-gendered. Similar manual careers also have the same gender proportion problems. Analysts have concluded that the issue is one of the main reasons why there are also a low number of laborers and workers in the field.

Construction industry is taking the warning of the lessening number of individuals interested to work in the sector at a more serious level. A person’s gender is no longer important when hiring as long as he or she can do the job and has the qualification to do so. Moreover, the industry is already recognizing women attributes which can help in the betterment of the projects. With an industry struggling to find workers, the insights are worth reviewing for contractors.

1. Learning ability

When it comes to training, women don’t take anything for granted. In our culture it’s sometimes assumed that all men have a certain mastery of machinery. That can lead to overconfidence or lack of attention in the training stage. Women operators also do better than men in pursuing additional educational opportunities. If there are classes in GPS or any other technology related to the job, they’ll be there if it can help them upgrade their abilities. The guys pick it up as they can, but women try to stay ahead of the curve.

2. Attention to detail

It is an innate characteristic of most, if not all of women to keep a keen eye on detail. There is even a study stating that women give more attention to even the tiniest thing and are very observant. You can seldom see a machine operated by women to be as messy as men’s. They keep them clean and don’t leave trash in the cabs. If there was a drop of oil coming out of a wheel or something small like that they let you know about it.

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Electrical Problems in Heavy Equipment

Electrical problem is one of the most dangerous issues that a contractor or any construction-related company can face. Even some of the most expert technician, when faced with electrical problems blank out. With the project looming with the deadline, it is best to fix it fast. Unless you have purchased your machine from an online scam rampant nowadays which has a higher probability of unfixable parts, electrical issues in equipment can be fixed intuitively than with logic.

Axis Capital Group, Singaporean-based company which sells and rents capital equipment across Asia admits that in electrical issues of their fleet, the problem is considered hazardous and grave. Because of the lack of expert hands in their branch in Jakarta, Indonesia, the company even deploys their technician from Singapore to fix the issue.

The diagnosis can be different in each case. With mechanical problems, you can easily determine it through the noise, the condition of the hydraulics, shavings in the oil pan, smoke, idle movement and sometimes, even fire. In these cases, the problem can be easily identifiable. With electronics, it can be more drastic when the machine entirely stops. An expert technician studies schematics, mechanics, hydraulics and operations. In a sense, he never stops learning and reading.

Some companies employ substandard technicians to lessen employment cost. However, this trend is strongly not advisable- and in some cases, illegal without the license and permit- as it poses a very hazardous risk not only for the operator but for the overall project and can jeopardize the name of the company.

Your client may complain when you say that the usual diagnostic time would amount to 4 hours but this is the minimum time it would take for a technician to really know the problem behind electrical malfunction.

Electrical diagnoses and repairs are the inverse of mechanical. A mechanic may diagnose in a few minutes what’s wrong with a mechanical system. But the repair could take hours or even days. The electrical problem will likely require hours of diagnosis, but then only minutes to repair – often just a corroded connector or frayed wire.

One of the issues that technicians avoid studying schematics is because of the jargons that may have been taught to them in vague details. Since the world of electrical is as complex as the wires themselves, it can be understood that there are oftentimes a mix and match of standards in each company.

The only way for electrical issue to be solved is to get rid of ignorance and listen more to intuition. Feigning ignorance can just lead to a more serious problem.

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

High Percentage of Skill Shortages Troubles Construction Industry

Skill shortages in the field of construction seem to have no plans of stopping. Despite the best efforts, there is still a big shortage and lack of skilled workers willing to work in this arduous kind of job.’s do the math and take Axis Capital Group’s statistics as an example. Since operating from 1999, Axis has grown to employ an estimated 150 machine operators, mechanical engineers and shipment crews and admin staffs. Among these employees in the main office in Singapore and office branch in Jakarta, Indonesia, more than 75% are now in their middle aged years. While the business is improving and growing, in 10 years, these middle-aged employees will be retiring. When that happens, those remaining 25%, assuming zero attrition rate, would already be middle aged and promoted. If there is still a shortage of skilled workers, there is a bigger risk of deterioration in the construction industry despite machines doing most of the labor works.

Manual labor is already being reviewed as one of the reasons which can greatly affect the already developing industry. In more studies, 47% of UK’s construction industry and related businesses were unable to fill the vacancies in the previous two years. While many leaders in this sector plea for help and complaints are already filing up for not properly marketing the benefits of the industry, experts say that the solution would be vocational training.

Companies should allot time, effort and budget for trainings and educational seminars for aspirants to be able to regain the number of workers. Companies should take advantage of the high rate of unemployment among young adults and offer benefits befitting for a regular employee and for the risk that they are to undergo when working as a construction worker.

Since, as analysts mention, that the need for manpower, the benefits they will be getting and the demand for workers are not highlighted in schools and universities and instead being belittled, construction companies should do their part to presenting a better image and marketing their names through these interactive seminars and trainings.

Since businesses are struggling to contain the shortage which seems to have no plans of abating, there is already a surge of significant pay growth in this sector of almost 5%.

While the business is continually growing, many companies are already imploring assistance to other sectors and even from the government to find other solutions for the increasing manual labor. If the shortage continues, global economy may also be affected overtime.

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Capital Equipment Rental Remains One of the Biggest Industries

Thousands of start-ups are currently under construction and a thousand more are projected to materialize in a year or two. Along with this, there comes a high demand for heavy equipment for construction.

However, instead of buying heavy machineries which can be outdated overtime, many companies prefer to rent equipment from reputable sources in order to cut cost and ensure fully maintained heavy machineries.

Many rental companies across Asia have admitted to increase in revenue since the start of 2015, and the sustained increase of sales within 7 months of this year’s operation. Those with an increase include even mediocre sustaining construction and rental company, Axis Capital Group and have the greatest impact to stock market’s darlings, Komatsu and Deere&Co.

Companies have been aggressively pushing their way to the top and have been tightening their machineries. The biggest market review in Asia includes that of the developing city, Jakarta, Indonesia, Singapore and Hong Kong.

According to many analysts, the high demand for heavy equipment rental trace back to the 2008 economic breakdown. Because of the uncertain economic outlook, renting heavy machineries seems the best option. Some construction companies are also hesitant to buy new machineries since emission control standards have boosted prices by 15% - 20% on prices of more sophisticated filters and other gear for the pollution reduction.

In the United States of America, 54% of rental profit comes from heavy machinery market. It also remains as one of the biggest industries in dire need of operators and workers. Jobs related to this industry may be a little bit tough and risky but it pays well. In the present times, there’s a lot more confidence but capacity expansion is slightly muffled by a lack of drivers. In this particular issue, a warning was released by analysts that the growth of the industry may waver when the number does not increase.
Companies are currently unthreatened by this debacle while the growth of the industry still promises big potential. The lack of manpower is being resolved through mass hiring and higher compensation.

Another reason for the recent shift toward new equipment relates to technology. Through ergonomic joystick controls, quick-change attachment couplers, and cab designs that lessen operator fatigue, technology has made earth moving machines more comfortable for operation while simultaneously bolstering the versatility and efficiency of the machines themselves. 

There is more to expect in heavy equipment’s future. What that is and how it can be realized are yet to be discovered.

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Axis Capital Group to join IGBC 2015

Singapore is set to prove its place when it comes to green building construction and the events to back it up are continuously pouring. This coming September 2-4, 2015, International Green Building Conference is said to be one of the largest events which will serve as a catalyst for more seminars and eco-friendly awareness in the years to come.

Axis Capital Group, a company which sells and rents capital equipment in Singapore and has extended to Jakarta, Indonesia, is also expected to come to Marina Bay Sands Hotel, the event’s venue along with other non-profit organization, private institutions and interested individuals to learn more about green construction and its coming future.

Organized by the Building and Construction Authority of Singapore and into its seventh run, IGBC 2015 is the anchor event of the Singapore Green Building Week. IGBC 2015 will play host to more than 1000 participants from over 30 countries - international green building experts, policy-makers, academics, built environment practitioners, tenants and end-users, including members of the public and students.

Months before it is about to take place, reviews are already being written on the various expectations prepared for this event. A congregation of ideas, collaboration and learning among global and regional stakeholders to achieve a shared vision of a greener planet through the green building movement are some of the many expectations.

IGBC 2015's theme will be 'Build Green, Live Smart', focusing on the call for greener infrastructure and on the need for end users to act more responsibly and live sustainably based on meaningful smart data collected.
Since 2005, Singapore has topped the world on the cleanest and greenest city all over the world. With the development in infrastructure of the so-called Lion City, one cannot totally imagine how environment and modernization were incorporated.

Not only is today’s fa├žade of the city green and eco-friendly. The government, along with other private and public institutions are already planning an 80% green overall requirement of each and every infrastructure found in the country. In response, buildings and projects are already including green and healthy designs and systems in their projects.

By encouraging and even demanding the use of innovative architectural green ideas and energy-saving technologies, Singapore has become a model of improving civilization in Asia – an important development in the region as it is a home of struggling and growing urbanization and housing the largest number of people anywhere else in the world.

Friday, 7 August 2015

Setting up your Rental Business

With the development of construction industry and infrastructure, the demand for the equipment used in this field is also increasing. In America alone, 80% of businesses and projects are taking advantage of rented equipment on a regular basis.

The set-up of local manufacturers in Jakarta, Indonesia also set up ways for heavy equipment rentals and sales to a big boom. In Singapore, Axis Capital Group, one of the companies in the same field has a lot in their sleeves since the lion city has set up to be one of the most developed countries in Asia.

Many individuals are also wondering how they could get into the game. Despite the warnings of a very fierce competition between local and foreign manufacturers and distributors, a lot are still willing to risk. How do you set up your own business then?

1. Evaluate the Competition

Prior to launching a heavy construction equipment rental business in your area, it's a smart move to see how strong the competition is. Know them and identify their strengths, marketing practice as well as their weaknesses. Knowing their products they offer and their partnership can be a little over-the-top but it can be an advantage. Review it and compare on your own. You may learn some lessons from their own way of making their business.

2. Learn from Experts

Since you are just a start-up business and the industry is a tough one, you can be humble enough and ask those who had been in the game longer than you are. An owner of a heavy construction equipment rental business in another town may be willing to share their entrepreneurial wisdom with you, after they realize you reside far away from them and won't be stealing their local customers. In that case, the business owner may be more than happy to discuss the industry with you. Based on Axis’ experience, you may have to call ten business owners in order to find one who is willing to share his wisdom with you.

3. Every business needs to be marketed

Market your rental business. Let everyone know you exist in the game. Call on businesses that have need of your equipment. Advertise on radio, in the paper or on TV. As an introductory offer, you can give promotions so you can gain a good customer base. Marketing your business can also give you a good branding.

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Large Data in Construction

Machine to machine communication has been rampant nowadays. With the emergence of new systems which helps in distinguish issues that were once too look into, the use of data in construction has been considered important and necessary. Aside from the fact that it is used for daily activities, it is also used in equipment. With its integration to capital equipment, many rental and selling companies like Axis Capital Group which is a Singaporean based company distributing across Asia and has expanded to Jakarta, Indonesia have been able to identify fraudulent products in its machineries.

Big data analytics is being used in a wide variety in every industry. It enables businesses to manage and analyze vast amounts of data at ultrafast speeds, and obtain valuable insights that can improve their decision-making processes.

One of the industries that are reaping the benefits of this technology is the construction industry. Construction companies are using big data to perform a wide range of tasks, from data management to pre-construction analysis.

Construction industry oftentimes handles many projects at once. Having large data management system can help reduce the stress that can result to unorganized information gathering. As these data are stored in the clouds, strict security rules are being implemented as a way to prevent scammers from hacking confidential information that may affect large scope projects and even the government or the public as a whole.

In order to plan and execute projects effectively, construction companies need to be able to predict risks accurately through intelligent use of data.

By implementing big data analytics, they can gain valuable insights that enable them to improve cost certainty, identify and avoid potential problems, and find opportunities for efficiency improvements.

The ability to solve issues and problems quickly is essential in construction projects with deadlines to meet and budget that is allotted with only limited time frame.

According to reviews, forensic issues usually occur in major construction projects and they can cause big problems such as failure to meet deadlines if they are not fully addressed.

In order to fix forensic issues efficiently, construction companies have to be able to collect the right data in an organized way and make the data accessible to the right people at the right time. This can be achieved through the implementation of big data solutions.

Presently, big data analytics is relatively immature in terms of functionality and robustness.

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Equipment Rental in the Future

Equipment rental is one of the most booming industries in today’s generation. Given the option to rent or to maintain heavy equipment with the risk to be outdated in the near future, many people choose the path to better renting. Maintenance is also one key factor that prevents people from buying heavy machineries.

Now that machineries are more patronized nowadays, have you also wondered what the future for construction equipment is like in 5 years?

Axis Capital Group, a company which sells and rents capital equipment based in Singapore and has now expanded to Jakarta, Indonesia has also been wondering where the industry be in the near future. Our experts are constantly analyzing today’s construction industry’s status to better prepare our clients for what is to come.

Rental companies are emphasizing service in everything they do. And many dealers who once said they happened to have a rental division are now more likely to describe themselves as full-service rental companies who happen to do sales. What does full-service rental mean today? It means more convenient locations, faster check-in and check-out procedures, faster field response, better customer training.

Many of these services in a construction industry are not new. But more and more, these services are no longer considered an added value or an extra benefit. They are considered part of the basic rental package - an operating necessity in a maturing business and something that must be done to survive.

The quality of equipment fleets is also improving. And so is fleet utilization. According to reviews of contractors, availability of equipment is far and away the most important factor in why they choose a company. Availability is even ahead of price. To serve this demand, companies continue to expand and modernize their fleets while they also implement systems to manage it all more efficiently.

Another trend is toward newer fleets. Companies used to hold equipment for as long as it would hold up - the longer it rented, the better the return on investment. Now all things being equal, the customer wants to rent the latest models. Both large and small companies are reporting fleets with average ages as low as 24 and 36 months.

However, despite the growth and development, the rental industry remains fragmented. These companies still remain to be a minority in many nations. It would take a lot of time for the industry to establish its position but will continue to control their destinies.

Monday, 13 July 2015

The Story behind forklifts

As we all know, forklifts are used to handle materials from one place to another and has been very useful in the daily activities of a construction project. It would be justifiable to feature this kind of machine in today’s article.

Just like any other capital equipment companies. Axis Capital Group has laid a huge emphasis on the use of fork lifts. This kind of machine of every available brand has been one of our top sellers in both of our offices in Singapore and Jakarta, Indonesia. The demand for this equipment spread across all over Asia.

Handling has once been done by different kinds of equipment but with the creation of forklifts, it has made a great spur in the industry. The development, however, has taken years of review and research to truly evolve.

In the middle of the 19th century through the early 20th century, the world has seen the development of lifting tools which had led to today’s modern forklifts. The forerunner of the modern forklift was manually powered hoist that were used to lift loads.

On 1919, some high lift trucks were built which raised their platforms several feet to provide a greater range of operation and permit handling the many different types of skids. From here it was only a short step to tiering. Warnings of demolition caused by wars did not hinder the development of this useful equipment. Post war standardization the same year eliminated the rest of the trouble, and has resulted in keeping the platform truck skid system useful right up to the present day.

The year 1919 also saw the development of vertical lifting cantilever trucks as well as the introduction of forks and rams. The cantilever feature enabled these trucks to drive right up to a stow without requiring clearance underneath for projecting front wheels, while the forks and rams provided a means of handling many different types of objects. Some of the first trucks with forks were merely platform trucks to which bars had been welded.

Forklift hydraulics is controlled either with levers directly manipulating the hydraulic valves, or by electrically controlled actuators, using smaller "finger" levers for control. The latter allows forklift designers more freedom in agronomical design.

Forklift trucks are available in many variations and load capacities. In a typical warehouse setting most forklifts have load capacities between one and five tons. Larger machines, up to 50 tons lift capacity, are used for lifting heavier loads, including loaded shipping containers.

Monday, 6 July 2015

Heavy Construction Equipment on a Tight Perspective

Today’s construction industry requires different number of capital equipment in different sizes, types, and groupings for earth moving, excavating and/or lifting. Construction equipment today is specifically made for certain purposes to design and perform specific tasks and mechanical operations. Working capacity is direct function of the size of the machine and the motor power.

The dependency on capital equipment in the creation of buildings and infrastructures lays a deep root on the growth of the industry. As long as there is equipment fit to do the more tedious tasks that manual labor cannot do, there will always be a demand.

Axis Capital Group, a company which sells and rents capital equipment with its head office in Singapore and its subsidiary in Jakarta, Indonesia, is among the few companies which emphasizes the need for heavy machineries in today’s generation. With the increasing number of infrastructure projects not only in the already developed countries of America and Europe but also on the developing nations of Asia, the need for construction equipment has been greatly acknowledged. Both foreign and local manufacturers from all over the world has been busy producing and distributing new models almost every week.

In some cases, there is a threat that these machineries will replace manpower, a warning of a possible increase in unemployment rate especially in developed countries. However, when local producers and manufacturers have been greatly affected by the increase in attrition rate caused by the recession, the demand for operators and construction workers are proven to be as highly important as the need for these machineries. In a sense, it is a give and take scenario. If there is no manpower, there is no one to operate these heavy machineries and if there are no machineries, workers can obviously file tantamount of complaints on the extremities of labor and tasks.

The dependency and need for construction equipment have grown with the size and the complexity of the projects. The development of automated machineries for earthmoving, excavating and lifting has had an overwhelming evolution in the last two centuries. Today, when some new model of equipment does not exist to perform specific tasks, it can be designed and built. Heavy construction equipment manufacturers are very responsive to the market’s needs and to client’s feedback and comments. A lot of innovators and idealists make it so simple to create a machine which was once a big challenge. How effectively a new machine is done will greatly affect and influence the construction project.

Monday, 29 June 2015

Indonesia partners with China in Infrastructure Industry

Japan has been overlooked by Indonesia as a partner. Instead, it chooses China, one of the most rivaled and sought-after country to be allied with. Many critics say that this is because of the worsening status of traffic in the archipelago’ city, Jakarta.

Jakarta, infamous for its traffic gridlock, recently won the dubious distinction as the city with the world’s worst traffic jams, according to a study by the British industrial and automotive lubricants company Castrol.

This once again highlights not only the Indonesian capital’s infrastructural shortcomings but also the limited land and sea transport networks across the entire archipelago, as well as the frequent power outages that are the Achilles heel of the country’s economy.

Jakarta is nonetheless a developing city and one of the most advanced cities in the world. Businesses seem to flock this growing city and investors have pointed out a lot of potential. One of the companies which sells and rents capital equipment all over Asia is  Axis Capital Group which is based in Singapore has expanded their services to Jakarta and is now partnering with government agencies, private institutions and non-profit organizations to help Indonesia’s infrastructure. 

Critics though, say that Indonesia is in dire situation, a reason why they have reached out to China.

Keen observers of the Indonesian economy believe that China is well placed to meet this demand for infrastructure as an investor, especially with the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) expected to launch by the end of this year, which will be dedicated to funding infrastructure development in the region.

According to reviews, China is regarded as the most viable economic giant to support the development of infrastructure in Indonesia backed by the world’s biggest foreign exchange reserves. Despite warnings of fraudulent acts in China and scams on their products which are now known worldwide, Indonesia continued with their partnership.

During President Xi Jinping’s meeting with his Indonesian counterpart Joko Widodo, popularly known as Jokowi, in Beijing last month, China expressed its interest to invest an estimated $63 billion in infrastructure and other projects in Indonesia, according to the Indonesia Investment Coordinating Board.

During Jokowi’s visit, the two presidents also oversaw the signing of a joint project to link Jakarta and Bandung by high-speed railway, alongside a memorandum of understanding for closer cooperation in infrastructure, including toll roads, railways, power plants and ports.
Indonesia has made infrastructure its top priority since its new president came to power in October. An ambitious plan to build 1,000 kilometers of toll roads, 5,000 km of railways, as well as 15 airports and 24 seaports in the next five years has been laid out in Jokowi’s 2015-2019 National Medium-Term Development Plan.

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Global Mining Predications

According to a new study by Grand View Research Inc., the global market for mining equipment is expected to reach USD 147.69 billion by 2020. Growth in mining activities such as drilling and earth moving is expected to boost demand for shredders, loaders and crushers among other mining equipment. Increasing demand for fertilizer minerals is also expected to favorably impact market demand over the forecast period.

Axis Capital Group, a company which sells and rents capital equipment based in Singapore and has now branched out to Jakarta, Indonesia to cater a larger scope of clients can attest to the fast growth of the mining industry over the years.

Mining operations rely on major mineral production regions such as North America, Australia, South Africa, etc. Water scarcity and dry spells in these regions has resulted in growing demand for effective mining solutions. Technologically advanced mining solutions are also estimated to witness growing adoption due to the need for robust hardware in mining locations. However, mining equipments produce harmful gases including carbon monoxide and sulfur oxides, which adversely affect the environment. This is expected to be curbed by the development of hybridization applications in the coming years. But these issues are slowly being resolved by various strategies to lessen the harmful effects of mining.

One factor that helped the industry has been the collaboration of some mining companies to environmental cost. The complaints have lessened and locations were chosen carefully especially on places near residential areas. Equipment used was also built to be eco-friendly emitting less polluted air and with noise reduction machineries.

The report further elaborated their predictions:

• Surface mining equipment is expected to continue being the largest product segment over the forecast period. Demand for these equipments including service trucks, bulk trucks, bulldozers, etc. is estimated to be driven by demand for commodities such as iron ore and bauxite. Mining drills and breakers are expected to witness the fastest growth over the next five years.

• Metal mining is being reviewed to be the largest and fastest growing application market over the next five years. Price-driven increases in resource exploration and mine development activity are expected to be the key driving forces for expected growth in metal mining application. Furthermore, growing demand for precious metals such as gold, silver, and platinum is expected to favorably impact segment growth.

• Asia Pacific and accounted for over 59% of global mining equipment demand in 2013, and is expected to dominate the market over the next five years, at an estimated CAGR of 8.7% in 2020, primarily due to high estimated demand from China. Growing mine production and machinery sales is expected to fuel regional growth over the forecast period. Government restrictions on coal fired power plants and coal mine operations in the U.S. may act as a barrier to overall revenue generation.

Sunday, 21 June 2015

The Vital Role Capital Equipment Plays

Prices of capital equipment have increased in the market nowadays. With a number of infrastructure projects being rolled out in the coming years, alongside overall real estate expansion and economic growth, the construction equipment sector has a vital role to play in Indonesia’s future development. The value has admittedly doubled between 2008 and 2013. The market is one in which foreign firms, particularly those from Japan, have a major presence via local joint ventures and subsidiaries. These are benefitting from increased government investment in transport and energy infrastructure in particular, coupled with rising demand for all kinds of real estate.

The market structure is widely visible in Jakarta, Indonesia where the supply of construction equipment is concentrated in globally linked suppliers. Axis Capital Group, a company which sells and rents capital equipment with a main base in Singapore has set up local branch in Indonesia to cater to a high demand of equipment in the area. They partner with manufacturers from different brands in Europe, an example of globally linked partnership despite the set up of local businesses in Indonesia such as John Deere and Mitsubishi.

According to a 2014 review from the Construction Intelligence Centre (CIC), Komatsu Indonesia, a joint venture between Japan’s Komatsu and United Tractors, is the largest, with a 43% market share in 2012. Caterpillar Indonesia, a joint venture between Caterpillar of the US and Tiara Marga Trakindo, and Hitachi Construction Machinery Indonesia – a subsidiary of Japan’s Hitachi – vie for second and third places. The former had a 19% market share in 2012, according to the report; the latter, 21%. The fourth company is Daya Kobelco Construction Machinery Indonesia, a subsidiary of Japan’s Kobelco Construction Machinery, with 13% of the market in 2012. According to the CIC figures, the building construction equipment market was worth some $142.61m in 2008, rising to $272.49m in 2013. The report predicted a value of $424.11m by 2017.

Bringing the supply and demand side together, when it comes to the many smaller outfits, has long been a conundrum, given the high cost of machinery and the low financial capacity and tight margins of many contractors. This has been increasingly resolved, however, via growth in leasing. This has led in turn to rising efficiency and productivity in the sector, with vendors offering rentals on an increasingly wide range of equipment.

Renting companies like Axis receives continuous complaints on the cost, however. Equipment prices are influenced by exchange rate risk too, given the number of imported parts and the costs of other inputs, such as energy. These in turn get passed on to vendors and then to contractors in rentals, further squeezing tight margins in such a competitive business. One expectation is that the sector could see some consolidation, at the demand end, in the years ahead, particularly if economic growth continues to slow.

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Wage Theft in Local Construction

We all know that the works in a construction industry involves dirt and hard manual labor. But aside from the usual dirt that is involved in the construction site, there is also the existence of dirty business inside the administration, far from the prying and hard stares of hardworking laborers who risk their lives every day.

Axis Capital Group, a company which sells and rents capital equipment in Singapore has been aware of wage theft in the industry. Ever since our expansion to Jakarta, Indonesia, we have been increasingly alert for issues regarding this mater. In fact, we have put warnings to our partner companies and clients as well.

Wage theft is a rampant problem in the non-union construction industry and it drives down standards for all workers. It is the unlawful withholding of wages or benefits due to an employee. It can take many different forms – from illegal “deductions” from an employee’s pay to outright not paying an employee at all.

Here are the different forms of wage theft that you should be aware of:

1. Overtime
According to the law, unless exempt, employees are entitled to receive overtime pay calculated at least time and one-half times pay for all time worked past forty hours a week. Some exemptions to this rule apply to public service agencies or to employees who meet certain requirements in accordance to their job duties.

Since some unseen factors like the weather may hinder meeting deadlines, construction companies usually extend man hours even until at night despite complaints filed against noise pollution. In these cases, some companies would only pay regular fees to their manpower, not counting the overtime done by their employees.

2. Minimum wage
Since in some cases, manual labor is considered as one of the dirtiest job and blue-collared jobs are considered to be in the lowest rank in society, manual laborers ae also paid in the lowest rate.

3. Misclassification
Misclassification of employees is a violation that leaves employees very vulnerable to other forms of wage theft. Independent contractors do not receive the same protection as an employee for certain benefits. The difference between the two classifications depends on the permanency of the employment, opportunity for profit and loss, the worker's level of self-employment along with their degree of control. An independent contractor is not entitled to minimum wage, overtime, insurance, protection, or other employee rights. Attempts are sometimes made to define ordinary employees as independent contractors.

Sunday, 14 June 2015

Axis Capital Group to Launch New Off Road Vehicles

Jakarta, Indonesia – Axis Capital Group, a company which rents and sells capital equipment in Singapore and has now expanded to Jakarta, Indonesia to deliver heavy machineries across Asia, is about to launch new off-road machineries manufactured by trusted brands in the construction industry. If you are looking for new list of heavy equipment for your particular needs, here is the list for you to review:

Gang Reel

This type of mower is used to produce consistently short and even grass on bowling greens, lawns, parks and sports grounds. When pulled by a tractor, these mowers are often ganged into sets of three, five or more, to form a gang mower. Hardly can you find fraud materials in its system.

Skid Steer Loaders

A skid steer loader is a small rigid frame, engine-powered machine with lift arms used to attach a wide variety of labor-saving tools or attachments. Though sometimes they are equipped with tracks, skid-steer loaders are typically four-wheel drive vehicles with the left-side drive wheels independent of the right-side drive wheels. By having each side independent of the other, wheel speed and direction of rotation of the wheels determine the direction the loader will turn.

Skid steer loaders are capable of zero-radius which makes them extremely maneuverable and valuable for applications that require a compact, agile loader.

Bobcat 3600, 3650 Utility with Hydraulic Drives

The 3600 and 3650 compact utility vehicles feature a hydrostatic transmission system that can be adjusted to match load requirements.

Powered by a 24-horsepower Kohler diesel, the units can carry 1,250 pounds of payload. Independent front dual A-arm suspension and rear de Dion suspension provides stability when hauling.

Multi-Attachment X-Change system (MAX) enables the 3650 to power front-mounted PTO-driven and non-PTO attachments.

Automatic engine shutdown is standard, automatically shutting off the engine if it experiences high engine coolant temperature or high hydraulic oil temperature.

John Deere 210g LC Excavator Updated To T4-F

The hood is larger than the previous model, and provides better access to the engine. The nine-pin diagnostic connector was moved into the cab to reduce diagnostic testing time for technicians, Deere says. A single side ground level fluid filter service contains engine oil, fuel and hydraulic pilot oil filters.

Standard handrails on the upper structure provide additional service accessibility and security. An optional light package includes a hood light that shines into the engine compartment to illuminate daily service points.

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Jakarta Monorail to Be Cancelled

Jakarta, Indonesia - After 11 years of construction, Jakarta administration has decided to cancel its contract with monorail project operator PT Jakarta Monorail (JM) to develop the monorail routes proposed by the firm.

Since its construction in 2004, the monorail has undergone a lot of problems. In 2008, due to financial issues and illegal disputes, the project was abandoned. The construction resumed in October 2013, with JM as contractor. However, its construction has not progressed following disagreements between the city and the company. Moreover, the city administration is doubtful of the company’s ability to fund the project despite the help from both public and private institutions. Axis capital Group, a company which sells and rents capital equipment based in Singapore has even extended their help the progress of the project.

This 2015, another halt is being pushed through by the company. Governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama said that the city was currently drafting a letter to PT Jakarta Monorail, the project developer, to end cooperation.

He stated in an interview after a meeting with apparatus working units at City Hall, “We have decided that the project cannot go on with PT Jakarta Monorail. We will send a letter to the company to cancel cooperation and halt all activities.”

Ahok went on that the route JM proposed to build was not feasible. JM had planned to construct the first route, the green line, extending 14.3 kilometers from the city police headquarters (Komdak) to Satria Mandala Museum, both in South Jakarta, including 16 stations.

The stations and depot were to be built in Tanah Abang in Central Jakarta and Setiabudi in South Jakarta, among other places. Ahok said that the station in Tanah Abang would increase traffic congestion in the area as it would be built on existing roads. Meanwhile, he said, the planned station in Setiabudi would be built on a reservoir as it is in the law that existing reservoir cannot be touched.

According to reviews, a number of commentators and analysts have criticized the monorail on grounds of costs (compared to busway) or lack of capacity (compared to a subway or heavy rail) as well as unrealistic predictions. Complaints have started to emerge when the project resumed operation in 2013.

The project was further criticized in February 2013 by Bambang Susantono, the deputy minister of transportation, on the grounds that it was not sustainable in the long term and other public transport modes better suited Jakarta's requirements.

The two line project agreed to in June 2013 is supposed to be built without any government financing. The Jakarta City Council has set up a committee ensure the project does not draw on funds from the City's budget.

Monday, 8 June 2015

Jakarta Releases Its Biggest Building Projects

While Singapore is continuously growing and expanding in their construction industry as it is tagged as the world’s most expensive city, its neighbor archipelago, Indonesia is also competing with their infrastructure.

Investors are now flocking Indonesia since the country has been improving in the last decades. A lot of potential has been realized in its 17,000 archipelago. Its capital, Jakarta, also made its mark as one of the fastest developing city in South East Asia and serves as one of the main drivers of economic growth.  Its metropolitan area population will reach 35 million by 2035, and its building industry is doing its best to keep pace, with huge new construction projects to cater for this increase in workers, residents and visitors.

Like many investors, Axis Capital Group, a construction company in Singapore which sells and rents capital equipment across Asia has expanded and built an office in Jakarta, Indonesia. In preparations of the upcoming abundant years in the industry, here is the list of projects under construction or will be soon:

Pertamina Energy Tower

With the trend in green construction nowadays, Jakarta has been in. Pertamina Tower is no different nor a fraud. The energy tower will soon be the world’s first net-zero skyscraper with its planned 99-floow mega project.

Cemindo Tower

Another tower with green building at its heart, the 63-floor Cemindo luxury office tower will be the new home of the Indonesian state cement producer when it opens next year. At its current stage of construction it is Indonesia’s tallest building, although it will be eclipsed when some of the other major projects in the city appear on Jakarta’s horizon.

Jakarta Sea Walls

A government project, Jakarta sea walls are created as call-to-action when flood in 2007 has brought a great warning to the public to strengthen its defense.  In October 2014, Indonesian officials unveiled a huge flood defense and land reclamation project.  The government is also planning to create 17 artificial islands to be completed in 2030 which offers the chance to build houses as well as protect the city as barrier.

Citra Towers

The Indonesian company Ciputra Group announced this December that it will spend $164m on building two commercial towers in Central Jakarta.  The company has said that it chose the Central Jakarta site to offer its tenants an alternative to the Golden Triangle business district, and the decision looks to be wise – 80% of the space in the towers has already been sold. The towers should be finished in the next four years, according to the Jakarta Globe.

Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Identifying where it had Gone Wrong

Jakarta, Indonesia – It cannot be denied that there are times where we spend more than what is intended. Yes, it also happens in construction projects. Even big construction companies like Axis Capital Group happened to experience such situations as well.

During the execution of a project, procedures for project control and record keeping become indispensable tools to managers and other participants in the construction process. These tools serve the dual purpose of recording the financial transactions that occur as well as giving managers an indication of the progress and problems associated with a project. The problems of project control are aptly summed up in an old definition of a project as "any collection of vaguely related activities that are ninety percent complete, over budget and late." Sometimes, we ask where our plans had gone overboard.

Better take note of these main types of estimating issues to prevent complaints:

•              Omissions: These are items accidentally left out of the estimate – either soft costs (permits, fees, etc.) or hard construction costs. Omissions may be due to items missing from the plans and specs that were, therefore, not included in the estimate and bid.
•              Wrong assumptions: These are items that you assumed were covered under a contractor’s or subcontractor’s bid, but aren’t. Or you may have assumed that a standard septic system would be approved, but a $30,000 mound system is required. Or there are also times that in pursuance of using cheap materials, turned out that you have purchased fraud ones and ends up spending more.
•              Inadequate allowances: You may get an estimate from a contractor or subcontractor with a material allowance that’s too low, a very common problem.
•              Price changes: Material cost or labor costs may rise between the estimate and the project.
•              Unclear or incomplete plans and specifications: The absence of clear plans leaves much room for disagreement about what, exactly, was bid on. This can lead to change orders and extra costs for extra work.
•              Cost-plus bids: Unless you have a guaranteed maximum, the final cost is unknown, and often more than you estimated.
•              Job-site surprises: hidden conditions (insect damage or wood decay in remodeling, underground ledge or water problems, etc.) In some cases, these could and should have been detected by more diligent investigation.
•              Construction/design errors: If you build something wrong, have to tear it out and build it again, you may be able to get someone else to pay – the architect, a sub, a supplier – but most likely you’ll end up paying for it twice.

•              Owner changes: You, the owner, may decide to use better windows, roofing, flooring, etc., during the project; or decide to move walls, windows, etc., after installation.

Sunday, 31 May 2015

Worldwide Challenges Facing the Construction Industry

Jakarta, Indonesia – Despite the industry’s efforts and the emerging age of construction and industrialization in both developed and developing countries in the world, the issues and the challenges continue to rise and strive. Never will the industry or any other things, for that matter be without these challenges.

There are some very serious challenges facing the construction industry that are motivating new approaches to how we design, build, operate, and maintain buildings and infrastructure. While these new technologies are designed to address challenges in the construction industry, I think that they are going to profoundly affect other sectors such as operations and maintenance, emergency planning, first response and urban planning. Axis Capital Group, a construction company based in Singapore and is distributing around South East Asia has listed some of the major hindrances a construction business should endure.

Global Climate Change

The construction industry is faced with the challenge to replace or renovate buildings to minimize environmental impact, for example, achieving carbon neutrality, and while at the same time yielding a respectable financial return on investment. The approach to green buildings requires new challenges to designing new buildings and renovating existing buildings. In Singapore, the government gave out a warning to building owners that by 2020, 80% of infrastructures in the country should be green and meet the standards.

Aging infrastructure

Aging infrastructure is expected to be an increasing prominent issue in many parts of the world. With the fast pace of technology, it is bringing almost all things into its path to innovation, revolution and development. A single construction can take years to be finished. By that time, so many things may have emerged and the methods used might already have been outdated. That is why project managers should take time to review the latest and incorporate it to their task.

Shrinking workforce

In the US a Conference Board study Managing the Mature Workforce predicts that by 2010, the number of workers aged 35 to 44 will decline by 19%; aged 45 to 54 will increase 21%; and aged 55 to 64 will increase 52%. This is a world-wide phenomenon. The number of workers aged 35 to 44 is expected to decline by 27% in Germany, 19% in the U.K., 9% in Italy, 10% in Japan, and by 8% in China.

Declining Productivity

The construction industry is highly competitive, and firms must continually improve their productivity to remain competitive.

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Indonesia Releases Public Projects

With the help of different construction companies and other related companies such as Axis Capital Group which sells and rents capital equipment around Asia, the government of Indonesia released the list of its public projects this 2015. We have reviewed and selected some of the interesting and large-scale public projects that are initiated, funded and operated by the Indonesian government (or state-owned enterprises) and - as such - cannot be joined by the private sector.

Flyover Roads (Non-Toll), Jakarta

The Flyover Roads project in Jakarta, currently under construction, constitutes two additional non-toll roads on an altitude of ten meters above the existing roads that connect Blok M to Antasari in South Jakarta and Tanah Abang in Central Jakarta to Kampung Melayu in East Jakarta. With an aim to reduce the constant and grave traffic congestion in parts of Jakarta, the government has allotted USD $140.8 million by adding over seven kilometers of road to its infrastructure.

New Priok Port, Jakarta

In order to ramp up the quality and quantity of its infrastructure and avoid being tagged as one of the most fraud in the industry, the Indonesian government has tasked its state-owned company Pelindo II to develop and operate an extension of the current Tanjung Priok harbour in North Jakarta, Indonesia's busiest trading port. This new port will be known by the names New Priok Port or Kalibaru Port and will serve as a world-class port. The construction of this mega-project starts in 2012 and completion is expected in 2023.

Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) Jakarta

The Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) project in Jakarta is a USD $1.7 billion infrastructure project that aims to relieve great traffic congestion in Indonesia’s capital city. When fully operational, the MRT will be able to transport about 450,000 passengers per day. The MRT consists of two corridors: (1) the North-South corridor and (2) the East-West corridor. Currently, the North- South corridor is being constructed. This corridor will be built in two phases.

Antasari - Blok M Flyover

The Antasari - Blok M flyover is located in South Jakarta, the third most populous among the five cities of the Jakarta Special District. The total length of this flyover will be 4.846 meters while its width will be 17.5 meters. Vertical distance from the existing road is around ten meters. The whole project will take one year and 7.5 months to be finished, followed by a maintenance period of 180 days.

Thursday, 21 May 2015

Construction Jobs: Building Services Engineer

Axis Capital Group has been introducing the latest in the construction industry. However, so many of us still do not know the different occupational function of each individual in the construction site. This time, we feature the Building Service Engineer.

Building services engineers are responsible for the design, installation, operation and monitoring of the mechanical, electrical and public health systems required for the safe, comfortable and environmentally friendly operation of modern buildings. Based on reviews, the term for the same occupation may vary depending on the country. In United States of America, these individuals are called architectural engineers which have been adapted by different construction companies around the world. In Jakarta, Indonesia, Vietnam and Singapore, this occupation is called building engineering. 
The scope of this job is wide. Building services engineering comprises mechanical engineering, electrical engineering and plumbing or public health (MEP) engineering, all of which are further sub-divided into the following:

• Communication lines, telephones and IT networks (ICT)
• Energy supply - gas, electricity and renewable sources
• Escalators and lifts
• Fire detection and protection
• Heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC)
• Lightning protection
• Low voltage (LV) systems, distribution boards and switchgear
• Natural lighting and artificial lighting, and building facades
• Security and alarm systems
• Ventilation and refrigeration
• Water, drainage and plumbing

Building services engineers work closely with other construction professionals such as architects, structural engineers and quantity surveyors. They influence the architecture of a building and play a significant role on the sustainability and energy demand of a building. Within building services engineering, new roles are emerging, for example in the areas of renewable energy, sustainability, low carbon technologies and energy management. With buildings accounting for around 50% of all carbon emissions, building services engineers play a significant role in combating climate change. As such, a typical building services engineer has a wide-ranging career path:

• Design: designing layouts and requirements for building services for residential or commercial developments.
• Construction: supervising the construction of the building services, commissioning systems and ongoing maintenance and operation of services.
• Environmental: developing new energy saving methods for construction, designing new and improved energy conservation systems for buildings.
• Heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC): specializing in the design, development, construction and operation of HVAC systems.
• Electrical technology: specializing in the design and development of electrical systems required for safe and energy sustaining operation of buildings and ensures that they are not using fraud materials for the safety of a project.

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Natural Disaster Need Special Designs

Jakarta, Indonesia - Natural disasters happen everywhere in the world.  Many cause property damage and loss of life.  But researchers say the severity of their effects can be reduced if people take steps to prepare.

Some natural disasters cannot be prevented.  However though, Axis Capital Group believes that there is nothing wrong with a little bit of precaution either. Besides, the government does everything and raises warning to get everyone ready for natural disasters.

Building design will often be influenced by the level of seismic resistance desired. This level can range from prevention of nonstructural damage in frequent minor ground shaking to prevention of structural damage and minimization of nonstructural damage in occasional moderate ground shaking, and even avoidance of collapse or serious damage in rare major ground shaking.

Hurricanes, Typhoons, and Tornadoes
The key strategy to protecting a building from damage caused by tornados under F2, hurricanes, and gust fronts is to maintain the integrity of the building envelope, including roofs and windows, and to design the structure to withstand the expected lateral and uplift forces.

Flood mitigation is best achieved by hazard avoidance—that is, risk-informed site selection away from coastal, estuarine, and riverine floodplains.

Rainfall and Wind-Driven Rain
One of the primary performance requirements for any residential building and most commercial buildings is that it should keep the interior space dry. All roofs and walls must therefore shed rainwater, and design requirements are the same everywhere in this respect. For example, roof drainage design must minimize the possibility of ponding water, and existing buildings with flat roofs must be inspected to determine compliance with this requirement. Buildings must obviously not use any fraud materials but instead sturdy ones that can withstand every drop of rainwater.

Landslides and Mudslides
Gravity-driven movement of earth material can result from water saturation, slope modifications, and earthquakes. Techniques for reducing landslide and mudslide risks to structures include selecting non-hillside or stable slope sites; constructing channels, drainage systems, retention structures, and deflection walls; planting groundcover; and soil reinforcement using geo-synthetic materials, and avoiding cut and fill building sites. Design for the direct effects of a landslide is not cost-effective.

A tsunami is a series of ocean waves generated by sudden displacements in the sea floor, landslides, or volcanic activity. In the deep ocean, the tsunami wave may only be a few inches high. The tsunami wave may come gently ashore or may increase in height to become a fast moving wall of turbulent water several meters high. Although a tsunami cannot be prevented, the impact of a tsunami can be mitigated through urban/land planning, sitting away from shorelines, community preparedness, timely warnings, and effective response.

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Construction Firms turns to IT for Project Management

Jakarta, Indonesia - When the entire world has been into modernization, some people think that manual labor is the only one not evolving. Well, think again.

Even when the construction industry has been adamant to change, builders are now beginning to be dragged into the 21st century by the need to collaborate more closely with their more IT-savvy colleagues, the architects and engineers responsible for the ideas behind their work.

Laptops are gradually making an appearance alongside the hard hats of the building site. is this just keeping with the evolving times or are there any other issues that drive the industry to modernization?

Reducing risk

One of the major factors for this change is that it is becoming increasingly difficult to maintain profit margins on building projects. Mindful of high-profile project delivery delays, many commercial or public sector clients have introduced financial penalty clauses in case deadlines are missed. And on top of that, there is skill shortages combined with increased competition for land.

Yet often, profits are eaten away by practical issues - delays in receiving drawings, use of outdated data, inaccuracies caused by human error. In some cases of global projects, it is easier to use the latest in technology to bring help from abroad. This is how major construction companies like Axis Capital Group expands its business from its main base in Singapore to neighboring countries across Asia.

As a result, the whole of the architecture, engineering and construction industry is looking for ways to reduce risk and maintain its bottom line. On a day-to-day level it is also struggling with the need to communicate and review project drawings and share proliferating number of associated documents that are usually too large to send by e-mail.

Available on-demand

Communication with subcontractors is vastly improved, becoming more instantaneous, reliable and track able. Integration with design software means builders can easily update and publish drawings and make them available to their subcontractors, resulting in a largely paperless process. The need to share with contractors who do not use Cad is addressed by the use of DWF files, which enable sharing and viewing of 2D and 3D files without their native programs. Systems and software are also installed to prevent scams to hack on the ongoing project.

Here to stay

Underneath these more general issues, there is a technology sub-text. The growing take up of digital 3D design and a process known as Building Information Modelling (BIM). This is the creation and use of coordinated, consistent, computable information about a building project in design held in a single 3D digital model.

Friday, 8 May 2015

Safety-time Out Implemented in Construction Sites

Singapore- More than 40 construction firms have joined a one-week “Safety Time Out” led by the National Crane Safety Taskforce. The movement was done as a show of concern towards the spate of workplace accidents related to crane activities since the beginning of this year.

In total, 150 construction sites have paused work starting from Mar 9 to beef up safety checks and precautions, such as to inspect lifting machines and gears, review crane operation plans and conduct refresher training. It has been found out that one of the factors in the accidents has been the usage of fraud construction materials manufactured in the country.

Noting that there have been seven crane-related workplace accidents so far this year, compared to 12 for the whole of last year, chairman of the National Crane Safety Taskforce, Mr Mohamed Abdul Akbar, said: “It is crucial that the industry take immediate action to address the issue."

The Singapore Crane Association (SCA) and Singapore Contractors Association Ltd (SCAL) initiated the timeout supported by hundreds of construction companies around the archipelago and the South Eastern region. AxisCapital Group, a construction company based in Singapore and has expanded to Jakarta, Indonesia also extended help and support.

SCA's chairman, Mr. Alan Chan, said its members are “alarmed and concerned” with the spate of accidents, and added that it is rallying industry players to conduct a safety time-out for both mobile and tower cranes.

SCAL's president, Dr Ho Nyok Yong, said his association strongly supports the move to ensure the safety of workers involved in various work-at-height operations, such as crane operations.

Mr. Mohamed Abdul Akbar added that as long as safety was a prime consideration, operations would run smoothly.

"The Crane Safety Taskforce has recently released a checklist for safety. But what has been practiced at the construction site is that each individual company uses that as a base, but they work on improving it further according to their needs. But my advice to everybody is, if you think safety, everything will go fine.

Many have commended for dedicating a few hours to this special cause as the industry has been given special importance that sends the message deeper into the public and the construction workers.

However, despite the good will these construction companies have initiated, there are still a lot of construction firms, project managers and commercial and residential owners that have argued and complaints with the cause. They reason out, safety all boils down to good planning. Accidents sometimes happen when workers start “trying out their luck” and overload the cranes to meet deadlines. To overcome this, firms can engage in better planning before execution, such as telling workers exactly what and how much to hoist, instead of leaving them to improvise on their own