Mace, a world leader in international construction, approached Chat-Com to recommend the best two-way radio for construction. Mace had a challenge to ensure every team could communicate across the 4km² area, for both general day-to-day communications and during emergency situations. In Spring 2016, Chat-Com embarked on a two-way radio roll out at a major project site in Europe.
The work included identifying the key features required for this particular project and erecting temporary masts, rolling out communications across a number of teams and delivering extensive training. The project was delivered ahead of schedule.
Client requirement: reliable communications across a large site and multiple teams
Mace was the lead contractor on a new project, responsible for over 1500 workers and over 20 contractors at the height of construction. In the initial phase, Mace required a two-way communications solution that could be erected quickly (with minimal infrastructure) and scaled up as the project grew. It also needed to:
- Incorporate a lone working solution
- Include an emergency broadcast / emergency call-out option
- Cover an area of 4km2
- Be robust enough to tolerate adverse weather conditions and dusty environments
- Be easy to use
- Be highly robust and reliable
Our approach relies on close collaboration with a client. We worked with Mace to get a deeper understanding not only of what they were looking for at each stage of the project but also of how they work on site. In order to establish a consistent quality of delivery, it was essential for Chat-Com to encompass a holistic overview of the specific type of work and worker involved on the project.
On this particular project, schedules were tighter than usual to deliver a mission-critical communications solution. A highly reliable, robust system was required to ensure there were no issues with any of the devices to eliminate the possibility of downtime.
Our recommended solution
Our work was staggered over two main phases.
The first phase was to put the infrastructure in place for the two-way radio system. A temporary, telescopic mast was erected which was a freestanding, extendable and easily moved when required. The location for the mast was next to temporary portacabins which would ultimately be replaced during phase two.
The first roll out of devices in phase one was to twenty key workers. During phase two, the site accommodation was upgraded as scheduled and the process of removing the temporary portacabins and replacing them with a permanent structure resulted in the relocation of the telescopic mast.
This relocation coincided with the transition from a small-scale rollout to multiple radios, covering different areas of expertise. Thirty two separate communication channels were made available for various teams working on different aspects of the project to enable team communications as appropriate.
The Technical Specifications
The new fixed-site building housed an infrastructure room where the mast could be re-housed alongside the repeater (signal booster) which was professionally rack mounted in a secure cabinet, with battery back-up and dual resilience.
Group training & demystifying the technology
Whilst we specialise in high-end technology, we speak in a language that our clients understand, and such a mass roll out necessitated some group training to ensure each worker issued with a radio was familiar and comfortable using the basic functionality of the device as well as the inbuilt health and safety features, such as ‘lone worker’ and ‘panic button’.
Conclusion and Evolution
Chat-Com identified the most suitable devices to meet Mace’s needs on this project and implemented the two-phase rollout ahead of schedule.
As with any major project, Mace experienced a high number of ongoing training needs, and our ability to be flexible with training and hardware needs was of paramount importance. Chat-Com customer support ensured that products were serviced and repaired to reduce any complications and ensure minimal downtime.
Four years later, the system continues to evolve with the requirements of the customer, by increasing capacity and amending communication pathways as contractors change through the lifetime of the project.