University of Twente Student Theses


Recommendations to Scale up the Use of Intelligent Compaction Technology among Roller Operators in the Netherlands

Alasadi, Wael (2023) Recommendations to Scale up the Use of Intelligent Compaction Technology among Roller Operators in the Netherlands.

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Abstract:The use of technology in daily life and various fields could be seen as a necessity nowadays. The use of technology could enhance work efficiency and provide large benefits for the users. However, the construction industry is a slow adopter of new technologies. The work process in the construction sector is still dependent on tradition and custom. This research thesis intends to focus on the use of one of the technologies in construction, specifically in road construction. This technology is the Intelligent Compaction (IC) which functions as an operation support system for roller operators in the compaction process of asphalt. The technology scans the road and provides roller operators with real-time temperature measurements. Additionally, the technology tracks the movement of the roller and, by assigning different colours to different numbers of passes, aids the roller operator in determining if the entire area is compacted as well as the number of passes. Research has shown that roller operators occasionally tend to ignore intelligent compaction technology or even turn it off while they perform their tasks. The majority of pavement roller operators confess that they still hardly use IC technology during pavement. Further, no studies have been found that investigate the issue of lack of IC technology from roller operators' perspective in a structured scientific way. Therefore, this research thesis seeks to address the lack of use of IC technology from the operator's perspective and aims to offer recommendations that could scale up the use of this technology among roller operators in the Netherlands. This study could investigate the barriers roller operators face in their daily use of IC technology by developing a research method that consists of technological and social criteria. Roller operators could give their points of view on the criteria of the research method by filling in a survey form. The survey was filled out by 43 roller operators from three construction companies. These companies are BAM, KWS and Heijmans. Further, a more in-depth investigation of the barriers, the reasons behind these barriers and the possible solutions for these barriers is accomplished through sixteen interviews with roller operators within the mentioned companies. The survey and interview results are validated internally by the roller operators and externally by validation experts. The results of this study have shown that the lack of knowledge of roller operators about the support IC technology can offer, the lack of trust in the information provided by IC technology and the lack of communication between the management and roller operators on the data registered by IC technology are among the barriers causing less use of IC technology by roller operators. Moreover, the lack of training, the limitation of IC technology and the dis transparency of the management on the registered data by IC technology are among the barrier’s originators. The indicated barriers could be solved by multiple interventions such as comprehensive training provided to roller operators, using available technology advancement to solve the technology limitations, and promoting communication between the management and roller operators. Furthermore, results have shown that roller operators are more dissatisfied with the social aspects than the technological aspects concerning the use of IC technology. This highlights the fact that IC technology is not introduced to roller operators in a satisfactory manner. In addition, results have shown that young roller operators who have up to ten years of experience are more open to the use of IC technology in their daily work. This could be related to the fact that the younger generation is more familiar with using technology in daily life. Solving technical issues, making the training obligatory for roller operators, and communicating the registered data by IC systems regularly with roller operators are among the recommendations that could scale up the use of IC technology by roller operators. Overall, improving the system's features and addressing operators' concerns could lead to higher acceptance and use of IC systems by roller operators.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:ET: Engineering Technology
Subject:56 civil engineering
Programme:Civil Engineering and Management MSc (60026)
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