A theme that interwoven throughout the September issue of PMV Middle East — though explicitly unspoken — is the topic of connectivity, and the rising degree to which plant, machinery and vehicles not only connect with telematics servers in the cloud, but with each other.

The cover-feature discussion about the rise of cloud-based services aggregation platforms for the GCC transport segment counts — for one — but there are also a myriad other ways in which the industry is becoming more intelligent, and enacting methodologies that bolster efficiency.

In the Q&A with Chicago Pneumatic, one of the impulses behind the growing sales of LED equipped on-site lighting towers is the benefits they yield in terms of a reduced energy bill, or — in the case of diesel powered units — fuel costs.

But this simple relationship also points to a further shifting dynamic in on-site plant — and that is for ever greater numbers of compressor or lighting units to be connected up to ever dwindling numbers of on-site generators.

In many segments, the drive towards greater efficiency is itself being driven by a broad range of benefits that can only be harnessed through the greater integration of all the various items of plant, machinery and vehicles on-site within the context of an altogether more holistic paradigm.

A lighting tower is no longer just a lighting tower illuminating a dank corner of the project site: a lighting tower is but a cog in the wheel of the overall lighting plan of the fleet manager.

Cost efficiencies are not singular; they are collective, and the benefits that can be derived from more efficient equipment are often only fully appreciated when viewed at a distance.

Generators themselves are also, of course, increasingly connected in parallel — allowing large numbers of modestly powered models to collectively provide all the necessary for large projects sites — but with the ability to vary, or downtick, the output at any time. This discards the risk previously associated with having large, fixed-capacity on-site generators, which might otherwise fall foul of the risks associated with being run under capacity during low demand.

While I digress, the big interview with Rohan Saldanha, of Auger Torque similarly points to a future where construction fleets are more multi-functional, harbour less excessive redundancy, and perform, more generally, at a higher level.

The fleets of the future will undoubtedly be highly modular, adaptive and connected.