IoT tech set to reduce concrete on HS2

A start-up using Internet of Things technology is set to reduce the amount of concrete on HS2.

Cloud Cycle’s quality-assessing sensor is fitted outside a cement truck’s drum that is linked with monitoring technology to reduce the time from batching to delivery. The prompt and timely delivery of wet concrete from production site to building site is important to maintain its quality because delay can reduce its suitability and lead to waste.

With a £835,000 grant jointly funded by HS2 Ltd and Innovate UK, Cloud Cycle will be able to integrate its technology with digital engineering to avoid over-production of concrete. This is expected to reduce the amount of concrete used on the Phase One route between London and the West Midlands by 420,000 tonnes, cutting carbon dioxide production by 50,000 tonnes.

Cloud Cycle is part of HS2’s Innovation Accelerator programme.

Phil White, Cloud Cycle co-founder, explained the concept: “I spent 15 years in construction and was always aware of over-ordering of concrete or trucks arriving with it set beyond specification, which causes operational problems that drive more waste to occur. Nobody was really solving this at scale, so that’s when my co-founder and I decided to dive into the problem – and Cloud Cycle was born.

“The Accelerator has catapulted us into the future. We’ve moved from only working with ready mix providers to securing pilots with major JVs on HS2. We always knew that our technology would provide huge value through the whole supply chain and thanks to HS2 and Innovate UK we can now prove its worth faster than we could ever have thought possible.” 

HS2 head of innovation Howard Mitchell said: “This new funding for Cloud Cycle creates the potential to really benefit the HS2 Phase One programme by significantly reducing concrete waste. They are a small company and this funding will be pretty transformative to them as it secures their business for the next year and beyond. I’m delighted that HS2, working with Innovate UK, will continue to support Cloud Cycle’s growth following their time on the accelerator.”

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