The building and construction segment is one of the largest in the world. Despite its enormous potential, it’s struggling with a shortage of skilled workers. The sector is also marred by weak production and a slow growth rate. The construction industry is the least digitized hence its poor performance.
However, different companies are taking an interest in the automation of this industry to shape it up. There are a variety of changes which are associated with the industrialization taking place. The industry is projected to be significant in the next few years. So, how is automation shaping the construction industry?
The Use of Autonomous Equipment
Some of the heavy machinery and equipment used in the industry are currently automated. The machines replicate and can work in dangerous zones. Such zones put the lives of human employees at risk of death or injury.
Autonomous trucks are used to carry heavy loads to development sites and are remotely controlled. They can effectively work on steep tracks or rocky regions where the heavy truck can easily roll-over. Komatsu is taking an interest in the development of autonomous dozer, which can aid in working in dangerous zones.
They can be controlled remotely, which makes them efficient and lowers the exposure of employees to injuries in such zones.
Orange cones are also becoming autonomous to help improve the safety of workers. Orange cones are used to redirect traffic from construction projects. They can also be used to mark out construction site where there are risks of falling objects that can injure passers-by.
Initially, workers would hang from a truck and place the cones around the construction sites. Automated vehicles are currently being used to place the orange cones around the site. Also, some cones have GPS trackers, and a site manager can see the location of the cones.
The Introduction of Drones
Drones are also currently common in the construction industry. They are popular in monitoring sites and even site inspections. The use of drones cuts a lot of time which can be used by a worker in inspecting sites and also carrying out checks. It might take a whole day if the project is significant.
Drones are perfect for conducting inspections since it takes less time compared to a human. They can also be used to monitor sites ensuring that employees work in controlled and safe zones. They can analyze the safety measures and even precautions put in place.
A single drone takes the job of several inspectors. Therefore, the cost of development is usually lower for sites using drones.
Drones are used to do inventory management. Surveyors use GPS coordinates, which can carry out a cross-section analysis on buildings. The introduction of drones made their work easier. It has a camera, and laser which can take the measurements and update the inventory. It lowers the time taken to analyze the progress of a project.
Robotics and Safety Sensors
Robots are also in construction sites and can do all that a human being can do. They can work in all dangerous positions and are helping in improving productivity in construction. Robots minimize injuries and can be used to assist workers by lifting heavy objects.
Currently, most companies are using sensors to monitor their buildings. There are sensors used to detect the weight difference in the construction and also tremor sensors. Why is it essential for developers to use sensors?
Sensors can tell one if there is a change in position of the building. They can also detect any shocks that the building experiences from machinery vibrations. Therefore, its easier to guarantee the safety of your site workers.
Simulation and Prefabrication
Most companies are using simulation software to present projects to potential clients and investors. Simulations give a replica of the real object on the ground. Simulation tests can be carried out on a building to identify the weaknesses and areas where more work is necessary.
Prefabricate construction is currently on the rise. The materials come in precise measurements, and it reduces wastage. There are minimal chances of errors in prefabrication. Since there is a shortage of workers, prefabricating homes lowers the need for skilled workers.
Construction automation is proving to be very productive and addressing the issue of shortage of workers. Companies using automated construction techniques are getting higher profits. They can also develop more units in a short duration. Automation in construction is growing, and in a few years, the changes will be significant.