The construction sector has an unlimited level of potential that is waiting to be tapped into. With many construction companies looking to innovate, they are finding outside-the-box answers to industry-wide questions. Automation is one of the new approaches firms are using to tackle some of the pressing problems construction is facing.
Namely, this includes a severe shortage of skilled workers, which in turn leads to weak productivity growth and sector advancement. With many research reports now illustrating that the industry produces a huge amount of waste, both in terms of human productivity and physical materials, technology is the only logical way to prevent this.
Construction is one of the least digital and technologically savvy industries out there. It has failed to improve upon worker productivity as construction is now being surpassed in this field by industries such as retail, finance and agriculture.
Through fully utilizing and adopting automation in all its capacity, construction may be able to curtail one of the primary reasons behind the industry’s poor performance and tap into the huge amount of industry potential it has.
One way that construction companies are beginning to tackle the industry-wide labor shortage is through using more autonomous equipment. These pieces of equipment and tools are becoming highly specialized as these innovations could help revolutionize the sector if their use becomes widespread.
Volvo is already deploying electric and autonomous quarry vehicles as a way to cut back on wasted labor as well as carbon emissions. This successful usage of intelligent machinery could have wide, transformative capabilities for quarries, but the ripple effect could be felt across the entire construction industry as autonomous vehicles become more and more prevalent.
Trimble has the bold tagline of "Transforming the way the world works," but with its innovative software and Global Navigation Satellite Systems, they may be able to transform how construction works.
The company is already producing excavators which when paired with their software can save time and reduce costs substantially. By integrating this with machinery as well as their unique laser functions, Trimble is allowing operators to work efficiently. If this continues and sees success, the company’s futuristic approach and bold claims may quickly be realized.
Heavy machine workers such as excavator operators or articulated truck and bulldozer drivers often have to contend with poor visibility, unstable ground and difficult working conditions. By taking the driver out of the cab and letting them operate their vehicle via a remote control, it helps alleviate these issues.
This allows workers to exit their vehicle when visibility becomes impaired giving them a better view and wider depth perception of the entire working site. This is also critical when people are working in dangerous conditions, on uneven ground or around potentially toxic materials as remote control lets them work at a safe distance.
Trimble is again involved in this industry shift as they also offer software that allows remote drilling and piling operations. These machines aim to remove personnel from the operation process whilst still being able to drill safely and precisely.
Ultimately, remote control operating systems and machines can improve both site safety and productivity. The number of workers in close proximity to dangerous equipment and situations is reduced enormously and these machines can run permanently in bad conditions. This decreases any delays or stoppages caused by poor visibility or bad weather reducing schedule duration and therefore overall costs.