Automation has arrived on construction sites. Of course, there will always be the need for overseers and specialist tradespeople, but there are certain laborious and repetitive jobs that are now better performed by machines rather than humans, freeing up your labor force for those trickier, more dextrous jobs. In this article, you’ll learn which forms of automation it might be worth investing in for your next big construction job – and what you could be set to gain by leaning into the automation revolution taking place in the world of construction and manufacturing.
New-builds require excavation. A lot of it. You’ll know just how time-consuming this can be, with the rest of your team waiting on one or two excavation vehicles – and their drivers – to clear the ground for utility installation and foundation laying. While the technology here still has some way to go to reach perfection, it has most certainly arrived. Quicker, more diligent autonomous excavators are already on building sites across the US, and there’s no reason why your next upgrade shouldn’t involve purchasing an autonomous vehicle that you can set to work on your site without paying for skilled excavation labor.
Nearly every construction job you can possibly imagine will involve some form of welding. In high-rise buildings, metal is regularly welded to improve structural integrity. In insulation, the materials involved must be welded together in order to remove any possible gaps that would compromise its efficacy. And this takes time and significant, skilled labor to perform. Or rather, it did. With the rise of automatic welding machines, humans no longer have to perform this repetitive task – robotic welders, which move gently across materials on their own, are now widespread on the market, saving you plenty of time on jobs.
Yes, we’ve already covered the excavator. But that type of vehicle is fairly static and works a little like the programs currently used in autonomous tractors: you set the limits of their work via “geofencing”, and they dutifully fulfill your order without spilling into next door’s garden. But self-driving construction vehicles of all kinds are now entering the market – from dozers to tippers and from trucks to buggies that carry tools and materials to workers. All of these are becoming more advanced by the year, and it’s worth keeping an eye on this market if you’re looking to modernize your construction firm.
Masonry and Concrete
Laying bricks and fixing concrete are both age-old construction skills. But they’re some of the most likely to be replaced by the new range of robotic workers, many of which are already on the market in some capacity. These handy robotic arms produce perfect walls without wasting time or materials, while those that work with cement mix pour and level cement surfaces and objects far quicker than humans. The machines themselves are expensive, but take one for a test drive, and you’ll see why they’re vaunted as the future of masonry and concreting.
Construction is entering the autonomous age. Use these ideas to take your firm into it, too – making your firm more efficient and profitable in the long run.