Construction is having its automation moment. But for those outside the industry – and many within it – there’s little understanding of what kind of robotics and autonomous vehicles are actually being used to make homes and warehouses in a quicker, cheaper, and more efficient fashion. But this world is fascinating – and it’s growing fast. As such, whether you’re within the industry or a curious outside observer, here’s a quick introduction to how advanced construction technology is bringing about changes on sites across the world.
When you’re working on a large construction job, vehicles are your most prized asset. You use them to transport materials to the site. You use them to get waste from the site. Vehicles help transport items around the site itself, as well as playing a vital role in excavating for foundations and dozing mud to flatten the site’s surface. All of these vehicles, one by one, are now being automated.
This is being achieved by the kind of self-driving technology that’s only just starting to reach our public roads. But it’s easier to program a bulldozer or a digger than it is a car on the roads: they work in a far more confined area and, even though some of them are seriously big machines, they can be easily programmed to be both safe and efficient in their work. Expect to spot one of these awesome new machines on a site near you in the coming months.
Power tools usually have a human hand on the end of them to direct their movement and to skillfully ensure that they’re fulfilling their expected function. But as we know from the world of manufacturing, the human touch isn’t necessary anymore to produce high-quality and reliable goods. And so it is with the tools regularly used on-site.
One of the most impressive automated tools for builders is the automatic welding machine. Check online for automatic welders – used for flooring and roofing especially – and you’ll see these can now be programmed to weld solo without human oversight. This saves on labor costs, but, importantly, automatic welders actually do a better job than their human counterparts, too.
Finally, no construction site would make much sense without a detailed set of plans that the managers and overseers are constantly referencing when they round the site making checks. These blueprints are already accessible via laptops and tablets, but now the advanced imaging build by software companies is providing unprecedented assistance for builders across the world.
By using advanced virtual imaging programs, site managers are able to understand and review the progress of on-site work far better and with greater granularity and clarity. Each area of the build can be broken down into its constituent parts, with data readily available to compare against the real world. This technology is set to save hundreds of hours across each site – a significant sum of time and money for large construction firms.
The wonderful world of construction technology is now well and truly being realized on-site – something for the layman to wonder about and the expert to invest in today.