The implementation of robotics in the construction industry is a recent development, not without its resistance and hiccups. With the obvious benefit of efficiency brought by automation – which would certainly benefit jobsites with concrete form rentals – robotics certainly will play a crucial role in the future of construction.
However, from 2005 to 2015, the construction industry saw an average YoY growth in digitalization and productivity by just 4%, highlighting it as one of the lowest industries with these markers. This fact, paired with the nearly 200,000 U.S. construction jobs that were unfulfilled in February 2017, signifies the perfect storm for the dissemination of robotics on the horizon.
It is extremely likely that this shortage of workers will to lead to an increase in robotics utilized on the jobsite. As to what role these robotic automations will fill – time will only tell.
Keep reading to learn five benefits that the construction industry is already experiencing as a result of increased automation:
1. Safer Workplaces
A major benefit of robots and automated processes is that they can do jobs once deemed risky or dangerous. Many tasks that often included assembly-line dangers to the health and safety of workers have already been entrusted to machine automation, much to the benefit of worker’s who lives previously were in danger.
Robotic innovation can also help prevent certain job-related injuries by ensuring the structural and environmental integrity of the jobsite through risk assessment and other programs. While construction workers will still have to ‘keep an eye out’ for dangerous developments on the jobsite, having the backup plan of an automated system alerting them of dangers and risks will saves lives and improve the morale and quality of worksites.
2. Increased Efficiency
An obvious benefit that automation and robotics brings is an increase in efficiency, especially on repetitive tasks, such as those on the assembly line. Robotics can (and already has in many cases) step in and complete what were once monotonous tasks, allowing for the allocation of workers to other more demanding roles on the jobsite. By increasing workplace efficiency, robotics benefit construction companies, as well as workers, by shortening workdays and allowing for a more predictable work schedule.
Innovations such as exoskeletons and VR (virtual reality) glasses are utilized by construction workers, and directly affect how they interact with the jobsite around them. Bionics such as exoskeletons will allow workers to lift an immense amount of weight, and freely walk the dangerous worksite, without fear of injury or fatigue. VR will allow for an easy maneuverable worksite, where prompts and instructions appear digitally in front of those wearing the appropriate goggles or glasses.
4. Lower Operating Costs
The safer, more efficient workplaces that have embraced robotics and automation almost always experience lower operating costs in the long-run. This savings is thanks to money saved from injury-related costs and counter-measures, extra pay for workers assigned to assembly-line tasks, and longer job timetables as a result of inefficient work.
Lower operating costs mean construction companies can invest further in their employees, their equipment, and scale. High productivity and efficiency typically comes before expansion and growth, and surely as more construction companies embrace robotics and automation, this benefit will be experienced on a larger scale.
5. Logistics and Management
In addition to a safe, efficient, and productive workplace, robotic innovation ensures the logistical and operational integrity of the workplace through artificial intelligence and related software.
Thanks to the spread of robotics, jobsites can be setup to act as a nexus of information – relayed by workers via mobile devices – to alert foremen of delays and risks. These are then fed into a program to calculate appropriate measures, as well as the predicted outcome and timeframe for completion.
Such AI programs can also identify ways to speed up and improve the jobsite operation. Currently, further innovations are being made in this regard, with more to come in the near future.
At Forming America, we specialize in Symons concrete forms systems and accessories, and also handle other types and brands of equipment, including European crane set clamp forms, residential forms, heavy-duty shoring and scaffolding, and used plywood. Call us today at 1-888-993-1304 or contact us to learn more.