The age of technology has long begun, and it has brought numerous innovations to improve the lives of many. Many gadgets, devices, and even digital applications have made operations more efficient for a lot of industries. However, what does the age of technology have for the construction industry? So far, there are improved hoist equipment, better construction machinery designs, enhanced safety equipment, and more.
Although these are great improvements for the industry, some are exploring the idea of automated technology for construction. Considering the labor shortage that the industry has been suffering for quite some time— automated technology may sound appealing to some companies.
Opportunities for Computerized Hoist Equipment Operation and Other Construction Automations
There is a high chance that automation can increase productivity and efficiency in construction projects. It can assist construction workers in their tasks and allow them to focus on other important aspects of the project. Although automation can help in many ways, it may seem like a threat for some professionals in the construction workforce.
Some may see automation as a threat because of the idea that it can take their jobs. Automation also means that construction workers need to advance their skillsets and learn technology including digital manipulation of hoist equipment.
Here are the three main areas for construction automation opportunities:
There are numerous physically straining tasks on a construction site that automated machines can handle in the future. For instance, laying bricks, paving roads, or even operating hoist equipment on site. However, there is still a lot of research that needs to be done before machines can fully take over a seasoned skilled worker.
Even today, modular construction is gaining attention and popularity. It is known for its sustainable and quick construction process. But of course, the process can be faster with the help of automated technology. Construction workers still need to manually work on each piece of “module” in a controlled environment or factory. Not to mention, the management of hoist equipment still needs human supervision.
For instance, 3D printing can possibly assist in the creation of each element needed for a structure. The process of 3D printing buildings could become entirely automated someday.
Office and Planning Procedures
There are already tools for improving office effectiveness and efficiency. In fact, other industries are ahead in terms of digitizing their operations. However, the construction industry has also begun the process of digitizing starting with planning and management.
The idea is to allow Artificial Intelligence (AI) to create the design and identify key issues before moving the project to the site. Since the automated process will perfect the plan, greater efficiency is expected for the onsite execution.
Construction Automated Technology and Labor Shortage
Automated technology has the potential to help with the current labor shortage in the industry since it is expected to take over some of the tasks on site. It is also expected to increase productivity and reduce mistakes. Although some people believe that the automation of construction work can possibly lower wages, which is not an entirely incorrect assumption.
Once automation is available for onsite projects, jobs that require repetitive tasks will be less in demand which will cause slower growth in wages. However, these advancements in technology can create new jobs and allow wages to rise for workers with advanced skills.
At the End of the Day
The construction industry is facing many challenges from labor shortages, worker safety, environmental regulations, hoist equipment supply, and more. Automation can possibly help resolve the shortage in manpower and improve productivity within the industry.
However, the industry is not ready to make that big leap yet since it has barely caught up to other industries when it comes to the digitalization of operations. On top of that, a lot of research still needs to be done to ensure the safety of each automated tech on the construction site.
Although a lot of machines like hoist equipment, and innovations have made their way in routine-based settings like factories and offices, the construction site is highly unpredictable. On top of that, there are some construction tasks that are very complex for current robotic technology. There need to be more studies and scientific models on this before a fully automatic management system is created for the construction industry.
There is definitely a long road ahead for a fully automated construction process including hoist equipment manipulation.