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Automation in Construction – The Future Ahead


Today the world is getting digital. The construction site is changing quickly. Tech start-ups are inventing self-driving bulldozers, bricklaying robots and survey drones to assist the construction industry and boost speed, productivity and most importantly safety. The main reason behind the development in the construction industry is the struggles to get enough experienced workers.

Automation Is Modernizing the Construction Industry

Today, automation is revolutionizing the auto industry. In 1961, the robots started replacing humans on assembly lines at the time General Motors fitted the first robotic arm. Robotic solutions in automobile manufacturing have led to improvements and production levels construction industries never thought of. Today, robots are not just limited to assembling parts; rather they are capable of doing painting, casting, welding and much more. The 60’s and 70’s may have been the years of robotic modernization in auto-making. But today the world is experiencing the decade of revolution with unbelievable automation in the construction industry.

Are Robots A Threat to Labourers?

Many think that this automation revolution is a threat to the labourers’ job security. By the year 2020, it is expected that robots will be working in almost 500,000 construction labour roles. That means labourers have to learn new skills. In the construction industry, about 10 percent tasks are repetitive— loading and unloading materials, bricklaying, etc. All these tasks can be assigned to robots. When the labourers get replaced, they can look forward to new roles and opportunities in the industry.

Robotics in Construction Industry-

Digital Security: Robotics in the construction industry means employing technology having cyber-based vulnerabilities. When replacing the labourer with robots, industries can re-train the employees with the skills to deal with the digital security requirements of these modern technologies is a void that has to be considered.

Mechanical Competence: With regular maintenance and proper skills, robots can work like well-oiled machines. When a robot replaces an employee, he can become the technician to maintain the hardware.

What the Future Looks Like with Automation Revolution?

Automation is an extension of robotics and can be considered as the next phase of industrial rebellion. With the advancements in technologies, automated systems and robots have made encroachments into industries where tasks may have been impractical, dangerous or just tedious for humans.

With the automation revolution, now industries are capable to meet the increasing demands. Automation increases production, reduces labour cost which contributes to cutting down the overall project cost.

An automated construction industry is going to be the future of the world that can capably solve the housing crisis 3bn humans are going through. 20 to 30 years from now, the world is going to be a place where homelessness was a thing of the past. Robotics in the construction industry is here to stay. They are perfecting efficiency, production, and are turning out to be very cost-effective. Great things wait for a modernized construction industry and technology.

“Countries like Germany and Japan have significantly improved living standard and gross income largely in the 20th century because of the implementation of automation and robotics in the construction industry.”

Here is a list of major trends in different technology areas and business processes that are leading to the rapid realization of the upcoming future—

Building Information Modelling (BIM)- BIM endows with the base framework for assimilating and relating pieces of information regarding the project.

Drones & Ground Robotics- Drones gives site photography, survey and inspection functions on the construction location. Whereas, mobile ground robots can turn out to be great helpers to the crew to move or shift materials around the construction site, and thus saving time and improving safety.

Internet of Things (IoT) – In the perspective of construction automation, IoT is usually employed in applications like asset tracking. With low-priced, ubiquitous location and tracking information on materials and assets on the construction site will have a significant impact on the workflow of construction.

Augmented Reality (AR) – AR helps in bridging BIM/CAD structure models to the structure being constructed. It will simplify and modernized all the construction tasks that entail matching the plan with your current process.

Self-powered and Wireless systems – Low-power electronics and high-bandwidth wireless communications like LTE can have a significant impact on the construction by the capability to bring the digital tools on the construction sites.

Video and Sensor Analytics – It can automatically record project status, employs safety policies and construction site security. Basically, video and sensor analytics is a set of latest technologies for using algorithms to perform detection and identification of patterns and events in digital data like images.

Automated Site Monitoring – It manages schedules, improves safety, reduces costs and improves quality. The sensor data processes into the automated site monitoring system and is then united with BIM data, work processes, safety policies, user information and others to create alerts and information to abridge the workload of the project team in real-time.

Advantages of Automation in Construction Industry—

Robotics and automation in the construction industry offer more defined and uniform quality product.

It performs the jobs much easier and faster.

It replaces labours in those tasks which include complicated physical work.

It increases efficiency and productivity, and simultaneously reduces the overall costs.

It can easily conduct the labour tasks even at risky locations, for instance— at substantial heights.

Automated construction and robotics improve work environment as the labourers will be away from uncomfortable work locations.

Automation, modern technologies and techniques— and the demands to continuously advance schedule, cost, safety and quality— are the key reasons behind a shift to the modern construction technology management into a completely new epoch.

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