A report from CTBUH says robots will take 50% of construction jobs in the next 3-5 years! And though the construction industry is infamous for slow technological adoption, there is no shortage of catalysts to support the above stats.
The shortage of labour, decreasing profit margins, need to reduce waste, required increment in efficiency, etc., all point to one change- construction robotics.
Indeed, robotics is the answer to all many significant challenges of the E&C industry, like addressing the skill gap and saving time, money, and resources.
But before we dive into the various advantages of construction robotics, let’s first look at its multiple applications of construction robotics.
Applications Of Construction Robotics
#1: Masonry Robots
Robots with masonry capabilities are available in the market. However, their use isn’t that effective. But, their speed and accuracy are truly appreciable.
#2: Street Laying Machines
Laying brick streets is very quick and provides excellent quality. The machine needs to be fed bricks manually, but the rest is automatic.
#3: Building Drones
Drones have become a common sight on sites with various applications ranging from surveying, progress reporting, inspections, health & safety compliance among several others.
#4: Autonomous Mining Trucks
They are already doing great in the construction industry and will surely be huge in the future. They ensure higher productivity, lower operational costs, and increased safety.
#5: Remote Controlled Machinery
Completely remote-powered bulldozers have applications in construction on difficult terrains like hilly areas. The amount of safety they offer to the team is quite exceptional, leading to fewer accidents.
#6: Spot By Boston Dynamics
Spot is a robot that enables you to perform remote 360-degree inspections. Combined with a potent construction management tool, you can achieve efficient and flawless snagging and inspections.
It also allows you to create digital twins to compare the planned BIM and the up-to-date built.
Advantages Of Construction Robotics
#1: Help In Solving The Skills Gap In Construction
According to the Deloitte E&C Outlook of 2020, the industry had still not recovered 20% of the jobs lost by August 2021. Instead, it lost 3,000 more that month. At the same time, US nonfarm employment increased by 230,000!
In such a scenario, which is being dominated by global labour shortages, supply chain disruptions, and economic volatility, construction robotics can efficiently pave the way for job sites to run smoothly.
Additionally, construction jobs will increase by 200 million more by 2030. Thus, automation and robotics will hardly replace any jobs but rather help development grow faster. Only it will create more demand and wages for higher-skilled labourers.
#2: Fewer Mistakes, Lesser Inspections, Saved Time, Money, And Resources
Robots are known for their accuracy. You only need to program them for the job intelligently, and they take care of the rest.
Accuracy means there are fewer mistakes and flaws. This means inspections are more straightforward, and less time is spent correcting and revisiting old work. Fewer resources are spent as the work is done right in the first go, saving money in person-hours and resource costs.
Connected construction, when integrated with robotics, aids in even better efficiency and management, as it helps brings all the processes, stakeholders, and data on a single platform. Thus, you can take corrective measures on the go and not when it’s too late, track and monitor inspections and much more!
#3: Meeting Deadlines And Project Costs
According to a McKinsey report, 98% of megaprojects exceed project estimated costs by more than 30%, and 77% are at least 40% late! Apparently, the E&C industry lacks in completing megaprojects within budget, on time, and to specifications.
Construction robotics correlates directly with all these three issues. The accuracy and speed of robots multiply the speed of the project without compromising on quality and safety.
#4: Safety At Construction Site
An alarmingly high 108,000 workers lose their lives at construction sites every year, constituting about 30% of all occupational fatal injuries. Studies show that construction workers are 3-4 times more likely to die from work accidents than any other sector. This rate spikes to 3-6 times in the developing world.
Robotics like exoskeletons, drones, and self-driven vehicles provide a range of safety applications like fire, inspections, aiding heavy weight lifting, remote site monitoring etc.
Is Construction Robotics A Practical Solution For E&C Industry Problems
Some might counter that despite all the advantages, using robotics can be expensive, rendering it futile, keeping in view the decreasing profit margins. But in reality, construction robotics can instead aid in cost-saving by making your decisions more proactive and predictive than reactive.
Robots like Spot give you up-to-date as-built data analysis. Exoskeletons help you maximize your workforce output.
Bricklaying robots, painting robots, and more enable you to construct faster with more accuracy, reducing wastage and saving time, resources, and money.
And all this while making the E&C industry safer and more lucrative to work in!
Safe to say, construction robotics is set to transform the E&C industry?