Technology advances – from drones to augmented reality – is changing how we conduct construction projects. With growing interest in the contech space and promising results, funding in machine learning, robotics and R&D is increasing at a rapid pace.
Find out how these 7 new technologies for construction projects are helping the construction and earthmoving industry make more informed decisions, increase productivity, improve safety and ultimately, drive profits. Stay in the know and get ahead of the curve.
1. Drone for Speed
Drones are becoming a more and more integral part of the utilities and construction industry.
IDC predicts that this trend is only going to grow in the next few years – at a rate of 25.4% between 2017 and 2021 – as it reduces time and resources spent on tasks such as learning the state of the project, tracking inventory of materials and stock and surveying an area.
A surveyor would traditionally take up to a month to survey a construction job site in detail but with drones, surveyors are able to complete the same work within minutes. Such small yet significant breakthroughs can improve efficiency, reduce physical labour cost and reduce project timeframes. Read Conexpo-con’s article on their 3 recommended drones for the construction industry.
2. Wearables for Employee Safety
The growing interest in wearables for construction projects are because of technological benefits such as improved workplace safety, security and labour efficiency. Over the next few years, we can expect wearables to become more affordable.
An example of wearable technology is a vest worn by construction workers that can detect temperature, heart rate, when someone had slipped and fallen – all in real time. This helps construction workers prevent exhaustion and minimise workplace accidents. For more examples, read esub’s article on the top wearable technology.
3. Project Management Apps
Engineers, project managers, surveyors, architects and construction workers are often nowhere near each other at the same time yet discussions and decisions require input from different sources. With cloud technology and project management apps, important stakeholders can remain connected with each other both, on and off-site.
An example is Pantera Global Technology which provides access to data right on the site itself; improving project management and bid management in the construction industry.
Being strong advocates of better communication and efficiency at eiengineering, we are excited for easy access to the various project stakeholders. Read our article on why we believe equipment operators need better communication.
4. Augmented Reality
With augmented reality, construction workers and other stakeholders would be able to physically walk through real 3D environments and gather real-time information about the environment.
An example is the new iOS app, MeasureKit which is essentially AR ruler tools that allow users to point their phone or iPad at an object, and interact with it in three main ways – measure, level, and place objects.
5. 3D Printing for Greater Cost-Efficiencies
3D printing is and will continue to become an essential piece of technology in the construction industry.
It is useful for rapid prototyping, modelling and full-scale printing of project components. 3D printers increase project productivity and efficiency by allowing construction companies to do more with less resources.
“Much of construction is going to be moved into the factory … allowing you to make a better-quality product, in a short time frame, in a safer environment” – Dominic Thasarathar, Autodesk, The Guardian
6. Predictive Analytics for Risk Management
Predictive analytics can help aid the high-risk nature of construction projects and help manage project risks better.
An example of predictive analytics is Project IQ. Project IQ analyses historical and current data from various sources such as contractors, design plans, suppliers, materials used and the construction site. Using these insights, Project IQ will have a dashboard with project elements with the highest risk and project stakeholders will be able to investigate the reasons, causes and effects of those identified risks.
According to Bim 360, “the difference between a successful construction company and a struggling construction company lies in your ability to manage risk.”
7. Robotics for Precision
Robotics will play a pivotal role in the construction industry as robots will soon be able to finish a lot of labour-intensive tasks such as laying bricks and tying rebar. With increasing research and development, robots may someday replace man-operated construction projects.
An example is the “in-situ fabricator” created in Zurich, at the National Centre of Competence in Research (NCCR) Digital Fabrication.
In order for construction businesses to remain competitive in today’s dynamic and ever-changing market, businesses embrace such technological advances and slowly adopt technology best suited to the projects.
At eiengineering, we are passionate on improving businesses’ productivity and profitability. Our investment in the R&D of bucket technology aims to reduce operation costs, increase digging power and increase ground penetration by 30% (yes, we tested it!). Contact us for a free onsite demo today.