With many industries across the world starting to introduce robotics it won’t be long before more of the construction industry utilises this ever-developing technology to produce buildings faster and cheaper.
Industrial robots have essentially been a good introduction into other industries including manufacturing. The technology has provided businesses with benefits that affect their bottom line; robots are efficient, their tasks tend to be completed quicker, and they can work for a lot longer than those in manual labour jobs, both on a day to day basis and long term.
With that in mind, it is worth exploring how robotics is currently, and will continue to assist the construction industry in the future.
One of the main reasons for the introduction of robotics into industry is that they allow for automation of various processes as well as allowing for consistent processing rather than having the business shut down every night. Within the construction industry, it is expected that tasks like welding, handling of materials, and packing will eventually become fully automated.
This of course leads into the next change that will be seen in the quality of work.
Because robotics is completely automated, the manufacture of parts and materials is expected to be of higher quality and more consistent. Human interaction does tend to lead to errors and inconsistency whereas by utilising robots, their ability to repeat the same process over and over without inconsistency is certainly a benefit to the industry.
As in any industry that introduces robotics, there is likely to be some changes to the workforce, however this should act as an encouragement to those in the industry to expand their skills and training. At this stage, robots are not expected to take over entire jobs for some time, rather they will complete certain tasks – specifically those that expose workers to dangerous situations. It is thought that the skills of those within the construction industry will look very different to what it does today, although it is expected to be a gradual change.
Efficient Construction Process
Better efficiency is something many businesses within the construction industry look for, with the aim to reduce wasted time and product. The more traditional construction process does tend to have a lot of waste, whether that be materials or product, which is detrimental to the environment, profitability and the client. Businesses may still find investment in robotics to be quite high, but as technology gets better and cheaper to produce, products that allow for efficient processes will get more affordable.
One of the big benefits of robotics is the ease of being able to customise work. There will no longer be a requirement to follow so many steps to produce a particular design or change a design to suit the needs of a client. 3D printing is already allowing businesses within the construction industry to produce prototypes and samples before getting stuck into manufacturing and building, and as these printers get more affordable, businesses will be able to print parts and components to allow for customisation on site. Robotics will allow the construction industry to meet the needs and wishes of a client instead of pushing the client into what is available.
While there are some downfalls to robotics being introduced into the construction industry – namely within workforce numbers – there are plenty of benefits for businesses to look forward to.