Construction Technology Trends Guaranteed To Shake Up The Colorado Construction Industry / 2022 Edition
Digital has quickly replaced mechanical. In the last decade, the construction world has noticed the change, which is all a part of what’s being called the “4th industrial revolution”. More and more processes are digitized, allowing data to become the primary driver in many areas – and that’s why technology for construction firms is so important.
Have you heard about “digital transformation”? It’s probably come up at conferences and trade shows you attend.
In a nutshell, this buzz phrase refers to the initiative to use technology for better business outcomes. Don’t make the mistake of assuming this is all just hype – according to Reports and Data, the global digital transformation market was already worth $261.94 billion in 2018. By 2026, it is estimated to be worth as much as $1051.12 billion.
The question is – have you gotten your hands on the latest technology innovations available to firms like yours?
Integrate New Technologies Into Your Firm’s Operations Now
There are many new technologies available to help your firm become more efficient, secure and safe. Make sure you find out how the following technologies can improve your operations:
AI isn’t the sci-fi topic it used to be. In modern applications, AI helps firms like yours to take large amounts of data and analyze it to better understand how effective their business processes are.
- AI can track workers around the job site via their smartphones and wearables to determine whether they are wasting time in going from one spot to another, retrieving tools and materials, etc.
- AI can help you better arrange a job site by tracking tools and vehicles to determine whether too much time is being wasted moving them from one location to another.
- AI (in the form of autonomous drones and rovers) can observe job sites to track progress in real-time, comparing HD footage against the 3D models of the intended end product.
AI can study data on work reports and determine where errors have occurred in the highest frequencies, allowing you to decide whether your crew may need to be retrained or switched around in order to ensure a more successful project.
Automation is a rapidly growing application of technology in the construction industry, and those similar to it, such as manufacturing and mining. Automation with machine learning plays an enormous role in optimizing workflows and predicting problems before they occur. With workflows based in the cloud, you can automate or semi-automate many processes:
- Use analytics to predict problems before they arise.
- Automate and monitor work and maintenance schedules.
- Track and optimize work-in-progress on sites using sensors that monitor downtime.
Removing the worker from the equation can help to limit safety risks and maximize productivity around the clock:
Keep Workers Safe
Perhaps the most direct function of automation is to simply remove employees from the job site altogether. Automated and remote technology allows mining businesses to get their staff members far away from dangerous situations and instead, have them monitor automated machines that handle the tasks directly.
Lower Labor Costs
Another by-product of removing laborers from the mines is that you don’t have to deal with human limitations.
Automated trucks and other heavy machinery can work around the clock to move materials from one place to another and execute other tasks – something you couldn’t achieve with the same investment in a human counterpart.
Another application of automation and AI is in cybersecurity. These advanced types of cybersecurity software (firewalls, antivirus, antimalware) use artificial intelligence to better predict, identify and eliminate harmful malware.
Security based on advanced algorithms that can adapt and learn creates a system that can become familiar with the normal patterns associated with each user and device, detecting anomalies in those patterns quickly.
Essentially, something known as a neural net can be used in cybersecurity efforts. Based on a robust algorithm, the neural net can “learn” to spot patterns of data associated with previously identified and classified spear-phishing emails.
By incorporating this technology into an email client’s spam filter, the filter will be able to spot fraudulent incoming emails and eliminate them before they reach the recipient.
One of the best parts about neural nets is that they continue to learn and improve the more that they are used. With increasingly more data to draw from, this AI will become more and more accurate in doing its job.
One of the most significant pain points in the construction industry is how segmented a firm can be. Communication between workers, engineers, equipment vendors and other parts of the extended network of teams can slow every process down if they’re not handled right.
Mobile technology can do a lot to support these efforts, with smartphones providing a simple way to both keep in touch and share vital information. Gathering and sharing data is no longer dependent on who is where and what they have access to – everything can be uploaded via a smartphone to a shared platform and repository for data about a given work site.
By centralizing 3D Building Information Modeling (BIM) data in the cloud, your carefully managed workflows can continue no matter where your team is. Data can be updated in real-time, keeping every team member on the same page as to how much progress has been made, and where.
Augmented & Virtual Reality
Long before they ever step foot on a worksite, your crew could be extensively trained on their work and expected safety measures in Virtual Reality (VR). Exposing workers to the experience of working in tight spaces or at a great height in a virtual environment will help to prepare them for the reality of their job when the time comes to work onsite.
Whereas VR simulators were once only used for training military and air force personnel, developments in the technology have made it cost-effective enough to bring it into other sectors.
Similarly, Augmented Reality (which enhances the real-world environment with overlaid information) can support safety in the work environment as well. A worker wearing a “smart” hardhat or goggles would see highlighted safety hazards marked in illuminated graphics, ensuring they take notice and stay safe.
Thanks to developments in small, lightweight sensors and transmitters, technology is more wearable than ever. This type of technology could be applied on job sites by embedding it in hardhats and safety vests, monitoring a range of data:
- Location (including elevation)
- Voltage detection
With the crew all tracked by these devices, managers can better understand where their team is, and what shape they’re in.
Sensors mounted in a number of areas around the site can help to provide a range of data types important to managers, including:
- Noise levels
- Dust particulate density
- Voltage levels
The more information a manager has on the job site while they’re away, the better.
Get Initial.IT Assisting You Right Now
It’s important to note that while you are not obligated to apply any of these technologies to the work you’d do, you’re leaving money on the table if you don’t.
If by using a new technology you’re able to improve a process, increase efficiency, or gain another advantage that lowers the amount of time or effort you invest in a process, that means you’ve saved money. If you’re unsure about how to invest in and deploy one of these technologies, then reach out to an IT company like Initial.IT.