Construction innovations – necessity drives progress.
In a recent survey of 2,500 construction professionals, 85% of respondents said they are having difficulty filling craft positions at their firms. Despite the overall employment rates rising, the labor shortage is still a challenge for the construction industry.
This labor shortage puts construction companies at risk of missing project deadlines. When there aren’t enough skilled trade workers to lay bricks, but the project still has to get done, it has other members of the team doing double duty. This creates room for more errors, a potential drop in quality control and an extended timeline; a formula for failure.
So how do you combat this rising challenge?
If you’re like Birmingham, Alabama-based Hoar Construction, you use robots.
Project Manager Bill Lampkin said, “With the help of our technology division, we found a solution in a robot that can lay bring six times faster than a single mason. [It] laid an average of 3,000 bricks per day on the job.”
This specific robot, fondly known as SAM, is still in the researching and piloting stage but it’s a big step into a new world of construction innovation.
How Construction Robots Can Benefit Your Company
In most industries, the potential for humanized robots is considered a threat to the job market. In construction, however, it shouldn’t be.
Constructiondive.com writes, “Construction looks to [robots and automation] as a great bet for completing tasks for which there simply aren’t enough workers.”
But other than using robotics as a way to supplement the decreasing number of available tradesmen, how else will this technology benefit your construction company?
- Safety: Robots can begin to take over some of the more dangerous or risky tasks while the human workers can focus on the more cognitive ones.
- Cost savings: A robot would be a pricey up front investment, but it could save you money in the long run. If you are using robots to prevent accidents, then you won’t pay out as much in workers compensation claims for incidents that happen on job sites. You would also save money in payroll from not having to hire the specialized workers.
- Productivity: As Lampkin said above, robots like SAM can provide the same quality of work as a mason but in less time. Using robots for those labor intensive jobs might help keep you on schedule and within budget.
Remember this, though: These robots are not meant to replace skilled laborers, but instead are there to offer assistance and get the construction industry to the forefront of innovation.