Thoughts on Industry Automation
The construction industry has always been a huge revenue generator, with one of the largest GDP’s of any industry for our country. However, like any industry, it comes with its fair share of problems, most of which stem from working conditions. These conditions include the lack of improvement in safety regulations, a large number of incidents, lack of interest in employment in the industry, just to name a few. The need for innovation within the industry has grown over the years and has finally met its time. With the workload and spend of the industry ever growing, implementing automated equipment and intellectual technology could be revolutionary.
Drone Management & Communication
Close your eyes. Picture a typical construction site. What do you see? Probably a group of people in reflective vests and hard hats, walking around with clipboards and taking down measurements and communicating with each other. That image will likely change in our future. Although the requirement of daily inspections will remain, drones will be recording this data rather than human beings. Not only can these drones cover a wide area in a fast amount of time, they can also communicate this data to intelligent equipment which is able to adapt in real time to these metrics. There will be humans supervising this activity initially, but eventually it will probably be all drone managed.
Another way drone use has proven extremely beneficial is in the agriculture industry. Forbes comments on how with information provided by drone imagery and intelligence, farmers can maximize their yield, while reducing costs by fertilizing only the areas that really need it. Agribotix, a drone producer servicing the agriculture industry, carries a variety of lightweight drones that use infrared and thermal cameras to capture high-resolution images that help farmers determine how healthy their crops are.
3D Printing in Record Time
3D printing has influenced several different sectors of our professional world, from medical to the arts, and its uses are still being discovered daily. Several videos have surfaced from China claiming to build structures a large as a 57 story building to as commonplace as a one story house or a steel bridge at jaw-dropping speeds.
Robotic Intelligent Equipment
Although a number of machines are being redesigned with intelligence programmed into them, some of the technology available is able to be retrofitted into already available diggers and forklifts. With the industry’s particular need for certain pieces of equipment, it’s difficult to afford to buy outright the equipment they need to be competitive and thrive.
Not convinced all these changes will really make a positive impact on the way the industry operates? The Civil Engineering Portal gave several very good reasons for automation to move forward in the equipment industry on their blog, so we thought we’d share some of their top reasons with you, too!
- Uniform quality with higher accuracy than that provided by skilled workers.
- Making tasks that are beyond human capabilities possible!
- Increasing productivity and work efficiency with reduced costs.
- Improving work environment as conventional manual work is reduced to a minimum, so the workers are relieved from uncomfortable work positions.
Keep in mind, all of these developments are still in the very early stages and will not be spread across the industry likely for several years (or decades). Still, it is always good to be aware of changes as they come and not after the fact, so we encourage you to keep your ears peeled for news on this front as it may affect your consumer and even what you sell in the future!
If you have any thoughts you’d like to share with us on industry automation, we’d love to hear them! How has automation and technology shifted your everyday work? Leave us a note in the comments below!