Robots and Construction Could Be the Perfect Partnership
Three reasons why this industry is starting to welcome mechanical workers
It’s difficult to discuss technology and the future without mentioning robots. Although the belief that they will soon take all of our jobs has been overblown, robots are beginning to play a bigger role in the workplace. Robots aren’t really doing things completely on their own yet, however, as they still need us, humans, to program and guide them.
Certain industries seem ready for a robotic disruption. The auto sector is perhaps the best example of this. Numerous companies are working on driverless cars, and it seems like it will only be a matter of time before they’ll be available at your local dealership. With all of its tools and machinery, construction is another industry that could soon feel the impact of robots, and there are three key reasons for this:
Lack of skilled workers
One big reason why companies are relying more on robots is that they can’t locate people to fill their jobs. Right now, around 95 percent of contractors are having a very difficult time finding skilled workers, which is the worst worker shortage in construction in more than a decade.
Construction is one of the most dangerous professions. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the construction industry is comprised of about 4 percent of the workers in America, yet it accounts for over 20 percent of all worker deaths. Plus, these numbers are only getting higher. In 2013, there were 856 fatalities related to construction work. In 2016, that increased to 1,034. It can be all too easy for employees involved in monotonous work to lose focus, and even if it’s just for a few seconds, this can result in a serious accident.
With the continuing demand for new homes and businesses and remodels and renovations, strong productivity is essential for construction. But, according to The Economist, productivity levels in the construction industry are 50 percent lower than they were in the 1960s. One reason for this has to do with the worker shortage. TSheets recently revealed that almost 70,000 construction workers in the U.S. have to work up to 50 hours every week. And with so many people putting in more time in what is often a grueling job, productivity typically suffers. The Economist also cites another reason for reduced productivity: lack of incentive for innovation.
“The problem is not a lack of technology that enables capital to be substituted for labor — from the 3-D printing of buildings to robotic bulldozers and the like. The problem is that the industry is not incentivized to adopting this technology. The industry’s cyclicality means that investing in labor-saving machinery is risky because it results in higher fixed costs during downturns. Workers, in contrast, are easier to fire, enabling firms to survive during lean times.”
Improve your operations with robotic machinery
While construction is sometimes known for lagging behind when it comes to new technology, some companies are starting to see that robotic machinery can do a lot to help both operations and the bottom line. At Triple E Equipment, we make a battery-powered mini skid steer that can be completely remote controlled. This means it can be used to go into areas that may be too dangerous for workers – and as long as it has enough juice, it will never get tired.
If your company is having trouble finding workers or you want to increase productivity, contact Triple E to learn more about what we offer. Call us at 954-978-3440 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.