Why Is Automation Important In The Construction Industry?

Posted by Ben Sparhawk on Apr 5, 2024 3:50:04 PM

Automation in the Construction Industry is no longer a futuristic concept.

In fact, it's already happening on many job sites in the country and around the world.

Professionals in the construction industry are finally starting to see the value in shifting toward a tech-based workflow with automation.

It's a very wise move to make in the construction industry to improve the stagnant productivity trends we've seen over the past few years.

But what is automation?

Automation can be intimidating and even scary to many industry professionals that worry that embracing automation will lead to a slash in available jobs for workers.

Admittedly, the more repetitive, labor-intensive positions may be phased out.

You can rest assured that connecting job sites with automation technologies will create a demand for experts with skills in other fields, like software development and engineering, to name a few.

That's just one of the many benefits that automation will bring to your job site.

No matter what your preconceived notions about construction automation are, please don’t discount the potential it has to help your team work smarter.

In the article below, we will go over several factors that will show just how important automation in construction will be.

Table of Contents


Automation can make things much safer for the workers

Worker Safety

Worker safety is one of the most important factors, no matter what your job or product is.

Worker safety is a huge reason construction firms should begin automating their processes.

Automated systems can remove workers from the workplace, therefore taking them out of dangerous environments.

The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (OSHA) was enacted in the United States to make jobsites safer and protect the physical well-being of all skilled workers.

OSHA encourages the use of automation on any construction project.

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Inefficient Processes

Many construction projects have many tedious tasks that take up too much precious time.

Automation in construction could streamline these inefficient processes saving everyone time and money.

Automation shouldn't phase out every human task, but there are many tasks where automated equipment will do a much better job much faster than a human could.

Let's look at routine site inspections.

These inspections are typically done on foot, documented on paper, and can take hours to complete.

And even when it's done, there's no guarantee that it will be done well or filed properly.

With drones, you can perform site inspections much more efficiently, and you can inspect hard-to-reach or dangerous areas without risking anyone's safety.

Drones will record inspections, so you can be sure to have an accurate record of the inspection.

The workers who typically performed these site inspections can now use their skills somewhere else, in a much safer environment.

Collecting data becomes much more accurate and efficient with automation as well.

Using fleet management software, you can digitally record detailed vehicle inspection reports.

Thorough documentation is essentially foolproof, and inspections happen at twice the speed with the help of automation in construction.

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Shorter Work Weeks

Another factor in the construction workers' safety is how many hours they have to work each week.

Fortunately, we're not working the 70-80 hour work weeks that were standard in the early 1900s anymore, but we could still stand to do better.

When workers are exhausted, their skills diminish and they are more likely to be involved in accidents.

And when workers don't have to work as many hours, you cut back on labor costs as well.

Machines and automation technologies have played a significant role in getting us to where we are today, and it stands to shorten our work weeks even more.

The time needed to process a typical production order in a  factory can be reduced with automation as well.

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Automation can increase productivity

Increased Productivity

Shorter workweeks can also mean there's been an increase in productivity due to automation.

In the construction industry, productivity has flatlined while most industries have seen steady gains.

There's no quick fix or one reason for low productivity, but a shortage of human workers and a low technology use rate are large contributors.

Even if a company has enough skilled labor and they aren't experiencing labor shortages, there's only so much that can be accomplished in a day, no matter what types of skills your team has.

Automated processes can reverse the low productivity trend and increase construction productivity.

If technology, through the use of drones, fleet management software, a wearable safety vest, or another piece of technology, can speed up a project or improve communication, you have nothing to lose by trying them out.

For example, project managers can use AR headsets to see exactly how a project should look, right in front of their eyes.

Ar headsets can superimpose the correct model onto the jobsite and allow for the immediate comparison to the digital, most recent project design.

This means there should be no confusion created by dated documentation or wasted time spent comparing paperwork.

Automating necessary, time-consuming tasks like site inspections cuts down the number of hours and employees spent on them, and it ensures they will be done correctly with the most current project data.

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Will There Be Enough Jobs to Go Around?

We are pretty confident in saying that workers with skills will always be in demand.

There are many automation opportunities across many industries, but construction jobs shouldn't see the sharp decrease that other industries may see that have more repetitive activities.

Currently, the easiest processes to automate are the most repetitive tasks and physical activities in predictable environments.

But construction professionals typically work in unpredictable environments unless modular construction techniques are being used.

The unpredictability of construction sites consists of many moving parts, and each project is tailored to the needs of their customers, the architectural designs, and the geographical and site requirements.

We predict that the overall number of available jobs in the construction industry will grow rather than shrink.

Automating more of the production and construction process could also help deliver infrastructures and buildings much faster without reducing the number of people needed to complete the tasks.

There is enough work to do right now, and we don't expect there to be a decrease in the construction workforce or jobs in the foreseeable future.

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Automate With CDMG

The construction sector today requires manufacturing and processing facilities fully integrated in terms of automation and control systems.

CDMG can provide specialized services to engineer, specify, integrate, and install automation and control systems for a broad range of manufacturing and process applications.

From concept to completion, our automation and construction technology professionals work collaboratively with our process, mechanical, and electrical disciplines to provide seamless project delivery within the given schedule and budget parameters.

With CDMG's Automation Services, you can streamline your business, helping you save time and money.

If you would like to know more about our Automation capabilities, click the button below to see how we can streamline your business.

Your Automation Brochure 

Topics: automation technologies

About The Author

ben-sparhawkI'm Ben Sparhawk, the Content Writer and Marketing Account Manager for CDMG. I write to showcase the work that CDMG does and everything related to the pre-engineered metal building industry as well as their engineering capabilities. When I'm not working on content, you can find me spending time with my wife and children. You can also find me in the gym, trying to better myself, and I also enjoy spending time outdoors hiking or checking out local parks.