Construction and manufacturing industries have always worked together and as automation has advanced in the last decade, their world has grown strength to strength. With the Industrial revolution 4.0 coming and the digital age in which we live in moving towards robotics and AI being the primary workers at the core of most industries, the question must be asked – is robotics technology evolving in a manner that will have a positive impact on both the field and its workers? Whilst many feel apprehensive of the AI/digital changes to come across the globe and in different industries, AI and robotics could potentially transform industries for the better by creating more autonomy, decreased risk and increased productivity.
So, in this period of rapid growth and expansion into the new unforeseen future, how exactly are these developments looking to improve the manufacturing and construction industry? Here are a few reasons why they may just be necessary for both environments:
In-Human Skillset to Assess Safety Measures
It’s of no surprise to us all that robots can action and process tasks that humans would not be able to, based on their technological framework, processing power and their lack of injury/death threat. Not only can they be built to withstand extreme territories such as temperatures, perilous situations and unsafe surroundings but in addition to this, any AI or robotic technology being employed in the field would have far better data-capture methods than that of the limited abilities of human team members.
Workers in environments such as construction and manufacturing often are faced with dangerous conditions, equipment that takes months to master and the constant threat of injury. Having automated machinery and AI robotics would be crucial to removing any hazardous components of a work environment as well as assisting workers with tasks they may be unable to physically do such as inspecting offshore rigs or scanning the immediate area for any potential sinkholes or otherwise unpredictable environmental factors that would have a direct effect on their work activities.
This type of assistance lays the foundation for risk management improvement across any company and its working conditions. One of the primary issues that construction managers face on building sites includes a lack of control over the environment, resulting in the need to constantly assess for any hazards that could potentially not only harm their workers or their equipment but also could lead to costly delays and errors. Crucial activities involved in construction management such as site surveillance or structure stability, can be undertaken by robotic technology and allow for easy, off-site assessment that could help prepare the construction crew for delays, risks and upcoming issues to be tackled before work can be done. For example, a 3D rendering site camera can be used to map put a new area of land before construction occurs and let the construction managers be aware of the terrain and any pitfalls to come. By having the ‘lay of the land’, companies and managers can adjust plans as needed to ensure a safe work environment, minimize distraction and keep projects on track. In using technology such as this, data-driven project management would take prominence, become the main workflow system and maximize BIM systems.
Reducing human participation in a risky work environment for fewer workplace injuries
Construction is by nature, a risky profession that comes with big rewards and big responsibilities and introducing automated technology could help on both counts. Technology has evolved to allow tools such as drones, site mapping and virtual rendering a place within industries such as architecture, construction and manufacturing, which can help to ensure increased safety and reduced risks for workers on-site as well as lead to better lead times and results. Construction managers and companies need to ensure the correct tools are being used to provide a safe environment for all their works and robotic technology allows for this to be possible.
Injuries and accidents occur frequently in the construction and manufacturing industries and even more so when the task is repetitive or dull. Studies have shown that repetitive work reduces brain reaction time and additionally can cause long-term strain that damages muscles, tendons and other soft body tissue over a prolonged period. With robotic technology, there is no risk of injury to the machine (per se) and lead time is unlimited, meaning that they need no recovery or time off duty. This helps decrease the number of work-related injuries. As well as allowing for remote operation, meaning increased safety measures and visibility with afar where the worker may not even have to be on-site to conduct work-related duties.
Assisting with risky, repetitive or safety orientated tasks
As with any technological developments, there are also disadvantages to come as well. Whilst having AI and robotic technology on hand cannot remove all potential pitfalls that the construction/manufacturing may be faced with, they can help infinitely reduce them. This new technology means new upkeep, maintenance schedules and protocols that will need to be implemented and taught to the necessary employees, including but not limited to safety training too. Not only that but using technology in the digital age means new risks and threats from external sources, meaning cyber security now becomes far more prominent and necessary than ever before.
Modena OneSolve prides itself on being at the forefront of innovation and is always looking for new ways of management and technology to help elevate your business. For more information visit our website at www.onesolve.co.za or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org