The world is rapidly going digital, and the businesses that are riding the wave are constantly coming out on top. Digital technology has changed almost every aspect of the world as we know it-especially in certain industries like construction.
The digitalization of the construction industry has made it easier for contractors to maintain safety, promote productivity, and reduce construction costs, among many other benefits. But what exactly are the digital innovations that have shaped the construction industry as we know it?
Here are some of the best examples:
1. Equipment maintenance software
Equipment is one of the most expensive assets for any construction business, making proper and regular maintenance of utmost necessity. With equipment maintenance software, businesses can stay betteron top of maintenance scheduling (both preventive and predictive), helping them reduce the chances of equipment failure and the potential losses that come with it.
Companies that supply equipment to contractors or those who offer leasing services like air compressor rental companies also utilize equipment maintenance software to prevent losses (in time and money) due to equipment failure. Furthermore, using such software aids in minimizing construction safety issues caused by failing equipment.
2. Productivity trackers
Before the digital age, contractors and project managers had to rely on manual methods to track the progress of the project, which is as unreliable as it is tedious. Today, construction professionals can stay on top of construction projects with productivity trackers, which serve to help manage every aspect of a construction project from start to finish.
Aside from making project management easier, productivity trackers also minimize the room for errors and delays, which, in turn, help reduce additional expenses on materials and labor.
UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles), or more commonly known as drones, are more than just recreational devices. Today, the construction industry makes use of UAVs for topographic mapping, land surveys, equipment tracking, surveillance, remote monitoring, and many other vital purposes.
Aside from making these construction processes easier, this type of tech also increase personnel safety in more ways than one:
• UAVs can substitute for humans when surveying potentially dangerous situations.
• UAVs can quickly find injured or unresponsive personnel on the site.
• UAVs increase security.
• UAVs can be used to monitor the job site for safety concerns.
4. Wearable safety devices
Maintaining the safety of personnel is of utmost importance in an inherently perilous industry like construction. Unfortunately, standard safety measures are not always enough to prevent work-related accidents and injuries, which is why more and more construction businesses are going digital to increase personnel safety.
Some of the biggest digital innovations in personnel safety are wearable devices. Wearable tech in the construction industry usually comes in small technologies embedded in workers’ PPE (personal protective equipment) and smartwatches. These devices come with GPS, environmental sensors, biometrics, and other sensors to monitor workers’ movement, location, slips, and falls, which helps improve accident response and avoid accidents and injuries altogether.
5. Site sensors
Sometimes, safety hazards cannot be seen by the naked eye, going undetected until it’s too late. Site sensors help avoid this problem by monitoring the construction environment for things like dust, temperature, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and noise levels to help minimize exposure to workers.
Site sensors are installed throughout the construction site and will automatically go off if it detects dangerous environmental conditions like increased temperature or the presence of VOCs. With this type of tech in place, workers can vacate a potentially dangerous area immediately and avoid risk to their physical health. Furthermore, data from these sensors can provide valuable insight into mitigating the levels of exposure in the construction site and increase safety for all personnel.
6. Artificial intelligence and machine learning
Due to recent developments in AI and machine learning, construction businesses are now utilizing data to improve productivity, decision-making, and construction site safety. Through AI and machine learning, firms can use previously collected data and use it to predict future outcomes on projects, which can also help them improve estimation and bid smarter on projects.
Other than that, AI and machine learning systems can help reduce construction waste by tracking the movement of materials, improving estimations, and analyze how workers utilize materials.
The construction industry has yet to go fully digital. But we can see many construction businesses leveraging digitalization to improve almost all aspects of the building process. As technology and innovations continue to improve, we can expect to see even smarter, more effective, and more cost-efficient developments in the future. Things can only get better for this sector.
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