Advantages of Automating Construction with Robots
When industrial robots were first developed, they were only used in the automotive industry. Over the decades more industries have realized the benefits of robotic automation and articulated robots are now used in a wide variety of industries. One industry that has been hesitant to automate is the construction industry. It is the least automated but one of the most labor intensive. However, construction sites are slowly starting to incorporate industrial robots to combat challenges from COVID-19, labor shortages, and supply chain disruptions. Industrial robots are automating demolition, inspection, masonry and other construction processes.
There are many advantages to automating construction with the FANUC M-710ic/50 and other industrial robots as those in the industry are beginning to learn. The main advantages of construction robots include:
- • Filling in labor gaps - Many industries have been plagued by labor shortages during the past couple of years. The construction industry is one of those facing a severe labor crisis, which is predicted to only worsen as a big portion of the workforce in set to retire within the next 10 years. Fewer people are looking to enter the field as well. Supplementing the construction workforce with six axis robots helps fill in labor gaps. With the programmed control of the Motoman MA1440 users immediately inherit the skillset of a seasoned worker. Plus, with robots there is no turnover to worry about.
- • 24/7 Operation - With construction being extremely labor intensive, work hours are limited to 8 to 12 hour days. Robots never tire and can be programmed to operate 24/7. They can operate in the dark, heat, or cold without breaks or delays. Turning an 8 hour construction site into a 24 hour one can significantly boost productivity.
- • Taking over dangerous jobs - There are many dangers and hazards associated with construction. Heavy lifting, repetitive movements, heavy tooling, heights, fumes, and debris are some of the potential hazards workers face that can lead to accidents and series injuries. Robots are better equipped to take on these hazards. Robots will never be sidelined from a jobsite accident, providing reliable labor and a safer work environment.
- • Reducing costs - Automating construction sites with robots reduces the amount of labor needed. This helps reduce costs associated with labor such as payroll, benefits, and workers comp. The accuracy of robots will conserve materials. Overall costs associated with construction will be reduced through robotic automation, which can be a big stress reliever as many construction companies operate with extremely tight margins.
- • Reducing mistakes - Industrial robots are incredibly accurate. They can repeat the exact same motions and tasks over and over, mitigating mistakes. Replacing workers with the ABB 4400-60 eliminates human errors that often cause wasted materials, rework, and delays. Reducing errors improves construction quality ensuring the safety and integrity of the project.
- • Keeping timeframes on track - Construction is notorious for delays and missed deadlines. Projects often take longer than expected due to errors, poor time management, accidents, sparse labor, or low productivity. Robots eliminate all these issues. In addition, their speed and long operation hours can make up time should projects get off track, ensuring deadlines are met regardless of obstacles encountered.