Another trip round the sun, and it’s time to analyze the advancements made. Things in the construction industry have changed significantly. Here are the top technology trends for the heavy equipment construction industry to follow in 2018.
Labor Shortages in Construction Industry
Recovering from the Great Recession, the construction industry has been facing problems dealing with the growing requirements for labor. There have been continual shortages in the number of skilled craft workers throughout America, which is expected to continue in 2018.
Meeting the growing requirements with scarce numbers of skilled laborers will make construction a struggle even in 2018. The construction industry added 155,000 jobs in 2016 and 210,000 in 2017. The number is expected to grow in 2018 as according to a recent survey conducted by AGC (Associated General Contractors of America) – 78% of firms admit to be having a tough time filling vacancies for skilled labor positions and 82% believe that it will get even harder in upcoming years.
In such a scenario, construction firms will have to allocate more resources towards creating training programs to brush up existing workers or increasing wages to lure more skilled workers.
Renewed Interest in Modular Construction & Prefabrication
A lot of hype was given to offsite construction a few years ago and the interest is renewing with growing demands for modular construction and prefabrication. The construction schedule is condensed with offsite construction as there’s no scope for weather delays or injuries at site. When construction is done in a controlled environment, errors, accidents, injuries, and fall hazards are significantly reduced, easing the entire process.
Katerra’s success is a fine example of restored interest in offsite construction. This start-up handles design, prefab and onsite construction, material sourcing and supply. It was established in 2015 and is already valued at over $1 billion, which proves the growing demand for offsite construction.
Construction is Getting High-Tech
High-tech solutions are being implemented in the construction industry to deal with some of the greatest industry issues, including labor shortages, declining productivity and safety issues. Drones, robots and autonomous equipment is landing on construction sites to perform tasks that once required skilled craftsmanship. Moreover, these robots are replacing real men at work, under dangerous conditions. Site surveys and bridge inspections can be accurately conducted by drones and site work operations and earthmoving are being handled by autonomous equipment. Monotonous jobs like laying bricks evenly and tying rebar are being handled by robots too. Using VR simulators to train workers will be a boon for heavy equipment industry owners. Project visualizations, performing clash detections and using hi-tech software for easy collaboration and communication are all construction industry trends to follow in 2018.
Another tech trend to improve productivity at construction sites is to make use of ‘wearables’. These devices help monitor workers to keep them safe and under scrutiny to enhance their work efficiency.
These are the top technology trends to pay attention to in 2018. Heavy equipment construction industries can combat problems like labor shortages, declining productivity and worker safety issues by following the aforementioned trends.
About the Author:
Mike Russell has been in e-Commerce since 1997 working as a consultant through his companies for many top retailers and Fortune 500 companies. GE, Caterpillar, Assurant, Justin Boots are just a few of the many companies he’s worked with in both B2B and B2C. His background is in the retail industry working for several of the nation’s largest clothing manufacturers helping them sell to top department stores like Macy’s, Nordstrom’s and many others.
Mike believes it is important to carry a retailer or e-commerce’s customer first mentality into their e-Commerce site and services supporting it. e-MaxCommerce is a digital agency focused 100% on e-Commerce. He serves as one of the managing partners for the company.
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