Many builders are counting on construction robotics to meet the needs of their business. Since the Great Recession, the construction industry has recovered significantly, but it’s still facing a skilled labor shortage. The gap between the available positions and skilled workers puts even more pressure on developers, contractors, and owners.
Reasons for the Construction Labor Shortage
Currently, there’s a lack of qualified candidates to step up and take over the positions of those nearing retirement age. Younger generations see construction jobs as dangerous, difficult, and dirty. Millennials of all income backgrounds would rather go to a four-year college or take jobs in retail or transportation.
In the face of the shortage, construction is booming, creating a large number of unfilled construction industry jobs. The shortage is felt on job sites daily. Contractors have to pay subcontractors higher wages and wait for talent to become available. This results in slower jobs throughout the country.
Construction Companies Look for a Solution to the Shortage
Companies are turning to technology to improve operations, increase efficiency, and find ways to get more done with fewer workers. Construction robotics may offer the solution. Robotics can accomplish tasks like excavation, drywall installation, painting, and roofing. Many companies are adding robotics and self-driving vehicles to do construction tasks. Construction robots also pour concrete, lay bricks, and perform demolition. Construction robotics complete these tasks so that humans can perform more complex construction work and to save time on the front-end of the project.
Construction robotics companies often promise to decrease labor costs, accomplish tasks in less time by having robots work longer shifts and into the night, as well as performing tasks with less downtime.
Collaboration tools and software help keep human workers on task. They also ensure that everyone has easy access to a job’s specifications, change orders, and drawings. Extremely realistic 3D and 4D models of structures make workers and managers instantly aware of changes.
Off the construction site, companies are relying on factories staffed by autonomous robots more and more. These facilities piece together components of a home or other structure. The pieces are then shipped to their final destination and assembled by human workers.
In the past, construction hasn’t been known to quickly adopt technology, but the skilled labor shortage along with surging demand for building projects has forced the industry to use technology to meet the challenge.
Visit the Construction Robots educational content on Robotics Online to learn more about the use of robotics in the construction industry.